Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Curriculum statement
Updated March 2015
At Herne Junior School we recognise that the personal development of children - spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) - plays a significant role in their ability to learn, achieve and be happy individuals. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:
- their own values and beliefs;
- their own spiritual awareness;
- their own high standards of personal behaviour;
- their critical thinking skills
- a positive, caring and respectful attitude towards other people;
- an understanding of their social and cultural traditions; and
- an appreciation of the diversity and richness of their cultures.
We consciously facilitate opportunities in these four areas in the following ways:
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT: This refers to children’s beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in, and respect for, different people’s feelings and values. This is developed by:
Giving pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs and the way in which they impact on people’s lives. This is done, for example, through Assemblies, PDL planning, Rights Respects and Responsibilities and History.
Giving pupils the opportunity to understand human emotions and feelings, the way they impact on people and how an understanding of them can be helpful; for example, through PDL, Literacy, Drama, Music and Dance.
Developing a climate, or ethos, within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected; for example, Herne Harmony; School Council; Celebration Assemblies and Herne Guardians.
Offering pupils the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the natural environment; for example, visits to our local National Park, Herne’s outside classroom, Class gardens/allotments, Nature Detectives club, and Woodland wonders club.
Accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals; for example, Rights Respecting School, School Council, Herne’s Guardians, Awe and Wonder board, Playtime buddies, Explicit PDL lessons, Assemblies on Diversity and Anti-bullying week.
Promoting teaching styles that:
Value pupil questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns.
Allow children to take ownership of and lead their learning through a P4C approach
Enable pupils to make connections between aspects of their learning.
Encourage pupils to relate their learning to a wider frame of reference; for example, asking ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘where’ as well as ‘what’.
MORAL DEVELOPMENT: refers to a pupil’s understanding, attitude and behaviour to what is right and what is wrong. This is developed by:
Providing a clear moral code for behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school; for example, Behaviour Policy; Class Charters; Herne’s Harmonies; Anti Bullying Week, E-Safety week.
Promoting equality relating to; gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, SEN, (Inclusion policy, Equal Opportunities policy, SEN policies).
Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality (Racial, Inclusion, Equal Opportunities, SEN policies).
Giving pupils opportunities to explore and develop moral concepts and values throughout the curriculum; for example, truth, justice, equality of opportunity, right and wrong (PDL; RE; History; Literacy; Assembly; Drama; School Council; Nature Detectives and woodland wonders, Magistrates visit to Year 6, Fair-trade week, Community Police officer visits).
Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practise moral decision making ( PDL Circle time sessions, P4C lessons, School Council; Nature Detectives and woodland wonders; Drama; Safeguarding policy & practice).
Rewarding expressions of moral insights and good behaviour (Celebration Assembly; class reward systems; house points; Values Time).
Modelling through the quality of relationships and interactions the principles we wish to promote; for example, fairness, integrity, respect for persons, pupil welfare, respect for minority interests, resolution of conflict keeping promises and contracts (whole school charity events; Fair-trade week; Celebration Assemblies; Assembly themes).
Recognising and respecting different cultural groups represented in the school and the wider community (celebration of religious festivals in RE and newsletters, use of flag pole, Themed Assemblies).
Encouraging children to take responsibility for their actions; for example, respect for property, care of the environment and code of behaviour (Behaviour Policy; Assembly themes).
Providing models of moral standards through the curriculum (Literacy; History; RE; PDL; Assembly; Drama).
Reinforcing the school’s values through the use of posters, displays etc. (Awe and wonder display, Aspiration Display, Celebrating Success Display, Children’s RRR posters, Harmony Display).
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: refers to a pupil’s progressive acquisition of the competencies and qualities needed to play a full part in society and become informed citizens of the future. This is supported by:
Fostering a sense of community with common, inclusive values (Assembly; Home-School Agreement; ‘Friends of Herne’ events including Christmas & Summer fairs; ECO Fair, Pond Project – Radian Challenges, involvement with community arts projects; partnership with local churches & mosque; Edison open days).
Promoting equality relating to; gender, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, disability, SEN,
Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality (Racial & Equal opportunities policies).
Encouraging children to work co-operatively (PDL, RRR, Playtime Buddies, House system; mixed year group curriculum events).
Encouraging children to recognise and respect social differences and similarities; for example, where they live, different kinds of family models, age issues (PDL; RE; literature, Assemblies).
Providing positive corporate experiences; for example, special curriculum events, productions, school council, “Herne’s Got Talent”, Class Assemblies.
Helping pupils develop personal qualities which are valued in society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for differences, moral principles, independence, inter-dependence, self-respect.
Helping children to relieve tensions between their own aspirations and those of the wider group (Pupil support worker).
Providing opportunities to participate in the democratic process and participate in making community decisions (School Council; votes in class on a variety of issues; House Captain votes, P4C).
Providing children with opportunities to exercise leadership and responsibility (Council Leaders, Class monitors; Herne Guardians; Eco reps; Pupil librarians).
Welcoming members of the wider Petersfield community into our school and keeping them informed of developments (Website; newsletter; notice board; community board; involvement in community events; for example, Fair-trade Fortnight, Pond Project, Choir, Butser Hill Challenge, Football tournaments).
CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT: refers to pupils developing their understanding of beliefs, values and customs in social, ethnic and national groups different to their own. This is supported by:
Providing children with opportunities to explore their own cultural assumptions and values.
Celebrating the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures (Geography; RE; History; Literacy; Library; Assembly; Art; Dance; Music; celebrating festivals and drawing on diverse parent cultural backgrounds; International Week, Petersfield Art Festival).
Recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents (Local Events with other schools (building challenge), Petersfield Music festival, Mountbatten “my Olympics” 2012).
Developing partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupil’s cultural awareness (Drama, music and dance groups, links with local Museum).
Reinforcing the school’s cultural values through displays and photographs.
Using ICT and the world-wide web to extend partnerships with those from other cultural backgrounds (links with other schools).
British Values Statement
The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.”
Herne Junior School is committed to serving its community and surrounding areas. It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the United Kingdom, and therefore those it serves. It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them.
The school, accepts admissions from all those entitled to an education under British law, including pupils of all faiths or none. It follows the policies outlined by its governing body regarding equal opportunities, which guarantee that there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar. It seeks to serve all.
The Government emphasises that schools are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught in all UK schools. The government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy’ – values of:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Democracy is common within the school where the promotion of democratic processes, fostering the concept and application of freedom of speech and group action to address needs and concerns, are heard through our School Council. Other Leadership groups exist for pupils to have their say through for example, Sports Leaders, Digital Leaders and pupil questionnaires. Also key to this is the concept of holding others to account, including those in positions of authority and influence. To inspire our children we have annual visits from the local magistrate, who role play court scenarios for the children .
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through school assemblies. The values of trust and respect are used to help children understand the importance of laws. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the Police, Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young pupils to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Children are inspired to consider how their future career choices can be broadened by their educational choices. There are numerous visits planned to help inspire pupils to broaden their horizons when making career choices. Children are encouraged to take risks and develop the confidence to ‘have a go’ and so increase the chances of experiencing success. Our pupils thrive on challenge, and there is high participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities. All pupils are given the freedom to make choices.
The school’s core Leadership skills and behaviours have been part of discussions and assemblies and children have an excellent understanding as to what this means and how it is shown. These ideas are reiterated through the curriculum, the school and classroom rules, as well as our behaviour policy. Additional support is provided for individual pupils, through our trained ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) who provides pastoral support. This support helps to develop self-esteem and to practise strategies pupils can employ to help improve their respect of others.
Understanding of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
Herne Junior School enhances pupils understanding of different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies.