Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)
At its heart ‘spiritual, moral, social and cultural’ development (SMSC) is about: relationships; attitudes; personal insight; and appreciating the world we live in. At St Mary’s we embrace SMSC understanding as crucial for the growth of each unique individual. This is underpinned by our values and aligns to our vision: “Through living, learning and growing together we nurture each individual’s uniqueness and potential so that they may enjoy life in all its fullness” (John 10:10).
Living together brings a sense of belonging through relationships in the school community and beyond. Through celebrating positive values, we encourage children to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to contribute positively in society.
Our broad and rich curriculum aims to inspire children from all backgrounds to develop a love of learning to build their knowledge and skills. Children enjoy the richness of learning through: classroom and outdoor lessons; play; clubs; visitors and visits; and by listening, watching and doing.
Growing together is the culmination of living in a happy, safe and caring atmosphere; and learning in different ways. Through securing academic and SMSC development our children can become hopeful, aspirational individuals with the resilience to cope with the challenges of life.
Threading throughout school life and evidenced in everything we do, our SMSC provision is seen as:
Spiritual – exploration and reflection of beliefs and experiences; positive values; discovering oneself and the surrounding world; imaginative and creative learning; and forming personal perspectives.
Moral – how we live, recognising right and wrong; understanding consequences; learning from experience, making choices, investigating moral and ethical issues; and forming reasoned views.
Social – skills for successful personal relationships; relating to adults; appreciating family, friends and community; working with and service to others; fostering partnerships; resolving conflict; and living positive values to participate in life in modern Britain.
Cultural – appreciation of cultural influences and experiences (e.g. art, music, theatre, travel); the ability to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Collective Worship reaffirms the importance of relationships with opportunities to reflect on our own lives and to think of others. We ensure time for prayer; to nurture endurance and hope; and encourage our children to show love, compassion, thankfulness, service and forgiveness.
We deliver a relevant, engaging and inspiring programme for SMSC through: an enquiry approach in RE; use of Jigsaw learning materials in PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education); and careful planning for other subjects building in opportunities for reflection and pondering some of life’s ‘big questions’. For example:
Literacy – stories and poetry help children make sense of their lives, nurtures their imagination and helps them to see the world from different perspectives and to share their thoughts through talking and writing.
Maths, Science and DT – the exploration of pattern, space, infinity and the natural world raises consideration of the bigger picture and the mysterious; thinking about how inventions have improved life or threatened the world.
Geography and History – learning where we are in the world and to empathise with people from other times and cultures is vital in understanding who we are and how we fit in.
Music, Art and Drama – inspires reflection, personal imagination and creativity; fosters appreciation of other people’s talents; or opportunities to feel or be someone else.
PE – children can express themselves and delight in movement; make links with national and global sporting events; learn to work together and to demonstrate resilience and sportsmanship.
Regular Forest School promotes SMSC understanding with opportunities to develop survival skills whilst experiencing the wonders of nature. In After School Club, the children participate in cookery, art and craft activities; and delight in helping nature with wildlife homes and through growing pollen rich plants for our colony of white bottomed bumble bees. Participation in eco and environmental schemes provide further opportunities for our children to learn about nature and the role they play in protecting our world.
We also plan opportunities for our children to engage with other schools and to be stimulated through awareness days, a diverse range of visitors and trips to other places.
See our ‘Calendars’ for what SMSC understanding looks like at St Mary’s.