This policy gives guidance to staff on Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education and should be read alongside other policies that are pertinent to teaching and learning. 

At BIGS we recognise that the personal development of learners – spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve.  We therefore aim to provide an education that provides learners with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of the cultures, particularly British culture and values.

All learners spiritual, moral, social and cultural values will be respected, and those whose values maybe different from the majority will always be shown great sensitivity.

 Aims and objectives:

SMSC education is inextricably linked to the BIGS values and ethos. We believe that each learner will be valued as an individual and enabled to develop intellectually, socially and emotionally within a caring, purposeful and flexible framework. In particular, SMSC education support the aims:

  • To recognise and value the qualities, abilities and dignities of each individual;
  • To provide a high quality and appropriate environment in which learners are encouraged to develop to their full potential;
  • To recognise that our learners need significant support but to encourage the greatest possible independence of thought and action;
  • To promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of each learner.

 Spiritual education: The aim of spiritual education is to promote opportunities for learners to reflect on aspects of their lives and the human condition through, for example, literature, music, art, science, religious education. Through spiritual education, learners will acquire beliefs and values to learn the basis for personal and social behaviours. Not only will learners be given opportunities for spiritual development through the curriculum on offer, but also through the ethos and climate of the school.

 BIGS seeks to help learners to become more aware of the spiritual dimension within them by providing opportunities to question and reflect. The school’s ethos and values, as well as the explicit teaching and learning within the school, aim to provide learners with the knowledge to develop, explore and respect the spiritual dimension of their lives and the lives of others, which might include those learners with specific religious beliefs.

 Spiritual Education aims for learners to:

  • Have a respect for themselves and for others;
  • Have an awareness and understanding of their own and other’s beliefs;
  • Have an increasing ability to reflect and learn from reflection about their own beliefs that inform their perspective on life;
  • Have an ability to show courage and persistence in defence of their aims, values, principles and beliefs;
  • Have an appreciation of beauty, truth, love, goodness, order and mystery;
  • Have respect for insight as well as knowledge and reason;
  • Have an understanding of feelings and emotions, and their likely impact; • Have an expressive and creative impulse in their learning;
  • Have the ability to reflect on their own experiences;
  • Enjoy learning about themselves and others;
  • Have a readiness to challenge all that would constrain the human spirit;
  • Have a sense of empathy with others, concern and compassion;
  • Have a respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values.

These aims will be encouraged through:

  • The values and attitudes that BIGS identifies, upholds and fosters;
  • The contribution made by the curriculum;
  • Through religious education, acts of collective reflection and other group discussions;
  • Through the ethos and climate of BIGS.

Cross Curricular elements may include:

1. Art – the study of artists and their spiritual and cultural domains

2. History – including such concepts as conversion, faith and beliefs, and Christendom, crusade, reformists, monasticism and missionary;

3. English – including a wide range of literature, including stories, poetry and plays and debate.

4. Outdoor Education and visits – the beauty of nature. 

 Outcomes of spiritual development will be demonstrated in such qualities as:

  • Knowledge of the central beliefs, ideas and practices of major world religions and philosophies;
  • An understanding of how people have sought to explain the universe through various myths and stories, including religious, historical and scientific interpretations;
  • Beliefs which are held socially, and the ability to give some account of these and to derive values from them;
  • Behaviour and attitudes which derive from such knowledge and understanding and from social conviction, and which show awareness of the relationship between belief and action;
  • Social response to questions about the purpose of life, and to the experiences of e.g. beauty and love or pain and suffering.

Moral education: The aim of moral education is to promote opportunities for learners to uphold a series of values which will serve them well throughout their lives. Staff will be role models for upholding values and will promote moral education through the ethos and climate of the school. The School seeks to encourage learners to develop moral values by providing opportunities to look at choices, focusing on right and wrong and the idea of justice. It aims to develop characteristics such as honesty, compassion to all, responsibility and integrity so that learners can live in ways that respect the well-being and rights of others. 

Learners will be encouraged to uphold the following values:

  • Telling the truth 
  • Keeping promises
  • Respecting the rights and property of others
  • Compassion: Acting considerately towards others
  • Helping those less fortunate and weaker than ourselves
  • Taking social responsibility for ones actions
  • Self-discipline.

