Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development Policy
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development Policy
Lead Person Alison Litchfield and Ruth Wish
Review Date March 2019
Policy Ratification Date – 15th March 2016
Minster Church of England Primary School
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Policy
‘Ready to Face the World’
Our school has a warm, Christian family ethos where our children thrive in a secure and happy atmosphere. They are fully supported and nurtured from when they join us until they leave our care.
Minster Primary School is a Church of England Primary School and our Christian values are at the heart of everything we do.
These are then underpinned by our learning values.
Our whole school ethos for learning and behaviour is guided by them. Each aspect of school life is encountered through these values to establish a forward thinking, diverse and innovative culture in which our entire school community flourishes.
Every school policy is written with this in mind.
The school takes an active approach in the development of spiritual, social and cultural aspects of our pupils’ education. Its promotion is considered to be ‘a whole school issue’. This policy is reinforced by many of our other policies, particularly those concerned with behaviour, equal opportunities, personal, social, health education and citizenship.
This can be defined as personal development relating to the spirit or soul and the intangible. It does not necessarily relate to physical nature or matter and is not synonymous with religious education – although religious education and collective worship can be a major vehicle for the delivery of spiritual matters.
This can be defined as personal development relating to human behaviour, especially the distinction between good and bad, right and wrong.
This can be defined as a personal development concerned with living in a community rather than alone.
This can be defined as personal development concerned with the total of inherited ideas, beliefs, values and knowledge which constitute the shared understanding of the society in which we live.
It is an expectation at Minster Church of England Primary School that all staff, in all subjects, can and should make a contribution to the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development of pupils through the taught curriculum and through the use of appropriate teaching and learning strategies e.g. discussion, reflection, pupil participation, circle time etc. The ethos of our school is such that all people who come into our school, whether staff, pupil, parent or visitor, are valued as individuals in their own right. They should set and be entitled to expect from others’ good standards of behaviour, marked by respect and responsibility.
The role model standards will be set by the Head Teacher and practised by all staff in order to set an effective example for our children. The importance of relationships between all school staff, parents and governors is crucial. These relationships will be characterised by mutual respect, by positive attitudes, by the willingness to listen and be listened to and by the valuing of all pupils. However, we must recognise that the children’s development will be affected by many factors other than those which the school itself provides. These include maturity, personality, gender, family, peer group, ethnicity, cultural background and more generally the moral, spiritual and cultural climate of our society and of the communities to which they belong.
Through religious education and acts of collective worship, children will be introduced to a broad spectrum of beliefs. They will be encouraged to value other people’s opinions and develop a questioning mind across a wide area of the curriculum.
The general aims are:
- To promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society
- To prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life
- To promote respect and consideration for differences in gender, race and religion etc
- To help each pupil achieve their full potential across all areas of the curriculum
- To develop the individual strengths of all pupils and to help and provide support in areas for development
- To inspire and stimulate the pupils in order to foster a love of learning and enquiry, to reason rationally and to apply themselves to tasks and physical skills
- To help our pupils towards independent learning and to equip them with all life skills in order for them to take their place in a fast changing society
- To ensure there is continuity and progression in skills, knowledge and understanding in all areas of the curriculum
- To develop respect for religious and moral values and understanding of other races, religions and ways of life
- To help the pupils understand the world in which they live
- To develop a sense of responsibility, consideration for others, self-respect and self confidence
- To promote good relationships between home, school and the local and wider communities
We strive to support the children in the development of their spiritual life so that through reflection, they will acquire insights and attribute meaning and purpose to personal existence. Children’s spiritual development involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their will to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life’s fundamental questions. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives and non-material well-being.
We believe that this begins with a personal, experience of the core Christian values rooted in the Bible and we teach these through:
• Personal and community prayer
• A sense of God’s presence permeating the life of the school
• Hearing His word spoken in scripture
• A curriculum that creates a sense of awe and wonder
• The ability to listen and be still with quiet times of reflection
Objectives for Spiritual Development:
• To develop the skill of being physically still, yet alert.
• To develop the skill of being mentally still, concentrating on the present moment
• To develop the ability to use all ones senses.
