Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela


At Oughtrington Community Primary School, one of our core aims is to equip pupils with the understanding, skills, attitudes and values they will need to live happy, successful lives in the future. Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education plays a key role in this.


Spiritual Development
Spiritual development focuses on an individual’s personal beliefs and values, and their resulting behaviours. Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:
-Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values
-Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
-Use of imagination and creativity in their learning

-Willingness to reflect on their own experiences


Planned opportunities for spiritual development can be seen in all subjects across the school. Experiences commonly regarded as spiritual include:
-Curiosity and mystery

-Awe and wonder
-Connection and belonging
-Heightened self-awareness
-Prayer and worship
-Deep feelings of what is felt to be ultimately important
-A sense of well-being, worth and purposefulness


These can occur during any part of the school day, e.g. when listening to music, discussing how to care for animals, exercising empathy with characters during English lessons, contemplating the future etc.


Moral Development
Moral development means exploring, understanding and recognising shared values and considering the issues of right and wrong. Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:
-Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
-Understanding the consequences of their actions
-Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues
-Respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own


At Oughtrington, we promote pupils' moral development by:
-Providing a clear moral code as a basis or behaviour which is promoted consistently throughout all aspects of school life
-Involving pupils in writing their own classroom code of conduct at the start of each academic year

-Clear, consistent rewards and sanctions
-Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality
-Giving pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values, including key British values such as personal rights and responsibilities, justice, equality of opportunity for all
-Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practise moral decision making
-Recognising and respecting the codes and morals of different cultures
-Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their actions by developing a respect for property and the environment etc.
-Whole school promotion of Values Education


Social Development
Social development enables learners to work together effectively and to make positive contributions to the communities they belong to. Social development involves pupils gaining interpersonal skills which allow them to form successful relationships. Pupils’ social development is shown by their:
-Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from a variety of different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds
-Willingness to participate in a variety of aspects of school life
-Cooperating well with others and being able to solve conflicts effectively
-Interest in, and understanding of, the ways communities and societies function
-Ability to resolve conflicts maturely and appropriately
-Ability to show respect for people living things, property and the environment
-Understanding of the notion of interdependence in an increasingly complex society


At Oughtrington, we promote pupil’s social development by:
-Identifying key personal values on which school and community life are based, and developing these systematically through Values Education
-Adults modelling positive social behaviour
-Forming strong, respectful relationships between staff, pupils and parents
-Encouraging pupils to work together cooperatively in a wide variety of situations
-Encouraging pupils to recognise and respect social similarities and differences
-Providing positive experiences to reinforce our values as a school community, e.g. assemblies, residential trips, school productions, after school clubs
-Providing opportunities for pupils to engage in the democratic process e.g. through electing class representatives
-Providing opportunities for pupils to participate in community life and charity work
-Providing children with opportunities to exercise leadership and responsibility


Cultural Development
Cultural development enables pupils to develop an understanding of their own culture and of other cultures locally, nationally and internationally. It also involves learning to value cultural diversity. Oughtrington’s curriculum ensures that children are made aware of the diversity of other cultures both within modern Britain and throughout the world. Pupils who are becoming more socially aware are likely to show the following characteristics:
-An ability to reflect on important questions of meaning and identity
-An interest in exploring the relationship between human beings and the environment


Oughtrington’s Community Primary School promotes pupils’ cultural development by:
-Extending pupils’ knowledge and use of cultural imagery and language
-Encouraging pupils to think about special events in their life and how they are celebrated
-Recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents
-Providing opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art, crafts and other cultural events and encouraging them to reflect on their significance
-Reinforcing the school’s cultural links through displays, exhibitions etc., as well as developing links with schools in different areas of the U.K. and in different countries
-Providing opportunities for pupils to extend their cultural awareness, e.g. through theatre, museum and gallery visits

Roles and Responsibilities
Every member of staff at Oughtrington Community Primary School is responsible for helping to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness of pupils. In planning lessons, teachers ensure that they provide a range of opportunities to foster children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth. Many of these opportunities will be delivered through cross curricular activities, as well as through assemblies, PSHE & C, RE, class discussion times and our Values Education curriculum which is threaded through all aspects of school life. As part of their roles, all curriculum leaders monitor the implementation of SMSC within their own subject and our active School Council enables pupils to express their opinions and influence school life.

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