"Not everything that counts can be counted" Albert Einstein

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.  At New Mills School we believe we have an obligation to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.   Through ensuring pupils’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values.

We recognise that the development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part not only in their ability to learn and achieve but in their ability to relate fully to, and have the ability to access the world they live in. We therefore aim to provide students with an education that helps them become self-assured, confident, happy and positive young people and that prepares them well for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain. 

SMSC General Aims

Department of Education advice published in 2014 states that through the provision of SMSC, schools should:

  • Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely
  • Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
  • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
  • Encourage respect for other people
  • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

SMSC delivery at New Mills School

At New Mills we believe in a whole-school approach to SMSC and recognize that all areas of the taught curriculum make an important contribution to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our students and opportunities for this will be planned for in each area of the curriculum. The Personal Development curriculum (encompassing RE, PSHE and, Citizenship) relates directly to SMSC development, however, the school’s commitment to SMSC meant that all students in Year 7 to 11 have one Personal Development lesson each week. 

Beyond the classroom there are many additional ways that SMSC is taught, fostered and embedded at New Mills School.  This includes through the sharing and adherence to an agreed school ethos and set of values, effective relationships throughout the school, Student Voice activities, trips and visits and the vast extra-curricular programme offered by the school. 

Additionally, the school assembly programme helps to ensure that students are educated about the world around them and encourages them to reflect on a range of real-world issues.

By the end of Key Stage 4 students at New Mills will have:

  • Been given the opportunity to study cultural education subjects
  • Continued their journey of cultural discovery by being encouraged to make adventurous choices about the cultural activities they enjoy e.g ski trip / German exchange / Year 9 camp
  • Developed knowledge about a range of different aspects of culture, including an understanding of historical development and context of Art, Drama, Design, Literature and Music.
  • Developed an understanding of the different forms of each cultural area (for example: literature includes poetry, play texts, short stories and novels; music genres include classical, pop, hip hop, rock, jazz, folk, musical theatre and world).
  • Been on visits to a museum, heritage site, gallery and cinema at each key stage.
  • Sung in the school choir
  • Attended professional concerts and plays.
  • Taken part in an artistic performance.
  • Watched and learned about films from outside of the mainstream ‘Hollywood blockbusters’
  • Read a broad range of books both by living authors and by authors who may no longer be alive, but whose books are regarded as literary classics. Some of these books might be about subjects that are directly relevant to the readers’ lives today, but young people should also be reading books that expand horizons and show them the possibilities in the world beyond their own direct experiences.
  • Continued to use a library to access a wide range of books, as well as for other research materials.
  • Regularly made use of digital technology to see, read and listen to great culture, no matter where it is situated in the world.
  • Had their artistic and creative work celebrated in school and in their wider local community through publication, exhibitions, performance and screenings.
  • Considered progression to further and higher education and employment.
  • Been supported to take particular talents and interests forward.
  • Had a chance to learn about careers in the Creative and Cultural Industries and been supported to find work experience in these areas, should they wish to pursue it.
  • Had the chance to lead or shape activity in school by helping with a club, acting as a senior student or sports leader or helping in the school library.
  • Been able to join a lunchtime or after school club in areas such as dance, drama, art, music or chess

Defining Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

Spiritual development

Pupils’ spiritual development involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their will to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life’s fundamental questions. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to foster their own inner lives and non-material wellbeing.

The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, 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 experiences.
Moral development

Pupils’ moral development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the difference between right and wrong and of moral conflict, a concern for others and the will to do what is right. They are able and willing to reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others. They develop the knowledge, skills and understanding, qualities and attitudes they need in order to make responsible moral decisions and act on them.

The moral development of pupils is shown by their:

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

Pupils’ social development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the responsibilities and rights of being members of families and communities (local, national and global), and an ability to relate to others and to work with others for the common good. They display a sense of belonging and an increasing willingness to participate. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to make an active contribution to the democratic process in each of their communities.
The social development of pupils is shown by their:

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

Pupils’ cultural development involves pupils acquiring an understanding of cultural traditions and an ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of aesthetic experiences. They acquire a respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in others’ ways of doing things and curiosity about differences. They develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture.

The cultural development of pupils is shown by their:

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

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