• To promote an awareness of and enjoyment in using ones imaginative potential and to develop curiosity and a questioning approach – discussing issues and themes
• To encourage quiet reflection during a lesson or collective worship, reflecting on good things and what can be improved
- To reflect on own behaviour and situations which are disturbing them
• To consider the mystery of God and the wonder of his world
• To promote self-image and develop positive self-esteem, respect for themselves and find an inner confidence and peace
• To have the opportunity to develop personal beliefs
• To explore the opportunity to pray
• To know own strengths and acknowledge that can’t do everything but will be better at something
• To promote the ability to keep trying and seeking success
It is important that children are given clear guidance as to what is not acceptable behaviour, so that they can develop a moral code of their own that is socially acceptable and in line with our school vision and values. Children are encouraged to understand the need for a common code and to follow it from conviction rather than because of sanctions or consequences. At Minster Church of England Primary School we work towards an understanding of what is right and wrong. From this basis pupils may develop the ability to make judgements and to become increasingly responsible for their own actions or and behaviour.
At the heart of the Church’s and the school’s moral teaching lies the understanding that we love because we are first loved by God. We are called to reflect God’s love or us in our relationships with others and, since His love is unconditional and freely given, we have been given the freedom to respond to His love or reflect Him. How we understand and use this gift of freedom is crucial to our moral development.
As a school we reject
- Intolerance and prejudice including racism, sexism and homophobia
For our school rules, see our behaviour policy.
Aims for Moral Development
- To understand the principles lying behind decisions and actions
- To understand that love is at the heart of the Christian understanding of morality
- To be able to distinguish between right and wrong
- To be able to make decisions, accepting and understanding consequences of their actions
- To move gradually through a ‘taught morality’ to taking responsibility for their own moral decisions
Objectives for Moral Development
- To tell the truth
- To respect the rights and property of others
- To help others less fortunate
- To be considerate
- To take responsibility
- To treat others as they would wish to be treated themselves
- To develop high expectations and a positive attitude
- To conform to rules and regulations to promote order for the good of all and to understand that there are consequences to our actions
Teachers always discuss with their classes the classroom and school rules based on the values held by the school. We will teach the children to be aware of their own actions, take responsibility for their own bodies and encourage independence. We will help the children to identify their feelings and think these through so that they are expressed in behaviour that is socially acceptable. This is done through worship, circle time, class worry box, P.S.H.E. and R.E. lessons in class. Children have access to a mentor or a Family Liaison Officer.
We are interested in the development of the whole child and will endeavour to raise their self-esteem through praise, stickers, stars, house points, certificates, behaviour vouchers and other means that highlight both academic and social achievements (please refer to our rewards and sanctions policy).
This enables pupils to become conscientious participants in their family, class, school, the local and wider community. Within this there should be a balance of the positive, satisfying elements of belonging to a group or society along with the demands, obligations and cooperation such membership requires.
God did not create mankind for life in isolation, but for the formation of social unity. Therefore it is part of the school’s responsibility to support pupils and their families in the formation of good social attitudes. The school community will nurture our pupils to:
Aims for Social Development:
- To relate positively to others and learn about the obligations, constraints and satisfaction that go with membership of a group or community
- To become aware of their own identity as individuals and to take account of the feelings of others
- To participate fully and take responsibility in the classroom and in the school
- To use appropriate behaviour, according to situations
- To participate in a supportive way in group and school activities so as to develop co-operative skills that will help all to live with each other
- To learn what it means to be a responsible citizen.
Objectives for Social Development
- To share emotions such as love, joy, hope, anguish, fear and reverence
- To be sensitive to the needs and feelings of others
- To work as part of a group
- To interact positively across a range of situations, e.g. clubs, sports activities, visits, church services, music festivals etc.
- To develop an understanding of citizenship and to experience being a part of a caring community
- To show care and consideration for others e.g. sharing and turn taking
- To realise that every individual can do something well and have something to offer
- To understand that saying sorry also needs to be accompanied by a change in behaviour
Children should be made aware of the diversity of other cultures both within modern Britain and throughout the world. This can be done through exploring British values, R.E, music, P.E, art and many other curriculum areas. This is shown in our curriculum plans.
