SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education has been a part of education since the Education Act in 1944. However, more recently SMSC has been highlighted in the Education Act (2002) and in the Ofsted inspection framework. All maintained schools are now required to show that they are meeting the needs of their pupils through a broad and balanced SMSC and British Values education.
As detailed by the 2014 Department of Education advice for maintained schools, in order to meet the needs of a child’s SMSC education, 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.
Here at Perry Court, we meet the needs for our pupils through whole school and phase assemblies, recognition and celebration of national days such as Remembrance Day. SMSC is taught directly in weekly PSHE lessons through it’s clear links with the scheme jigsaw. These sessions allow for discussions and classroom based activities linked to SMSC and fundamental British Values. In the EYFS children also complete weekly Picture News activities as an introduction to the fundamental British Values.
Overall SMSC is a vital part of the curriculum because it not only supports children and young people’s individual development but the development of society as a whole.
Ofsted highlights the importance of SMSC as central to the development and growth of pupils as people and at the heart of what teachers would say education is all about.
(Promoting and evaluating pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ OFSTED March 2004.)