BIGS will reject the following values:

  • Bullying
  • Cheating
  • Deceit
  • Cruelty
  • Irresponsibility
  • Dishonesty
  • Intolerance to people of different faiths or values

 Cross curricular elements may include:

1. English/RE – whereby pupils may explore such concepts as conflict, tension, love and hate.

2. Science – including the ways in which scientific discovery and technological development might cause moral problems and dilemmas e.g. genetics, pollution, atomic power, greenhouse effect, conservation, organic farming, fertilizers etc.

 Outcomes of moral development will be demonstrated in such qualities as:

  • Knowledge of the language and ideas of morality;
  • Knowledge of Local, national and world issues such as the individual and the community
    • rights, duties and responsibilities, war and peace, human rights, exploitation and aid, medical issues, environmental issues and equal opportunities;
  • Disposition to act and behave in accordance with such values, including the skills of making moral decisions and forming moral judgements;
  • Understanding of the nature and purpose of moral discussion, with the desire to persuade, combined with respect for and listening to, others’ viewpoints
  • Understanding the consequences of their behaviour and actions;
  • Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and readily apply this understanding to their own lives, and in doing so, respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • Social values in relation to interpersonal skills and relationships with others
  • Tolerance; respect for persons and property including truthfulness, compassion, co-cooperativeness, sensitivity, love and empathy;
  • The self with reference to such aspects as:  Self-awareness, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-control, self-reliance, self-respect, self-discipline and responsibility.

Social development: The School seeks to encourage learners to develop the skills required to become active citizens so that they can participate responsibly in the communities to which they belong. These include the skills of co-operation, teamwork, initiative, responsibility and collaboration. The School participates in the wider community through voluntary work, work experience, charitable events, working with outside agencies and off-site education. These experiences all contribute to the social development of the learner. 

For many learners the underpinning element of social development will be enabling individuals to acquire a growing awareness of their own identity and positive self-image.  This, in turn will lead on to exploration and understanding of:

– co-operation – partnership – leadership – responsibility

 The social development of learners is shown by:

• The use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds;

• The willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively;

• The acceptance and engagement with 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 pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Cross curricular elements may include:

 1. P.E. and Outdoor Education – including the need for rules and the need to abide by them.  Again working in groups can promote learning how to share, acknowledgment of the members of the group and their skills, qualities and role within the group;

2. Mathematics – including how numerical and mathematical ideas can be used as a means of communication, Also the need for numerical competency as a survival skill;

3. English/Speaking and Listening – including role play, whereby pupils can explore their own beliefs and feelings and their relationship with others. 

Outcomes of social development will be demonstrated in such qualities as:

  • knowledge of the ways in which society functions and are organised
  • from the family to the school and thence to wider groupings (local, national, international);
  • understanding of how individuals relate to each other and to the institutions, structures and processes of society, and of how what is learnt in the curriculum relates to life in society;
  • attitudes which show the capacity to adjust to a range of social contexts by appropriate and sensitive behaviour; 
  • Skills in taking on, as appropriate, the roles of leader and team worker, exercising responsibility initiative and co-operation;
  • Skills in working and socialising with learners/staff from different religions, ethic and socio-economic backgrounds;
  • Willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings e.g. volunteering, cooperating with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively;
  • Ability to make a strong social contribution to the well-being of social groups and to form effective relationships with them;
  • Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of people with different faiths and beliefs; 
  • Demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

 Cultural development: The School seeks to develop and encourage learners to explore and understand their own cultural identity and the cultural diversity within society. Opportunities are provided to appreciate other people’s traditions, values and beliefs in the explicit teaching of R.E., Aalima, Art, English, Reading, SEAL (KS2-3) and PSHE. 

 Cultural Development will be encouraged through:

 – Valuing and encouraging pupils’ own cultural interests and achievements;

– Enrichment, deepening and broadening of pupils’ experience of all aspects of culture.

 Cross curricular elements may include: 

 1. Visits to museums, exhibitions, theatre which encourage an appreciation of culture;

2. Careers events, interviews and work experience;

3. Thematic approaches which encourage charitable events;

4. Staying safe on line and anti-bullying events;

5. Art and Design – including development of creative and  aesthetic skills, experience of different two dimensional and three dimensional media, appreciation of artistic culture, the impact of graphical design on the 20th Century, appreciation of works of art judged to be outstanding from different times and places;

6. Information Technology – including the impact that the information revolution and technological explosion have had in the 20th Century culture e.g. on communication, language, leisure, business, employment, the home and social media;

7. P.S.H.E. – encompassing ‘Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World.’

 Outcomes of cultural development will be demonstrated in such qualities as:

  • Knowledge of the nature and roots of their own cultural traditions and practices, be these religious, social, aesthetic, ethnic, or political, and also of the key features of other major cultural groups within their own society;
  • Knowledge (supported within P.S.H.E alongside British Values) of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and valued in continuing to develop Britain;
  • Willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities;
  • Understanding of the diversity of religious, social, ethnic and political traditions and practices – nationally and internationally – as an essential element of the preparation for life in modern Britain;
  • Social response and accomplishment in a range of cultural fields.  These will include across the Key Stages: literature, (both prose and verse);  music; technology (including information technology, art and design); physical education; cooking and construction; 
  • Capacity to relate what they learn, in school generally and in particular areas of the curriculum, to their appreciation of wider cultural aspects of society, and to evaluate the quality and worth of cultural achievements;
  • Interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, respect, accept and celebrate diversity, as shown in their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

Implementation: The School recognises that many of our learners will need significant support in understanding some of the issues outlined in this policy and, supplementary to timetabled lessons, Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Education is also supported via the ethos of The School.  Where relevant, there is input from other professionals and outside agencies.  Parents/carers are encouraged to become involved in specific areas as appropriate.

 Entitlement: The aims of The School are to ensure that equality of opportunity is provided for all.  To achieve this, all learners will have access to Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural Education.  Teachers are encouraged to include SMSC elements in their core subjects and through the creative topics they plan for and teach. Due regard is given to parents’/carers’ wishes where possible and cultural traditions, religious beliefs and individual differences and needs are taken into account.  The ethos of the team encourages frank and open adult/learner discussions in all matters relating to social and/or emotional problems in dealing with and accepting disability and vulnerability. 

 All Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural Education activities will take account of The School Health & Safety Policy and where appropriate, teachers will carry out risk assessment for specific activities.

Procedures and Implementation:

 To ensure all learners make a positive contribution to society, learners at The School are provided with: 

  • Quality teaching and learning to aid the development of skills and knowledge required to become responsible citizens within the local and wider community;
  • Opportunities to develop a supportive, caring and respectful attitude towards all members of the school community, actively promoted through the Link School’s vision and values;
  • Opportunities within Careers to prepare for further education, training and employment.

At The School SMSC education will be developed through:

  • The whole curriculum
  • The Tutor Group system
  • Extra curricular activities: workshops; residentials; sporting activities
  • The Link School ethos and values
  • Clear and unambiguous behaviour expectations, made explicit through the daily credit/reward system.
  • Counselling and Therapeutic Services. 

 Teaching and Organisation

Development in SMSC will take place across all curriculum areas, within activities that encourage learners to recognise the spiritual dimension of their learning, reflect on the significance of what they are learning, and to recognise any challenges that there may be to their own attitude and lifestyle.

 The provision of SMSC will allow learners to:   

  • Talk about personal experiences and feelings;
  • Express and clarify their own ideas and beliefs;
  • Speak about difficult events, e.g. bullying, death etc;
  • Share thoughts and feelings with other people; • Explore relationships with friends/family/others; • Consider others’ needs and behaviour;
  • Show empathy;
  • Develop self-esteem and a respect for others;
  • Develop a sense of belonging;
  • Develop the skills and attitudes that enable pupils to develop socially, morally, spiritually and culturally – e.g. empathy, respect, open mindedness, sensitivity and critical awareness.

 Many curriculum areas provide opportunities to:

  • Listen and talk to each other;
  • Learn an awareness of treating all as equals, and accepting people who are physically or mentally different;
  • Agree and disagree;
  • Take turns and share equipment;
  • Work co-operatively and collaboratively.

 Links with the wider community

• Visitors are welcomed into school:

• Learners take part in whole school activities such as: Show racism the Red Card; Multi-culture Day; MacMillan Coffee Morning; 

• The development of a strong home-school link is regarded as very important, enabling parents/carers and teachers to work in an effective partnership to support the learner;

• Learners will be taught to appreciate their local environment and to develop a sense of responsibility to it through residential opportunities, outdoor education and events, as well as visits to places such as Manchester Art museum/science museums. 

 Monitoring and Evaluation: The Senior Leadership Team will regularly review the provision for SMSC throughout the school, via the SEF calendar by: monitoring and analysing planning and teaching and learning; completing scrutinies of work and marking; observing lessons/classrooms; completing learning walks; speaking to learners and analysing pupil and parent feedback; regular discussions with staff and governors.