British Values and SMSC
The Department for Education state that there is a need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation of 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.”
At Godmanchester Academy, these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways,
Democracy is embedded at our school. Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to actively listen to one another, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard. Pupils have the opportunity to share opinions and ideas through the School Council and regular ‘pupil voice’ questionnaires. Elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes after each child has shared their manifesto with their class. This was designed to reflect the British electoral system.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced. The children discuss and set their own rules for behaviour inside and outside of the classroom; this ensures that they are relevant and clearly understood by all. Our pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, the responsibility they have to up hold them and that there are consequences when laws are broken.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and environment. Our children are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely through many curriculum subjects, particularly in PSHE and e-safety lessons. Some pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility. Learning to do things independently is an important part of learning to understand yourself. We support others by participating in charitable events such as, Red Nose Day/Comic Relief and Children in Need. We believe that engendering a caring and helpful environment and to be independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
Respect is an important value to the children and staff of our school and it is deeply embedded in learning and behaviour. Children understand that it is expected and that it is imperative that respect to shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have, and to everything, however big or small. It underpins our work every day, both in and out of the classroom. We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them individually to meet their needs. We believe it is important to facilitate opportunities to be part of the community as the pupils, families and staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion.
Tolerance of Different Faiths and Beliefs
We are part of a school and local community where each person is respected and valued equally without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race. Cultural appreciation and development forms part of our curriculum. We place great emphasis on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupils’ experiences and awareness of others.
Our Assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others linking their lives to the communities in which they belong. The themes cover areas such as: friendships, helping others and celebrations from a range of faiths and world events.
Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through our curriculum themes. For example, pupils have visited many local places. As a school, we take part in sporting activities which helps to instill ‘fair play’ and engender a ’team spirit’.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC)
What is SMSC – Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development?
Spiritual development is when we explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral development is when we recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social development is when we use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the 'British values' of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.
Cultural development is when we appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
The aims of our school pupils' SMSC programme are:
- To ensure pupils’ education is holistic rather than focussed narrowly on purely academic aspects of learning.
- To provide pupils with a rounded education, including learning how to work and play together, understanding and respecting others’ points of view, respecting and applying rules and understanding why these exist.
- To prepare pupils to contribute to society and culture throughout their lives, and enable them to participate actively and positively in the life of the school, their local community and wider society.
- To encourage pupils to value themselves and their unique contributions to their own and others’ lives, and in turn to value and celebrate others and their qualities and abilities.
In our school, pupils' SMSC development is seen for example in:
- Taking part in pupil voice through the school council and their questionnaires.
- Taking part in a range of activities regarding social skills
- Developing an awareness and respect for diversity.
- Developing an understanding of right and wrong.
- Developing the communication skills to make choices about likes/dislikes in school then in wider community visits.
- Taking part in sporting and cycling opportunities.
- Taking part in cultural opportunities.
- Taking part in artistic opportunities.
This integrated approach ensures that aspects of SMSC is considered in all subject areas.