When children first come into school a lot of time is spent learning to co-operate. This continues through the whole school, learning through play activities, a variety of groupings, controlled activities and by observing the way that staff work together. We also value the family from which the children come and our strong links with parents encourage the child to see that we are working in co-operation with their parents.
By starting with a pupil’s own cultural background and recognising the school’s own traditions, it is hoped that as they are introduced to other beliefs and cultures, each pupil will respect and value them.
Aims for Cultural Development
- To develop a sense of belonging to pupils’ own culture and being proud of their cultural background
- To respond to cultural events
- To share different cultural experiences
- To respect different cultural traditions
- To understand codes of behaviour, fitting to cultural tradition
- To develop a balanced approach to retaining the traditions of our Christian society, whilst
- perceiving in a positive light the contribution of other cultures, past and present
- To be introduced to the values and customs held within our Anglican, Christian tradition
Objectives for Cultural Development
- To develop an awareness, recognition and appreciation of the Arts, i.e. Music, Art, Drama, Literature etc.
- To develop a love for learning
- To develop an understanding of different cultures and beliefs, including Christianity
- To appreciate the values and customs of other ethnic and faith groups which make up modern British society, and the world beyond
- To develop the ability to value these independently
The promotion of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of each child is seen as the responsibility of all members of staff. Much of this development should be assimilated through the ethos of the school. However, there are many opportunities within cross curricular work to focus on the aims and objectives outlined. All children regardless of gender, ability or social background will receive the same teaching with each of their views being taken into account.
Many curriculum areas provide opportunities to:
- listen and talk to each other
- learn an awareness of treating all as equals, accepting people who are different because of physical and learning difficulties.
- agree and disagree
- experience good role models
- take turns and share equipment
- work co-operatively and collaboratively.
Practical activities to develop SMSC will include:
- working together in different groupings and situations
- encouraging the children to behave appropriately at meal times
- taking responsibility eg playground buddies,
- encouraging teamwork in PE and games
- appreciation of and respect for the work and performance of other children
We also recognise the importance of British Values and believe that they sit well within our school ethos and our SMSC learning. To see how they relate to our school, see below:
What are British Values? Our Approach
(Most obvious links with Christian Value/school rule in italics)
Democracy: making decisions together
Peace - Be safe and live together in harmony
As part of the focus on self-confidence and self-awareness as cited in Personal, Social and Emotional Development:
- Staff can encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, encouraging children to know their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help. When appropriate demonstrate democracy in action, for example, children sharing views on what the theme of their role play area could be with a show of hands/votes for things on the school council etc
- Staff can support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children should be given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued
Rule of law: understanding rules matter as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development
Justice - Be fair and do what is right
As part of the focus on managing feelings and behaviour:
- Staff can ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and learn to distinguish right from wrong – G2BG/School Rules
- Staff can collaborate with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, to agree the rules about tidying up and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.
Individual liberty: freedom for all
Creation - Be respectful and care for our school (this should include our school community)
As part of the focus on self-confidence & self-awareness and people & communities as cited in PSE (FS) / PSHE and Knowledge and Understanding the World / Geography etc:
- Children should develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff can provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing children to take risks on an obstacle course, forest school, mixing colours, talking about their experiences and learning.
- Staff should encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example in a small group discuss what they feel about transferring into Reception Class.
Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated
Friendship - Be the best friend that you can be
Forgiveness - Be kind and think of others
As part of the focus on people & communities, managing feelings & behaviour and making relationships as cited in Personal Social and Emotional development and Understanding the World (FS), RE and other National Curriculum subjects:
- Staff should create an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community.
- Children should acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences.
- Staff should encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions.
- Staffs should promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.
A minimum approach, for example having notices on the walls or multi-faith books on the shelves will fall short of ‘actively promoting’.
What is not acceptable is:
- actively promoting intolerance of other faiths, cultures and races
- failure to challenge gender stereotypes and routinely segregate girls and boys
- isolating children from their wider community
- failure to challenge behaviours (whether of staff, children or parents) that are not in line with the fundamental British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs
This policy needs to be read in conjunction with all other school policies.