SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY
We recognize that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils is of fundamental importance in the ‘whole child’ education we strive to achieve. It is taught through every subject of the curriculum and in extra-curricular activities and in RE and PSHE. It is also firmly embedded in our assembly and collective worship themes. SMSC supports all areas of learning and is key to a child’s motivation to learn. We recognize that such development is most successful when the values and attitudes promoted by all the staff provide a model of behaviour for our pupils. In later years it can enrich the individual’s appreciation of life’s experiences and their relationships with others. We aim to promote tolerance of and respect for people of other faiths, cultures and lifestyles.
Purpose of SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT
Spiritual development is to do with ‘the search for meaning and purpose in life and for the values by which we live. It is about the growth of knowledge and insight into values and beliefs.’
We aim to provide a variety of experiences which give potential for the development of an awareness of self, an awareness of other people, an awareness of the natural world and the world around and an awareness of religious beliefs and practices.
Teachers are aware when situations occur in their teaching, which have the potential to give their pupils the experience of awe and wonder and they will, through such situations, help their pupils to:
- Enter into experiences fully and focus upon them in considerable depth. eg the birth of a baby in the family, the death of a favourite pet
- Discover new facets of things which they would usually take for granted. eg looking carefully at plants or creatures to see how they have special characteristics unique to them
- Become more aware of the natural world
- Experience the intensity of becoming aware of things at a deeper level
- Ask questions about the meaning and purpose of life
- Develop personal values
- Appreciate and reflect upon the beliefs and values of others whilst having respect for the ideas of people from different cultures
- Value the ideas and contribution of others by listening to things which are important in their lives
- In RE, offer opportunities for our pupils to consider religious beliefs and reasons for different types of behaviour
School assembly can
- provide an opportunity for reflection and consideration of issues of meaning and purpose.
- primarily be of a Christian nature but acknowledge the religious beliefs of others
- touch on the concepts of mystery, depth of feeling, relationships with others, reflection and contemplation
Spiritual Development Practice
- We encourage pupils to take risks or face challenges in their learning within a secure and positive environment
- We appreciate work from our pupils’ imagination and provide frequent and varied opportunities for them to use their creativity.
- We offer opportunities for aesthetic experience in art, music, drama and literature.
- We make time for stillness and reflection.
- We pose questions that encourage our pupils to consider issues of meaning and purpose.
- We aim to develop good listening skills in our pupils. In addition we show that we listen to our pupils through, for example, our responses to issues raised through school council meetings.
- We help our pupils to understand that there is not always an absolute answer and that at such times it is a positive experience to value a variety of interpretations and responses.
- To improve co-operation and understanding we provide opportunities for group work where our pupils can have enjoyable and constructive interaction with each other. We often group children with others they would not usually choose as partners.
- We foster emotional well-being by encouraging our pupils to express their feelings and by having the ability to control their emotional behaviour.
- We help our pupils to develop the capacity for evaluative reasoning and critical thought by encouraging them to look beyond the surface.
- The local Anglican vicar visits the school to lead key assemblies, as a minimum a Harvest and an Advent assembly. In 2013 we began a new tradition of holding a special whole school Christmas assembly, with carol service, in the local church.
These opportunities appear across the curriculum and within school activities, assemblies and extra-curricular events.
Purpose of MORAL DEVELOPMENT
Moral development relates to
- the child’s ability to make judgements about how to behave and act and the reasons for such behaviour.
- the child’s ability to distinguish ‘right’ from ‘wrong’ and towards acting consistently with their beliefs and with a view to the consequences of their own and others’ actions.
- respect for the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
- the ability to develop a personal code of behaviour ie telling the truth, being honest, respect for justice and respect for property.
- the environment in which our pupils learn and the expectations within that environment will influence our pupils’ moral development.
- our teaching in any subject in the school, including in extra-curricular activities, precludes the promotion of partisan political views, and our pupils are offered a balanced presentation of opposing views.
- school assembly and class assembly can provide an opportunity for reflection and consideration of issues of a moral nature.
Moral Development Practice
- Every child is given a copy of our codes of behaviour through the home-school agreement and they are posted on noticeboards around the school.
