Defining spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC)
As a school that is not part of a diverse society with people of all backgrounds, ethnicities and faiths, we realise this is an area of understanding that we have to educate our children in to develop their spiritual awareness. We ask our parents to support this through home learning by providing children with opportunities to enjoy wider culture experiences outside school. We use our assembly time as well as PHSE and RE lessons to reflect on different beliefs and cultures as well as exploring what place we take in multi-cultural Britain. We encourage the children to be imaginative and creative in their learning through our curriculum and range of extra-curricular activities. The adults in school model their own experiences to the children which embeds the ethos of a community of life-long learners. As part of the learning process children are encouraged to reflect on their progress, as well as their strengths and areas for development. Our school motto: ‘Achieve Believe Learn Enjoy’ very much underpins all we do and the way in which the children learn.
The moral development of pupils within our school
There is a large emphasis on understanding the difference between right and wrong and we have a strong commitment to good behaviour which is both modelled and rewarded by all. There is a large emphasis on how we behave and take our place within the community where positive relationships are built on fairness and understanding. The highest standard of a moral code are modelled to pupils by adults and by older pupils to their younger peers. Our assemblies and curriculum provide opportunities to explore issues and differing viewpoints.
The social development of our pupils
We recognise happens at different rates and to different levels; all activities are planned so as to provide the best possible learning environment to enhance social skills. Children are facilitated to understand social conventions and socially acceptable behaviour through all that we do. Children are encouraged to be kind to their friends, be thoughtful, truthful and to discuss these issues where possible.
The cultural development of pupils
This is strong in terms of their understanding of democracy and the right to have your say. The curriculum underpins a development of how a wide range of different cultures have influenced society today in Britain and further afield. A strength of our school is the participation of our pupils in both sporting and artistic events in the local community of schools and in the wider community. Because we are not an ethnically diverse school or community this is an area we have to work harder on. Our children have a growing awareness of their place in a culturally diverse modern Britain.
Our approach to SMSC also includes how we address ‘British Values’, including how we prepare our pupils for life in modern Britain. We believe the values set out as being ‘British’ are values that we would consider important in any modern society:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Each year at Bracken Leas Primary school the children decide on a class charter. This shows the rights and responsibilities of the class. Our children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have a school council which meets regularly with senior staff and with Governors; they are actively involved in school improvement. All council members are elected by their class and bring ideas and concerns to meetings for discussion.
The school take part in a happiness survey which discusses the curriculum, safety and things the children would like to change. Each class is given feedback on the results.
The Rule of Law
Elections take place for House Captains, Eco Reps and School Council. Children share why they should be elected and then a vote takes place. A visiting magistrate explains the legal system to our older children annually and they follow this up with enacting their own court case. They are also involved in Remembrance Day in Brackley. Assemblies look at our school’s ethos, and value statements; ‘ABLE: Achieve Believe Learn Enjoy’. Our oldest children work through a programme of empowerment Keeping safe, First Aid, Solve it , Bikeability and Citizenship.
Within school, pupils are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for all. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and to exercise them in a polite and thoughtful way e.g. e-safety lessons, PSHE Lessons, Mental Well Being Day. Our pupils have many areas in which they exercise choices: in learning challenges, how they record their learning and through their participation in our extra- curricular clubs and opportunities.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
Mutual respect is fundamental to the success of our school community. Children learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own right and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. Assemblies for the whole school take place. At Bracken Leas we celebrate difference; our PSHE and RE curriculum look at our school’s ethos and values and those of other faiths and make connections in order to widen the children’s understanding of a wider multi-cultural Britain