At Mellor St Mary CE Primary School, we plan spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities which require pupils to reflect and empathise with others as well as giving them the confidence to provide their opinions and develop their own view points.
So what is SMSC and how do we teach this?
Spiritual development focuses on an individual’s own personal beliefs and values and their resulting behaviours. Through spiritual development, children are able to understand their own feelings and emotions and this enables them to reflect and to learn.
Our learning environment and curriculum enable pupils to:
- Be curious and to express feelings of delight and wonder, (scientific investigations, new life, the global landscape)
- Empathise and consider the viewpoints of others, (debates, drama activities, discussing feelings and empathising with characters in familiar stories)
- Forgive and practice forgiveness
- Consider how a belief can change people’s lifestyles, (R.E, investigating communities and faiths, historical case studies)
- Discuss what they think they have achieved and what they need to do to be successful in the future, (self-assessment, target setting activities)
- Experience a wide variety of Christian worship which includes experiencing stillness, reflection and prayer
- Recognize that worship causes them to reflect on their behaviour and choices
- Develop a knowledge and understanding of other faiths
Moral development means exploring, understanding and recognising shared values and considering the issues of right and wrong.
Our learning environment and curriculum promotes moral development through:
- Codes of conduct and class rules, agreed with children and displayed in the classroom
- Clear and consistent rewards and sanctions that children understand and believe to be fair.
- Class and school assemblies that discuss moral values and cite expectations.
- Activities that enable pupils to give opinions and show their values.
- Discussing the choices made by the pupils and others and the resulting outcomes, character studies, studies of historical figures).
- The values of ‘Compassion’ ‘Humility’ Justice’ and ‘Forgiveness’ are explicitly taught and modelled throughout the school
Social development involves learners working effectively together and participating successfully in the school community as a whole. During a pupil’s social development they gain interpersonal skills that allow them to form successful relationships and to become a positive team member.
Our learning environment and curriculum develop social skills through:
- Modelling of positive social behaviour by all staff
- After school clubs
- Sporting activities
- Buddy and team games at play times and lunch times
- Turn taking and team building activities
- Collaborative pair and small group work within the classroom
- Working with others across the local community (local church, community groups cluster schools, local high schools, PAIS worship team)
The values of ‘Compassion, Courage, Kindness, Humility, Joy, Responsibility, and ‘Love’ are explicitly taught and modelled throughout the school, alongside friendship, generosity, collaboration, trust and perseverance.
Cultural development enables learner’s to develop an understanding of their own culture and of other cultures locally, nationally and internationally. It also means learning to feel comfortable in a variety of cultures and valuing cultural diversity.
Our learning environment and curriculum introduce children to a regional and global perspective in life through:
- Links with local and international schools
- Stories from different cultures
- First hand experiences through local visits, theatre, art and artists
- Visitors from the local and international community
- Being part of National and International fund raising events
- Studies of a different lifestyle including different food, dress, festivals and places of worship.
- Learning about other cultures when raising money for charity
- Children are taught to understand the lifestyles and choices made by the variety of different cultures and faiths that exist within the school.
Spiritual Moral, Social and Cultural development in each child:
- A sense of self-worth stemming from the recognition that they are created in the image of God.
- A sense of being in relationship with others and a growing understanding of what it means to belong to a community.
- An involvement with others in the wider world and an appreciation of difference and diversity.
- A response to the distinctive ethos of our Church school and the content, language and symbolism of our Christian faith as a way of understanding our meaning and purpose in life.
- A willingness to explore Christian beliefs and values through a knowledge of Bible stories and Christian teaching in order that these might become a firm foundation for life.
- The ability to reflect upon experiences of awe, compassion, beauty etc
- The ability to realize that experiences of disappointment, failure and loss can be occasions for spiritual growth and development
- A capacity to value the natural world and a commitment to care for creation
- A willingness to explore the ultimate questions and mysteries of life.
We endeavor to:
- Find ways in which all areas of the curriculum can contribute to children’s spiritual development and to highlight opportunities for these in our planning.
- Foster spiritual capacities, eg. imagination, insight and empathy.
- Allow children the opportunity to explore and express feelings and emotions.
- Provide opportunities for prayer including silence and stillness.
- Share feelings and experiences that foster hope and joy, reassurance and encouragement.
- Encourage children to develop relationships based on the Christian values of love, forgiveness and service to others.
- Enable children to make the links between biblical values, the life of the school and the wider community.