Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Education (SMSC)
At Anston Park Junior School the children are encouraged to develop spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness and to begin to make personal decision and choices which reflect this development. Opportunities for the children to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally are provided throughout the curriculum, during learning sessions, in school assemblies, at lunch time, playtime and extra-curricular activities.
Aims & Purpose
Anston Park Junior School ethos is founded on teaching values and in particular recognises the uniqueness and worth of each individual member of the school, both children and adults alike.
With this in mind the aim of the school is to encourage children to reflect this by learning to understand and respect the various beliefs, traditions and practices of others, both within the school and wider community. Our purpose is to ensure that pupils leave us with a maturing understanding of the experiences and values of others and a growing sense of identity based on personal values and self-worth with the community.
Every child in this school will achieve their true potential academically through the provision of rich, varied and challenging learning opportunities and the highest quality teaching and learning. Our school values encompass the 6 ‘R’s, and we strive for our children to become reflective, respectful, resourceful, resilient, be good at building and forming relationships, as well as possess the ability to take calculated risks in life. Our motto ‘Where Every Child’s Potential Counts’ ensures that our children develop spiritually, morally, socially, as team players and as young leaders.
- To ensure that everyone connected with the school is aware of our values and principles.
- To ensure a consistent approach to the delivery of SMSC issues throughout the curriculum and the general life of the school.
- To ensure that a pupil’s education is set within a context that is meaningful and appropriate to their age, aptitude and background.
- To ensure that pupils know what is expected of them and why.
- To give pupils a range of opportunities to reflect upon and discuss their beliefs, feelings and responses to personal experience.
- To enable pupils to develop an understanding of their individual and group identity.
- To enable pupils to begin to develop an understanding of their social and cultural environment and an appreciation of the many cultures that now enrich our society.
- To give each pupil the opportunity to explore social and moral issues, and develop a social and moral responsibility.
Spiritual development relates to that aspect of inner life through which pupils acquire insights into their personal existence that are of enduring worth. Spiritual is not synonymous with religious; all areas of the curriculum may contribute to pupils' spiritual development. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.
Moral development is about building a framework of moral values for pupils, which regulates their personal behaviour. It is the development of pupils' understanding of society's shared and agreed values; including an understanding that there are contentious issues where there is disagreement, and that society's values change. It is also about pupils gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range; and developing an opinion about the different views.
Social development is about helping young people to work effectively with each other and to participate successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together; and functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multicultural society. It also involves the development of the inter-personal skills needed for successful relationships.
Cultural development is about pupils understanding their own culture, other cultures in their town and region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world; about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by television, travel and the internet. Young people need to understand that cultures are always changing and be able to cope with this.
Implementation of the SMSC policy aims
To encourage spiritual development, the school will provide opportunities for children to:
- Explore the beliefs and begin to compare with others
- Develop a sense of wonder, awe, mystery and joy
- Listen, reflect and puzzle
- Examine their own feelings, likes and dislikes, and compare these with others
- Develop personal beliefs and values and respect those of others
- Develop insight into questions of life, death and change
- Respond to situations of suffering and hardship
- Express doubt, fears and pose questions
- Express feelings, responses and insights through creative media
To encourage moral and social development the school will provide opportunities for children to:
- Develop a sense of right and wrong in a supportive environment
- Develop self-esteem and take responsibility for one’s own actions
- Be aware of the needs of others and develop empathy
- Discuss the need for rules and sanctions and adherence to the school code and values
- Understand the role of forgiveness and generosity towards others
- Form judgements about appropriate courses of actions
- Work collaboratively in a group or team
- Celebrate personal achievement and the success of others e.g. special mention assemblies, praise pads, dojos
- Assume responsibility and develop early leadership skills and roles e.g. ambassadors, buddies, prefects.
To encourage cultural development the school will provide opportunities for children to:
- Explore a range of multi-cultural themes through literature, art, music, dance, religious education and worship
- Participate in visits to places of cultural interest, e.g. art galleries, museums, theatre productions and places of worship
- To engage with artists, musicians, dancers, story-tellers and religious representatives who visit the school
- Perform to an audience or speak publicly in a drama production, religious festival or school forum
- Participate in school and community events such as fayres, fund-raising events and charitable activities
Links with the wider community
Anston Park Junior School has close links to the community of Dinnington, and has a tradition of participation in the life of the local and wider community. These links foster an attitude of care and concern in pupils, who commit themselves readily to such activities as fund raising for the school’s nominated charities, supporting the PTA fundraising events, collecting harvest gifts for those in need, participating in the annual service of Remembrance and carol singing at the local church.
A wide range of both volunteers and professionals are welcomed into the school from parent helpers and readers, through military veterans, bespoke educational visitors/experiences and members of the emergency services.
The school chooses to allow the local community to use its grounds and facilities outside of school hours e.g. Dinnington Operatic Society. The school works closely with the Infant School and provides access to wrap around child care and facilitates sporting activity.
The school provides a range of resources expressing the diversity of cultures in our school and wider community. Literacy texts, art stimuli, music, religious artefacts and the use of a foreign language reflect the school’s aims of giving access to cultural diversity in the teaching of the curriculum.
Residential trips, special focus days, educational visits and specialist visitors offer particular opportunities for the aims of SMSC aims to be pursued.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The provision of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education at Anston Park Junior School Primary School is monitored by the SMSC subject leader in liaison with the Headteacher and Governing Body.