The school aims to create an ethos which fosters the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all children. SMSC is developed through:
• promoting SMSC exceptionally well so that all students benefit from high quality teaching and learning which motivates, challenges and empowers them
• the whole curriculum, with a focus on PSHE
• promoting Values, including British Values across assemblies
• extra-curricular activities
• opportunities for ‘pupil voice’ and student leadership
• developing a sense of integrity, compassion and tolerance throughout the community which values self-esteem alongside respect for others
• enhancing opportunities through partnerships between parents, students, staff, the local community, industry and commerce for students to explore the wider world.
The school is committed to offering children the opportunities to:
• identify, reflect on and explore different social, spiritual and cultural experiences
• distinguish between right and wrong
• discuss moral issues
• develop and talk about their own attitudes and values
• take responsibility for their own decisions
• develop an understanding of social responsibilities and citizenship
• celebrate a diversity of cultures.
The school supports the process of acquiring positive personal beliefs and values as:
• an active basis for personal and social behaviour
• for the consideration and reflection of actions, words and the world as it is around us
• the seeking of answers to ‘deeper’ questions.
The primary aim is to underline the spiritual concerns of humanity (e.g. matters of life, the purpose of life, choices in life, etc.). The SMSC display board is used to present a picture with relating questions that allows all children an opportunity to reflect on pertinent moral and spiritual themes.
Spiritual development is experienced largely through Religious Education and the Paragon curriculum; lessons aid children in gaining an insight into their own religious beliefs and loyalties, identifying their personal and spiritual values and practices so that they may take up their own spiritual allegiances. Moreover, it contributes to the moral and social development of our young people, developing consideration for others, an appreciation of human rights and responsibilities and a concern for justice in society.
Also, it develops in children respect for the practices of different religious faiths and a sympathetic understanding of their underlying values and concerns. It should develop tolerance for the variety of beliefs and the customs of the citizens of our world.
It is expected that wider opportunities exist in the school’s curriculum that enable children (by discussion) to think about religion and spirituality, and to appreciate the variety of faiths by: using art, drama, music, languages, science, technology and humanities to heighten awareness of the spiritual dimension in our lives.
Moral Development encourages children to develop fundamental principles about behaviour and the reasons for different types of behaviours. The school helps children to develop the skills and confidence to make their own decisions, and also gives children the confidence to listen to and respect the thinking of others. The aims of curriculum work can be summarised as follows:
• to stimulate children into giving expression to their own moral beliefs and understanding
• to challenge children into justifying their beliefs and giving reasons for their understanding
• to enable children to share with others their own reflections and to listen to others reflections in turn
• to empower children to be able to resolve their disagreements
• to help children apply their growing moral competence in the context of vocational experience and the workplace
• to facilitate the extending and generating of children’s moral reflections beyond their own immediate experience, to national and international issues
Key moral matters at Westvale Park Primary Academy are:
• self-respect and integrity
• doing the right thing
• making good choices
• the importance of telling the truth
• friendship and kindness
• having a strong work ethic
• managing conflict
• trust and confidentiality
• human rights
• respecting our environment
• showing gratitude
• personal judgement laws and their justification, civil rights and duties
Through social development children acquire the skills and personal qualities necessary for individuals to live and function effectively in society. This requires an understanding of society in all areas; its structures, principles and life as a citizen, parent or worker in a community.
Children are encouraged through our ‘5 Peg Chart’ behaviour management structure to have an increased awareness of their own identity as individuals as well as a need to work with the feelings and wishes of others. Both the formal curriculum and extra-curricular activities promote teamwork and co-operation. The development of social skills is monitored both formally through assessments, and informally through pastoral interactions. Supportive measures are available where they may be needed. Teachers actively guide children to work in groups outside of their friendship groups to encourage a diverse range of discussions, ideas and opinions.
• There is a planned programme of personal, social and health education (JIGSAW), which aims to develop student awareness of moral issues as well as fostering a sense of responsibility and community values.
• Records are kept of positive achievement, behaviour and effort. Concerns are regularly monitored, and prompt action is taken when required.
• Codes of conduct and expected standards of behaviour are regularly discussed with children by all staff.
