SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development) and British Values

Spiritual development relates to the beliefs, feelings and emotions through which children acquire worthwhile insights into their own lives. All areas of the curriculum may contribute to spiritual development. Although education and spiritual development are not synonymous, school experiences can make a significant contribution to spiritual development. 

Moral development refers to the children’s knowledge, understanding, intentions, attitudes and behaviour in relation to what is right and wrong. IKB has a well-established Positive Behaviour policy and staff promote a supportive Restorative Justice approach to the management of challenging behaviour. 

Social development relates to the skills and personal qualities necessary for individuals to function effectively in society.

Cultural development refers to pupils increasing understanding and response to those elements, which give societies and groups their unique character. IKB will promote the cultural traditions of our own area and the ethnic and cultural diversity of the world. 

SMSC  has been a part of education since the Education Act in 1944. However, more recently SMSC has been highlighted in the Education Act (2002) and in the Ofsted inspection framework. All maintained schools are now required to show that they are meeting the needs of their pupils through a broad and balanced SMSC and British Values education.

As detailed by the 2014 Department of Education advice for maintained schools, in order to meet the needs of a child’s SMSC education, 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.

Here at IKB, we meet the needs for our pupils through whole school and phase assemblies and recognition and celebration of national days such as Remembrance Day. SMSC is taught directly in weekly PSHE lessons through its clear links with the Jigsaw programme.  We also cover British Values through our Picture News lessons and during assemblies. These sessions allow for discussions and classroom based activities linked to SMSC and the fundamental British Values:

Democracy - pupil voice is an extremely important part of school life and at the heart of our school; ensuring that pupils have a say in what happens at IKB.

Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs - mutual respect is at the heart of our IKB attributes and through our curriculum we actively promote a sound understanding of different faiths and cultures. IKB promotes the acceptance of differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality to reinforce the messages of tolerance and respect for others as well raise awareness of issues around bullying and prejudice. We actively challenge pupil’s parents and staff who express views contrary to those stated.

Individual liberty - we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express views and beliefs. Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through a planned curriculum. Safeguarding is embedded within all aspects of school life therefore, within the realms of individual liberty and exercising their rights and personal freedoms, children are also taught the importance of keeping themselves safe. This includes personal safety and e-safety.

Mutual respect - pupils learn that their behaviours have an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the IKB community treat each other with respect and we work together to help one another.

Rule of law - at IKB we strive to ensure that our children recognise their responsibility to be law abiding citizens. Through assemblies, our curriculum and our whole school ethos and values children gain a sound understanding of why we need rules and laws and the consequences of them being broken. Visits from authorities such the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. Whether they be those that govern the class, the school or the country, rules are consistently reinforced in school.

In the EYFS children also complete weekly Picture News activities as an introduction to the fundamental British Values.

Overall SMSC is a vital part of the curriculum because it not only supports children and young people’s individual development but the development of society as a whole.

Ofsted highlights the importance of SMSC as central to the development and growth of pupils as people and at the heart of what teachers would say education is all about.
(Promoting and evaluating pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ OFSTED March 2004.)

You can find out more about SMSC and British Values by viewing SMSC and British Values Policy - October 2021