Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education at St Mary and St Michael
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education (SMSC) plays a fundamental part in our ability to learn at St Mary and St Michael School. As a Catholic School, SMSC development is embedded into our ethos through our Mission Statement and our Core Values. It focuses on the development of the whole child with the aim that every child will reach their true potential. SMSC development is at the root of all lessons and is promoted throughout the school day, for example during RE and PSHE lessons,
assemblies and break times.
Defining spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
The Spiritual development of pupils is shown by their ability to be reflective about their own beliefs and to be interested in and have respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values; to have a sense of enjoyment in learning about themselves, others and the world around them.
The Moral development of pupils is shown by their ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to be able to apply this understanding in their own lives. Also, for pupils to have an understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions and to begin to offer reasoned views about their conduct.
The Social development of pupils is shown by their use of a range of social skills in a variety of contexts, and a willingness to participate in a range of communities and social settings. The pupils at St Mary and St Michael need to show that they accept and engage with the fundamental values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and show tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, so that they can participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.
The Cultural development of pupils is shown by their understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield, as an essential element in preparing them for life in modern Britain. It is shown by their willingness to participate in artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities and through showing an interest in exploring and improving their understanding of and respect for different faiths and cultural diversity.
How We Promote British Values at St Mary and St Michael
The Department for Education state that there is a need ‘to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.’
St Mary and St Michael is a Catholic school which seeks to live out the values of Jesus Christ. We promote these values by our words and deeds. Catholic doctrine and practice permeates every aspect of the school’s activity. We provide a wide range of extra-curricular activities and strong pastoral support. We incorporate democratic principles, value the rule of law, support individual liberty and foster a community in which different faiths and beliefs are respected.
British Values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is embedded at the school. Pupils are always listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern to each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. An obvious example is our School Council. The election of the School Council members reflects our British electoral system and demonstrates democracy in action: candidates make speeches, pupils consider characteristics important for an elected representative, pupils vote in secret using ballot boxes etc. Made up of two representatives from Year 2 – Year 6, the School Council meets regularly to discuss issues raised by the different classes.
Pupils also have the opportunity to air their opinions and ideas through regular questionnaires.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. Our school has rules and Core Values, which are embedded into our work every day. Each class also discusses and sets its own rules that are clearly understood by all and seen to be necessary to ensure that every class member is able to learn in a safe and ordered environment. Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws or rules are broken.
To help promote positive behaviour, we employ a ‘stay on green’ approach.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in e- safety and P.S.H.E. lessons.
Respect is one of the Core Values of our school. The pupils know and understand that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have. The Core Value of Respect underpins our work every day both in and out of the classroom.
Our school is committed to developing respect for other cultures. We believe that this respect is fostered through our international curriculum. As well as developing an intercultural understanding through the vehicle of primary Languages, our international curriculum incorporates a range ofcross-curricular opportunities to learn about, and thereby develop greater tolerance of and respect for other cultures.
Tolerance of Those With Different Faiths And Beliefs
Our Core Value of respect ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs. Our pupils’ understanding of different faiths and beliefs grows through religious education studies, PSHE work, visits to other places of worship and through the experience and enjoyment of a depth of study during themed weeks.
Our annual Multi Cultural Day celebrates our diverse school community and pupils come dressed in traditional costumes and bring food from their home country to share with their class. During our PSHE unit on Celebrating Difference children have the opportunity to learn about and share beliefs, traditions and customs of different cultures. As part of our RE curriculum leaders of other faiths or members of our own school community enhance understanding by sharing and teaching classes about their beliefs and traditions.