• Individuals are encouraged to participate in enrichment and extension activities outside of the normal school timetable. An international perspective is encouraged through the school’s active support of a variety of charitable organisations.
• Effective communications are maintained between the school and parents to ensure children maximise their potential. Formal parental contact is made during Parent Consultations, however regular informal contact is made through telephone calls, emails and unplanned meetings in school with individual members of staff.
• In any aspect of the curriculum, external speakers are used to expose the children to a variety of viewpoints and opinions. The emphasis is to allow children to take responsibility for their own actions and provide them with a solid base of information on which to build the kind of self-confidence and self-control expected from our children.
Through cultural development children gain an understanding of those beliefs, values, customs, knowledge and skills that bond together to form cultures. Cultural Development is closely related to – and integrates – certain aspects of spiritual, moral and social development. The school reinforces the values and customs of society as a whole and celebrates diversity and multi-culturalism. The cultural influences of pupils’ home life, community and religion are explored in order to extend the children’s awareness and breadth of understanding. This is achieved through the formal curriculum, extra-curricular activities and the value placed on the children’s own cultural interests, achievements and the way in which they enrich their experiences of all aspects of culture.
Westvale Park Primary Academy seeks to provide an education, which not only develops and strengthens children’s current awareness, but also allows them to develop new cultural insights by:
• avoiding cultural bias
• promoting an appreciation of cultural diversity
Children should be able to:
• know about their own culture and society
• value and take pride in their own cultural identity
• be aware of, and celebrate, cultural diversity
• understand the interdependence of different cultural groups within society
• know about societies and cultures other than their own
• be aware of the principal ways in which different people interpret the world
Cultural Developments within the curriculum
The school seeks to enhance the cultural development of children by way of:
• the formal curriculum
• extra-curricular activities
• incorporating children’s own home influences into class discussions
Promoting Fundamental British Values
Westvale Park Primary Academy actively promotes the fundamental British values of:
• the rule of law
• individual liberty
• mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.
This is achieved through the effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our children, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and extra –curricular activities, through our links with both the local community and the wider world. In promoting our children’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC), we demonstrate our commitment to actively promoting fundamental British values in ways which are appropriate to our children’s ages and abilities.
We will enable our children to understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. The ethos and teaching in our school (which parents are made aware of) will support the rule of English civil and criminal law and we do not teach anything that undermines it. In our teaching about religious law, we take particular care to explore the relationship between state and religious law. Our children are made aware of the difference between the law of our land and religious law.
The provision for SMSC and the promotion of Modern British Values is implemented using the following methods at Westvale Park Primary Academy:
• ‘Worry Eaters’ to enable children to raise issues that they feel unable to vocalise
• pupil voice
• regular monitoring of the curricular and extra-curricular curricula by the PSHE/SMSC lead (see links to other policies)
• SMSC class scrap books
• thought-provoking displays to encourage discussion surrounding SMSC and Modern British Values
• SMSC link Local academy board visits
• ‘Star of the Day’ and ‘Values Star of the Week’ to celebrate continual success
• house points system to give children a sense of belonging and self-worth
• links to SMSC on displays across the school to celebrate children’s work and achievements
• whole-school and key stage assemblies linked to current topics, the wider world and the celebration of main cultural events
• promotion of the Growth mindset and school values
• restorative practices carried out in school as well as a focus on this during PSHE/SRHE lessons
• NSPCC sponsored events and other charity events
• ‘International Day’ celebrating every culture
• additional responsibilities for children such as School Council, Prefects, Peer Mentor Lunchtime Monitors, Bully Busters and House Captains
• circle time and JIGSAW PSHE timetabled in each class
• ELSAs to enable children to discuss issues surrounding their behavioural, social, emotional or health needs
• Mindfulness practised daily
• A rich humanities curriculum
• First News to encourage children to keep up with and discuss current affairs
• A trauma informed approach to behaviour to ensure all children learn to self-regulate
Through our school’s SMSC provision, we will:
• enable our children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
• enable our children to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
• encourage our children to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely
• enable our children to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
• further develop tolerance and harmony between our countries different cultural traditions by enabling our children to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
• encourage respect for other people; and encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.