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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development at High Ham

 This is an area that permeates all aspects of school life. It is also an area that when Ofsted visit, they will report on under the category of ‘Overall School Effectiveness’.

Defining spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences.
  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.
  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

Examples of work in these areas completed at High Ham

This list has been compiled by a group of governors who have a responsibility to ensure that this area of the curriculum is covered.

Assessment of evidence of pupils’ progress in spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning by our foundation governors.
Whole School
  • Each year group has a copy of the Lord’s Prayer and the School Prayer displayed on the classroom walls.
  • Each year group has a Class Charter which is displayed alongside the school motto ‘Together we care, share and learn’.
  • Each year group is examining the precept ‘Words can hurt or heal – which did yours do today?’ this term. This is displayed on the classroom walls.
  • This term’s fund-raising for ‘School in a Bag’ has an excellent display board which links this charity drive to the ‘care, share and learn’ theme.
  • Key Stage 2 year groups have a ‘reflective area’ in the classroom, where children can go for contemplation and constructive, positive time out.
  • The main focus this term is ‘Going for Goals’ and a large display wall is under construction. They are learning to be helpful to other people.
  • Real PE is another main focus which aims to develop the whole person, physically, mentally and socially.
  • A range of cognitive questions are referred to constantly to illustrate each topic
  • The children’s imaginations are stimulated by discussing the meaning of different images from story books, and their suggestions are displayed.
  • The ‘big bag of worries’ is used to help children cope with difficulties as they adjust to school life.
  • A ‘feelings board’ helps them express their feelings in new situations as they learn.
Year 1
  • The children are working hard on the ’words can hurt or heal’ theme, and are continuing with ‘going for goals’.
  • There is a sculpture based on Durer’s Praying Hands which is used to help the children focus and concentrate; we felt this was an excellent aid.
  • The concept of E-safety is being introduced, together with the idea that online interaction should follow the same rules of politeness and thought for others as face-to-face actions merit.
Year 2
  • There is a Friendship Wall emphasising the school ethos and the importance of sharing, team spirit and kindness.
  • The use of the school teams helps the children co-operate together.
  • A display called ‘Reach for the Stars’ encourages the children to look ahead with high aspirations and work on the concept of self-improvement
  • There is a Worry Box for helping solve problems and concerns about both academic and social school life.
Year 3
  • The ‘Learning Power Board’ emphasises positive attitudes that chime in with every aspect of spiritual, social, moral and cultural aims.
  • A wide range of description is used to help the children aim high across the spectrum.
  • We felt this was a particularly useful and stimulating tool.
  • ‘Star of the Day’ is an award which gives everyone a chance to shine.
  • The term topic on the Romans will also focus on the Roman values for good citizenship and behaviour.
​Year 4
  • There is a good online safety display, focussing on social and personal skills needed online as well as face to face.
  • ‘Imagination will take you anywhere’ is a wall display theme, opening up new horizons.
Year 5
  • The reflection area has a Gospel display showing Christ as guide, friend and teacher, excellent in this Church school.
  • School teams earn points and foster healthy competition.
  • There is a good ‘feeling thermometer’ to help the children analyse their feelings and emotions
  • ELF (Environmental Living Forever) is introduced at an age which will help the children to make this a life focus.
  • Everything about this classroom was conducive to excellent learning; the pupils are clearly proud of their room and what they are learning.
Year 6
  • The emphasis here is on preparing the children for the move to secondary school.
  • The themes followed throughout the school are still evident, but with ‘add-ons’ for these more mature children.
  • Reflection is increasingly important and there is a fish tank to aid this and stress the importance of caring for others.
  • E-safety and British Values are covered by prompt cards and displays.
  • Children are encouraged to drink more water, to participate in DPA and to follow the playground rules. The contact details for Child line are displayed.