SMSC at Latchford St James 

SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development and is deep rooted within the ethos of Latchford St James CE Primary School.

  • Spiritual: exploring beliefs and experiences, respecting faiths, feelings and values though creativity, imagination and reflection. It is learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world.
  • Moral: recognising right from wrong, respecting the law, understanding consequences and investigating moral and ethical issues. Pupils are encouraged to offer reasoned views and have an appreciation of British Values.
  • Social: investigating moral issues, appreciating diverse viewpoints, participating, volunteering and cooperating in society. Pupils will look at how to resolve conflict and engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.
  • Cultural: appreciating cultural influences and the role of Britain’s parliamentary system. Pupils participate in culture opportunities and understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

We believe in an inclusive school – a school which does not discriminate on any level and accepts and seeks the flourishing and growth of all people, both pupils and staff. We believe that each of us is created in the image of God and that we are unique and precious to him. Our school is a place where we seek to respect all people and to love one another as Jesus taught us, in the power of the Holy Spirit. At Latchford St James CE Primary School, SMSC is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum through our monthly values and curriculum drivers. The children and their learning are at the heart of every decision made. We aim to develop learners who are passionate, take ownership of their learning and are proud of their achievements.

The ethos of LSJ is that all people who come into our school are valued as individuals in their own right. Pupils should set, and be entitled to expect from others, high standards of behaviour marked by respect and responsibility.

The school will help pupils to develop an inner discipline and encourage them to not just ‘follow the crowd’. They will make up their own minds and be ready to accept responsibility for what they do. They will grow through making choices and holding to the choices they have made, being honest with themselves and others.

Spiritual development at LSJ is demonstrated through:

  • the ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life
  • knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • the use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • a willingness to reflect on their experiences

Moral development at LSJ is demonstrated through:

  • the ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • an understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • an interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

Social development at LSJ is demonstrated through:

  • the use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • a 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
  • an 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; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Cultural development at LSJ is demonstrated through:

  • an understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • an understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures in the school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • the ability to recognise, and value, the things we share in common across
    cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities
  • a knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • a willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • an interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept and respect diversity. This is shown by their respect and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

What SMSC looks like at Latchford St James

Spiritual Development
Our learning environment and curriculum enable pupils to:

  • Be curious and to express feelings of delight and wonder, (scientific investigations)
  • Empathise and consider the viewpoints of others, (debates, drama activities, discussing feelings and empathising with characters in familiar stories)
  • Forgive and practise 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
  • Recognise that worship causes them to reflect on their behaviour and choices
  • Develop a knowledge and understanding of other faiths

Moral Development

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 ‘Respect, Love, Forgiveness, Compassion and Honesty’ are explicitly taught and modelled throughout the school.

Social Development

Our learning environment and curriculum develop social skills through:

  • Modelling of positive social behaviour by all staff
  • After school clubs
  • Sporting activities
  • Team games led by Play Leaders at 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, cluster schools, local high schools)
  • The values of ‘Hope, Generosity, Friendships, Peace, Respect, Love, Faith, Forgiveness, Compassion, Honesty, Service and Thankfulness’ are modelled throughout the school.

Cultural Development

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, residentials
  • Visitors from the local community
  • Being part of national and international fund raising events
  • Studies of a different lifestyle including different food, dress, festivals and places of worship.
  • 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 realise 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 endeavour 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.

At Latchford St James 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.

Taken from Latchford St James CE Primary School SIAMS Report January 2018

‘The positive relationships across the community are rooted in a Christ-centred approach. Pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural (SMSC) development is strong. They have access to a wide range of enrichment activities and trips which broaden their experience and develop teamwork and social skills. Pupils enjoy being members of the school council and ethos group and demonstrate a true sense of responsibility in these roles. As a Forest School and Eco-school, there is a determination to support pupils in their understanding of God’s creation and the responsibility everyone has to guard and care for the world. Pupils’ ideas and opinions are valued and this leads to raised self-esteem and a desire to contribute to the harmony of the community. Pupils demonstrate Christian respect and concern for others in and beyond the school.’