SMSC at West Minster Primary School
SMSC is at the heart of everything we do at West Minster Primary School. We strive to offer an inclusive learning environment that encourages students to take active control of their learning and behaviour, to embrace challenge and to develop in to responsible adults.
What is SMSC?
SMSC is the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children in our school. This is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but an aspect of learning that is present in lessons and behaviour in school. Some lessons lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE, Values and RE. However, we also aim to develop SMSC through behaviour expectations, collaborative learning, our attitudes in school and through learning links with the local community.
How do we ensure there are opportunities for SMSC development?
At West Minster Primary, we recognise that a child’s SMSC development plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We want to give each child the opportunity to explore social and moral issues; develop a sense of social and moral responsibility and to develop as both an individual, but also as a member of a wider community. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with the opportunities to explore and develop:
- Their own values and beliefs
- Their own spiritual awareness
- Their own high standards of personal behaviour
- Their team and collaborative skills
- A positive, caring attitude towards other people
- An understanding of their social and cultural traditions
- An appreciation of the diversity of their cultures
- Their opportunities to experience other cultures
- Their ability to celebrate each other’s achievements
Staff at our school are aware of how SMSC might look in different parts of the school by using the school’s SMSC development grid for reference.
Our opportunities for SMSC development are continuously changing and evolving. Below are some examples of how we ensure children have this opportunity at West Minster Primary School.
We encourage spiritual development through RE lessons, whole school assemblies, key stage assemblies and through visitors to the school. We create opportunities for the children to reflect, share and discuss their own beliefs, as well as to discover and explore those of others. We have good links with local places of worship and are excited to welcome leaders from different faiths in to our school.
We develop moral understanding through our behaviour expectations, PSHE and Values lessons and through opportunities to discuss, reflect and respond to their behaviour. Additionally, the school has a monthly value which allows children to discuss and reflect how these can impact both themselves and others in daily school life. The school also aims to introduce children to current moral issues, such as saving the environment and racism in football. The children have time to discuss moral issues and take part in actions to make changes. West Minster have recently started to recycle pens and crisp packets in order to reduce plastic waste. Our Well Being team also arrange regular ‘Awareness’ days to highlight conditions or issues that the children may not be familiar with.
We have a wide variety of opportunities for social development in school. Collaborative learning is encouraged throughout the school with paired work, group work and leading learners seen consistently throughout the school. Being federated with another local primary school means that children at West Minster are often able to collaborate with their peers at Rose Street Primary school for sporting events, music and dance performances and hook day introductions to new topics. The school’s ‘Buddies’ and ‘Care Bears’ are able to support the play of younger children. We ensure that all children have a voice through an elected school council who make suggestions and contributions to school life. Children are also able to take pride in representing their school in the wider community through sporting events and school trips.
The cultural development of our children is encouraged and supported through assemblies, RE lessons, understanding different cultures, Japanese lessons, themed weeks (E.g. Black History Month in October and World Religion Day in January) and in welcoming and accepting the cultural beliefs of everyone in our school community. All curriculum areas try to seek examples drawn from as wide a range of cultural contexts as possible. We recognise, respect and celebrate the value and richness of cultural diversity in Britain, and how these influence individuals and society.