SMSC and British Values

SMSC and British Values at The Bay CE Primary

What is SMSC?

It is the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children in our school. This is an aspect of learning that is evident in both lessons and behaviours in school, rather than a specifically taught subject. Some subjects do enable more direct SMSC development though, such as PSHE and RE. We also aim to develop SMSC through worship, behaviour expectations and our school values and motto. (Ofsted have provided specific SMSC definitions which are below)

Ofsted Definitions of SMSC
Spiritual development is shown by their:
  • beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences.
 Moral development is shown by their:
  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
  • understanding of the consequences of their actions
  • interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.
 Social development 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 social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.
 Cultural development is shown by their:
  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.
British Values

The Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy (2011) specifies that schools need to have a focus on the core British values which are: Democracy, The Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those of different faiths and belief.

Through our SMSC provision we:

  • Teach pupils about tolerance and respect for different cultures and beliefs by educating them on both differences and similarities
  • Equip pupils with the skills to develop their self-awareness and confidence.
  • Support pupils in accepting and acknowledging responsibility for their behaviours and show respect for others
  • Encourage pupils to contribute positively to the lives of others in our school community and beyond
  • Enable pupils to distinguish and articulate right from wrong, and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
  • Support them in acquiring an understanding of democratic processes, including a respect for laws and rules

This underpins our ethos to developing SMSC in school. We ensure opportunities for developing the British Values through our SMSC.

 How do we ensure there are opportunities for SMSC development?

At The Bay, we recognise the importance of the personal development of our pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.  We support pupils in developing their capacity to explore and understand social and moral issues and develop a sense of responsibility. We therefore aim to provide a curriculum experience that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:

  • Strong personal values and beliefs
  • Kind, caring and tolerant attitudes towards others
  • Collaboration skills
  • Opportunities to celebrate the success of both themselves and others
  • Personal spiritual awareness
  • High expectations of personal behaviour
  • Access to a range of extra-curricular opportunities and educational visits
  • An understanding of their social and cultural traditions
  • An understanding of democratic processes and the law in England
  • An appreciation and acceptance of the diversity and richness of different cultures
  • Their opportunities to experience other cultures
Links with the Wider Community
  • Visitors are welcomed into our school and have included Guide dogs for the blind, the police force, local historians and members of the clergy
  • Links with the local churches are a vital part of our provision and include attending services, educational visits and members of the clergy leading weekly school worships
  • Visits to places of worship of other faiths/ workshops from visiting speakers will be arranged to support the understanding of different cultures
  • The school supports the work of a variety of charities. These have included Sandown Zoo, Earl Mountbatten Hospice, Sport relief, Comic relief and Children in Need
  • The development of a strong home-school agreement is regarded as very important, enabling parents and teachers to work in an effective partnership to support the children.
  • Children will be taught to appreciate and take responsibility for their local environment as part of PSHE and Longitudinal Studies in Science
  • Activities taught in collaboration with our secondary site, as well as transition liaison with other local secondary schools and pre-schools, support the primary curriculum and effective transition
  • Community Kids club to promote and engage in support for the local community
The Bay CE Primary Opportunities

SMSC development opportunities for our pupils:

Below are some examples of how we ensure children have this opportunity in school but it is very much part of the ethos and vision of the school.


We encourage spiritual development during RE lessons, worship and by welcoming and accepting the spiritual beliefs of others within our school community. We create opportunities for the children to experience stillness as well as reflecting on, considering and celebrating the wonders and mysteries of life by considering window, door and mirror moments as part of our weekly big question.


We develop moral understanding and problem solving through our behaviour expectations and school values: Love, Courage, Truth, Respect and Friendship. We also look at topical world issues and moral dilemmas through our weekly PSHE and Picture News assemblies. We feel it is important that children take initiative and act responsibly with consideration for others.


We have a wide variety of opportunities for social development in school including: PSHE lessons, transition event tour guides, Social group role models and House Captains. We are also proud of our behaviour policy with clear consequences and rewards (see behaviour policy) and a restorative approach to supporting children to make good decisions. We ensure all pupils have a voice through our CAOW reflections and the promotion of British Values. We develop an understanding of their individual and group identity, learning about service in the school and wider community, through our links with local charities, care homes and places of worship, and beginning to understand the need for social justice and a concern for the disadvantaged, through involvement in initiatives like our in school foodbank.


The cultural development of our children is encouraged and supported through worships; RE lessons; understanding different cultures; themed weeks (for example black history) and in welcoming and accepting the cultural beliefs of everyone in our school community. We recognise, respect and celebrate the value and richness of cultural diversity in Britain, and how these influence individuals and society, as well as recognising Christianity as a worldwide faith.

Click here to read about what Year 6 children did on the recent British Values Day.

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