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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)

What is Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development?

Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.

Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.

Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, tolerate, respect and celebrate diversity.

At Hermitage Primary School we recognise that spiritual, moral, social and cultural development plays a significant part in the personal development of pupils and impacts on their ability to learn and achieve and to develop a clear understanding of the values which underpin life in Britain.

We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore their own values and beliefs and to show tolerance, respect, understanding and appreciation of various faiths and richness of cultural traditions. In learning about different cultures, religions and backgrounds, pupils will develop their own spiritual awareness and be encouraged to value and respect other people’s differences.

We expect pupils to develop high standards of personal behaviour, to understand and make appropriate choices about right and wrong. In doing so, our pupils will learn to appreciate the importance of upholding laws while supporting justice, freedom and equality.  

We will foster a positive, caring attitude towards other people and celebrate the experience of being loyal and patriotic citizens of the United Kingdom.

Visitors to school often comment upon the sense of enjoyment and enthusiasm for their learning, shown by our pupils. Our teaching approaches encourage all pupils to use their imagination and creativity, and develop curiosity in all aspects of their learning. We nurture the skills of resilience and resourcefulness aiming to empower and support children in overcoming barriers to their learning. Pupils have an informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them as they move through the school and on to the next stage of their education.

It is especially important that all adults within our school model these values to colleagues, parents and pupils. We want our pupils to grow and flourish, become confident individuals, and appreciate their own worth and that of others.

Our class and school evidence files capture a huge range of SMSC opportunities, and act as an archive of our achievements.

Hermitage school offers an exciting and stimulating curriculum which embraces the values outlined above. We provide our pupils with a wide range of opportunities to enhance their personal development as described below.

  • Assessment for learning: is promoted through many reflective opportunities, such as think/pair/share, talking partners, thinking time, time for silent reflection and discussions, mind mapping, written and verbal feedback from adults through marking. We believe that these strategies create space for spiritual learning.

  • Varied Social Contexts: allow our pupils to enhance their social development. Our pupils apply a well-developed sense of right and wrong in many aspects of their school life, including social situations in school. We provide a variety of opportunities for our children to take part in activities requiring social skills. Some of these are described below. Such events create avenues for our children to meet and work with children from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Children who require additional support to develop social skills are effectively supported by targeted intervention.

We have an active School Council whose members are democratically elected by their peers; they listen to each other’s views, gather pupil voice and play an active role in further developing the school. This enables our children to gain insight in the way communities and societies function and experience democracy in action.

Our School Council and the Head Students act as ambassadors for the school, showing visitors around and linking with our neighbouring primary and secondary schools as well as the local community to share experiences and ideas.

Our children apply a well-developed understanding of right and wrong in many different aspects of their school life including social situations in school. Understanding and adherence to school rules for the benefit of all underpins our behaviour ethos and is related to supporting children in understanding how to promote British values.

Our pupils belong to one of four ‘Houses’ and they work in teams and classes to earn merit points which are rewarded for demonstrating commitment to the shared values of the school. These are known as the ‘Hermitage Helpful Heroes’. Children record their merits and receive bronze, silver, gold and platinum certificates in recognition of their efforts. The winning team for the year is awarded the House Cup.

  • Curriculum – our curriculum is designed to enable pupils to develop a breadth of understanding and experience of people and periods in the past which have shaped their lives today. In addition to explicit teaching, pupils demonstrate that they can apply their understanding to a range of moral and ethical issues – examples include inference in reading, understanding of places, learning about the impact of scientific and technological development, RE, role play in English and PSHE activities.

Thematic units of learning are carefully chosen to promote cultural experiences of pupils in ways that provide opportunities for pupils to raise questions, to seek information and communicate understanding in a meaningful way. Wherever possible, we enable children to experience learning in real life settings including museum trips, living history days, theatre visits, art gallery visits and also visits to different places of worship. We actively seek people from the world of work to come into school and share aspects of their working lives with the children to help develop their understanding of the world we live in.

We ensure that pupils have access to enriching, curriculum opportunities. All of our older pupils have the opportunity to play a musical instrument and work together to form an orchestra. This in turn creates opportunities to take part in concerts, to play in the wider community and to celebrate with other schools across our region, for example, with the Halle Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall. Our school choir also perform in a range of settings such as school concerts, the Mother’s Union and the Cheshire Show. Our pupils take part in annual performances of Nativity stories and our KS2 summer shows are renowned locally!

Our sports teams, across all of KS2, take part in extensive opportunities for sports activities within local cluster tournaments as well as significant extra-curricular activity within school.

Each year group in KS2 takes part in a residential visit and Year 6 pupils are also offered the opportunity to go to France to meet up with our partner school and their pen pals.

Our new Early Years Foundation Stage pupils are paired up with a Year 6 buddy, a friendship which develops across the year and is a delight to see. We have a positive relationship with our pre-school settings who are invited to watch both of our KS1 and KS2 performances.

  • Wider Curriculum – In order to develop a greater understanding of the wider world, we provide a variety of additional experiences which encourage pupils to reflect on their interest and respect about other people’s faiths, beliefs, feelings and values. Some examples of how we promote this understanding are shown below.

Charities: We support a range of charity projects to open pupils’ eyes to the different lifestyles and problems shared by children all over the world. We have links with a school in South Africa and have raised money to help equip their kitchen. We are able to exchange emails and photographs with this community. We participate in a variety of charity events including Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Children in Need, always taking care to reinforce the message of celebrating differences and similarities within our local, national and global communities.

Fair Trade: we are a Fair Trade school and have a committee which meets to discuss ways in which we can develop our knowledge and understanding, sharing this with the rest of the school. We always support ‘Fair Trade Fortnight’, using this as an opportunity to learn more and to develop skills in fundraising.

Languages: All of our children learn to speak French and we provide an additional club for children to learn to speak Spanish. For the past five years we have had a partnership with a primary school in France and our Year 6 pupils have had the opportunity to visit and share learning experiences with them. We have also hosted their Year 5/6 class on the two occasions that they have visited us. We also celebrate our global community with special days where we share food, song, art, music and traditions from the countries. For example, celebrating Christmas around the World.

Pupil Enterprise: Our Y6 pupils develop a project and manage a budget to produce an item to sell at our Christmas Fair. Pupils must calculate the cost of their product and ensure a small profit is made. Pupils must learn skills of negotiation and conflict resolution, as well as understanding money in a real life context.  Such activities develop teamwork and leadership skills.

Environmental: Pupils at Hermitage Primary School have a respect and love for the outdoors promoted at every opportunity. We have a wildlife garden and allotment which is used across the year and is linked to aspects of the curriculum such as ‘Dig for Victory’. Our woodland area offers opportunities for willow weaving and forest school activities. A respect for Nature is developed through our Eco-School tradition. Pupils at Hermitage school are taught to recycle and reuse whenever possible. 

Please take time to read our policies for promoting British Values and also SMSC for further information

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