Policy for SMSC and British Values
Date: Spring 2015
Date of Next Review: Summer 2017
SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (SMSC), Including British Values
St Mary’s CE Primary School is committed to the development of the ‘Whole Child’.
This policy should is in partnership with the schools SRE Policy, Collective Worship Policy and PHSE Curriculum.
The purpose of this policy is to:
1. Clearly define the term Spiritual, Moral, Social and cultural development.
2. Clearly define what we mean as British Values
3. To develop the ways in which the school promotes through practice, the development of these areas.
4. To identify personnel roles and responsibilities.
5. To identify other areas of school documentation that supports the development and care of the whole child.
In ordinary language the word ‘spiritual’ has a wide range of meaning. It can refer to the divine, to people, places, capacities, experiences and to things. Here we are concerned with the spiritual development of young people so we need a person-centred account.
Spiritual being and experience often show of the following features:
• Feelings of transcendence giving rise to belief in God, in a divine ground of being or in an overall metaphysical meaning to existence.
• A sense of awe, wonder and mystery which can derive from experience of nature, human achievement, someone we love and from religion.
• Search for the meaning and purpose of life in asking such questions as ‘why do I exist?’, ‘why does anyone or anything exist?’, ‘why do I/we suffer?’, ‘why am I affected by beauty, truth, goodness in the way that I am?’.
• Self knowledge in terms of awareness of one’s thinking, feeling and emotion and of awareness of responsibility and freedom; of who I am (identity).
• Relationships where the inter-personal sphere is grounded in values, reciprocity and community.
• Creativity through self expression of the inner world through the public media of art, crafts, literature, music, film and drama, the appreciation of others’ expression, and exercising imagination, inspiration, intuition and insight.
• Feelings and emotions can move us towards the good, the truth and the beautiful which generate their own control and can be important sources of growth.
The quality of an act, which according to a particular moral code, renders it right and proper or not. It derives from a social codification of right and wrong and it may be treated as either ‘internal’ code or ‘external’ imposed code. Moral development implies the values of love, trust, fidelity, honestly, integrity and justice, freedom and responsibility.
The morally developed person will have the following characteristics:
• Acts of moral principle when necessary
• Understands both legal rules and moral norms
• Able to reason in moral matters
• Able to make sound judgements by applying moral principles, insight and reasoning.
Social development refers to pupils’ progressive acquisition of the competence and qualities needed to play a full part in society. It is, then, concerned with the skills and personal qualities necessary for individuals to live and function effectively in society.
It also involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society in all it’s aspects’ it’s institutions, structures and characteristics, including economic and political organisation, and principles and life as a citizen, parent or worker in a community.
Cultural development refers to pupils’ increasing understanding and command of those beliefs, values, customs, knowledge and skills which, taken together, form the basis of identity and cohesion in societies and groups.
The term ‘culture’ has a variety of connotations, some of the general application and some more specific. It is also important to recognise the place of specific cultural manifestations and the values of deepening pupils’ response to them for example, in music, art, drama, dance, poetry, science and technology. Education is clearly concerned both with developing and strengthening cultural interests which pupils already possess and with exposing them to a breadth of stimuli in order to allow them to develop new interests and deeper understanding of our multicultural society.
THE SCHOOLS PRACTICE
A glance at the definition of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development is sufficient to illustrate the complexity of the phrase. Certainly in this aspect of development the word ‘teach’ is perhaps less than appropriate. Rather we should seek to provide the climate or setting in which pupils can develop the features referred to in the above definitions. Such evidence of pupil development of SMSC, is described by OFSTED below and identifies a clear set of aims for school provision.
EVIDENCE OF PUPILS’ SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT:
• Pupils are reflective about beliefs, values and more profound aspects of human experience, using their imagination and creativity, and developing curiosity in their learning
• Pupils develop and apply an understanding of right and wrong in their school life and life outside school
• Pupils take part in a range of activities requiring social skills
• Pupils develop awareness of and respect for diversity in relation to, for example, gender, race, religion and belief, culture, sexual orientation and disability
• Pupils gain a well-informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them as they move through the school and on to the next stage of their education and training
• Pupils develop an appreciation of theatre, music, art and literature
• Pupils develop the skills and attitudes to enable them to participate fully and positively in democratic modern Britain
• Pupils respond positively to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities
• Pupils understand and appreciate the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life.
As directed under new guidance, September 2014, we at Mary’s take opportunities to actively promote British Values, defined by the government as the following:
• The rule of law
• Individual liberty
• Mutual respect
• Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
At St. Mary’s we teach a broad and balanced curriculum that teaches elements of democracy, civic responsibility, rules and laws, the monarchy, equality, values and virtues, environmental awareness and understanding of other faiths. Actively promoting British Values also refers to challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values. At St. Mary’s, values of tolerance and respect permeate all areas of school life. This creates a climate within which pupils feel safe and secure and facilitates the fulfilment of potential. Pupil voice plays an integral part in driving the school forward and school rules at different levels are seen as the foundation upon which this can be achieved. The following are a selection of activities that are evidence of our commitment to British values.
• We have an elected school council that meets twice per half term. The children discuss ways of improving the school and they make practical suggestion as how to do so.
• Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our School Council, Learning Council and pupil questionnaires.
• Children also vote democratically for their school council class representatives.
The Rule of Law:
• The importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies.
• Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police; Fire Service; Road Safety etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
• Our Peer Mediator programme supports children in developing skills of conflict resolution
• Within school, the children are actively encouraged to make wise choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.
• As a school, we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advise how to exercise these safely, for example through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it is through choice of challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
• Part of our school ethos and behaviour policy has revolved around our Core Christian Values such as ‘Respect’, and pupils have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown.
• Displays around the school promote respect for others and this is reiterated through our classroom and learning rules, as well as our behaviour policy and assemblies.
• We actively promote respect for our environment and we have a Head and Deputy Head Girl and Boy along with House Captains and Peer Mediators who help adults and children out in school and in the playground.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs:
• This is achieved through the enhancement of children’s’ understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity.
• Assemblies and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying are followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.
• We use whole school and/ or class assemblies as a chance to introduce the children to a range of different celebrations and religious festivals e.g. Chinese New Year, Christmas, Easter, Diwali, Eid etc.
• Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. Each Year group will visit a place of worship at least once a year.
• At St. Mary’s we take part in annual Poppy Day commemorations where children have made or can purchase poppies and a minute’s silence is held in special assemblies for the school.