- The school’s codes of behaviour are directly referred to by staff with the pupil when a pupil either behaves well or behaves badly.
- Teachers refer to issues appertaining to personal and group attitudes in lessons. We help our pupils make decisions which are acceptable to the school community and society as a whole. We help our pupils to realise that to enjoy rights they have to accept responsibilities.
- We encourage a sense of healthy self-esteem and personal worth.
- We help our pupils to value physical well-being, privacy, feelings, beliefs and rights of others
- We value and help our pupils to value every individual in the school for the contribution they can make in all situations.
- Pupils are encouraged to explore their feelings in reactions to different stimuli.
- Pupils are addressed with respect by staff and are actively encouraged to express views in a positive and polite manner.
Purpose of SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Social development relates to
- relating effectively to others
- managing responsibility
- participating and contributing positively within the school community and to those living and working in the local community and to society more widely
- an understanding of citizenship
The general school environment, its routines and structures, provides opportunities for promoting the social development of all its pupils.
Social Development Practice
- In the classroom and within extra-curricular activities our pupils are able to work in pairs and in groups on collaborative projects which require cooperation, understanding, and the ability to listen to others, to contribute and exchange ideas.
- Our pupils organise many charity events to support a wide range of local, national and international charities.
- There is a wide ranging extra-curricular programme and every child is actively encouraged to take a full part.
- Team games in sport assist in the development of interpersonal skills. There are a wealth of competitive matches against other local schools in many sports; netball, football, dodgeball, basketball.
- Our school choir goes out into the local community to visit elderly residents.
- Our pupils are given the opportunity to take part in residential school trips. eg outdoor education trips to Kingswood, West Runton.
- Citizenship and the rule of law, including visits from the police and fire services, is part of the PSHE curriculum. In addition we run ‘elections’ each year to appoint our new School Council representatives.
Purpose of CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT
We celebrate each child’s racial and cultural tradition and encourage each pupil to be proud of their heritage. Through many curriculum areas, including Spanish, as well as extra-curricular activities, we encourage pupils to respect and appreciate the diversity and richness of the cultures and heritages different to their own and to avoid and resist racism.
Cultural Development Practice
- We recognise the constraints on cultural provision in a coastal, rural area of the U.K. like Brightlingsea, and it is for this reason that we have adopted the International Primary Curriculum. Its global dimension provides numerous valuable opportunities for cultural development.
- There are opportunities to visit places of interest to stimulate discussion of the cultural aspects of a subject.
- Our school council hold an annual meeting in the Brightlingsea Town Council offices and meet with the town Mayor, to strengthen their understanding of democratic elections and representation
- The school has built up a strong relationship with the office of the Brightlingsea Deputy of the Cinque Ports of Liberty. Our school council hold a joint coffee morning each year with the Brightlingsea Deputy for elderly residents of the town. Our Y3 classes attend the Mayor of Sandwich’s annual visit to the town (Cinque Ports tradition).
- The school choir and music groups perform to a variety of audiences.eg elderly residents at local nursing homes and school coffee mornings.
- Theatre groups and musicians visit the school, sometimes resulting in shared performances and we attend theatre and music performances on occasion.
- Pupils are given the opportunity to attend musical, dance or dramatic productions for study and for relaxation purposes. eg The Butterfly Lion (2013) and Friend or Foe (2014) at the Mercury Theatre.
- Artists with specific skills visit the school and share their expertise and history with our pupils.
- Our pupils experience the culture of other nations through celebrating their festivals eg Chinese New Year,
- Aspects of other cultures are shown to pupils eg dance from Asia or South America, cooking from China
The policy will be reviewed by the Headteacher and a designated governor, in consultation with the staff every 3 years (as a minimum).
You can download pdf copies of our policies for SMSC Development and Collective Worship by clicking on the links below.
You can also download a copy of our RE Review Report from July 2012 which found that:
"Religious Education at Brightlingsea Junior school is effective overall and highly effective in a number of respects. This is as the result of the weight of importance given to the subject by school leaders and the teaching ability, diligence and creativity of those teaching RE throughout the school. RE makes an effective contribution to SMSC. Artefacts from different faiths are treated with respect, most notably so in a shared area of the school. Standards of behaviour, co-operation and respect for one another are high."