Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils. The Citizenship Foundation defines spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils in relation to pupils ability and willingness to do the following:

Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

Moral: Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.

Social: Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.

Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

As stated in the ‘Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC’ document published by DFE 2014;

Through provision of SMSC, schools should:

  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
  • enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England; • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
  • encourage respect for other people;
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

How does Bankside promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils?

At Bankside Primary, teachers promote SMSC in lots of different ways. This is most simply addressed in Religious Education and assemblies, but SMSC can be developed in all subjects and lots of aspects of school life. These could include:

– English, where children will read a range of different fiction books set in different countries and cultures

-Maths, where children might look at Islamic art when learning about shape and symmetry

– Science, where values and morals are considered, such as when teaching about evolution in Year 6 (see the National Curriculum)

– Living and Growing Education, where we make sure we talk about different attitudes and beliefs held by different faith groups and individuals

– SEAL sessions, where we promote the social and emotional aspects of learning

SMSC development is also embedded into our ethos and can be sensed in our day-to-day practices and many of our policies and practices . A key part of the social development of pupils is their acceptance and engagement with British values.

Statutory context of SMSC for schools We value SMSC as a way to enrich our children’s experiences and their outcomes. When we were last inspected, Ofsted judged the extent of our pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural development to be outstanding. Slightly confusingly, the National Curriculum sets out that three of these aspects, alongside mental and physical development, should be promoted in schools:

Every state-funded school must offer a curriculum which is balanced and broadly based and which promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society. National Curriculum, Department for Education, September 2013)
Social development is missing from the list, but we regard working with others and the social aspects of learning as really important for our pupils.