At Dudley Infant Academy SMSC is about developing the whole person. As our pupils move through the academy, we are committed to developing not only their academic standards and levels of achievement, but also their spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness. We aim to provide opportunities for our children to form their own identity; sense of place and purpose, giving them the confidence to question and discover who they are in the world and face the exciting challenges that lie ahead. SMSC is reflected in the behaviours of individuals and in their interactions and also in the provision of teaching, resources and learning environments.
SMSC permeates throughout all aspects of school life and underpins our vision, values and ethos.
Social development relates to the development of knowledge and understanding and the acquisition of skills in relating to others. This begins with family and friends and extends to the wider community. Pupils are taught to respect each other and to appreciate each other’s similarities and differences. An awareness and understanding of, and respect for, the environments in which they live is also developed. We give pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs, and the way in which they affect peoples’ lives. We give pupils the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they affect people and how an understanding of them can be helpful. We 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 relates particularly to developing knowledge and understanding of right and wrong. Pupils learn to make choices in their behaviour through developing knowledge of boundaries and understanding of consequences. They learn by example and by practising through role-play, story and group activities. We provide a clear moral code as a basis for behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school. We promote measures to prevent discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age and other criteria. We encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions; for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour. We provide models of moral development through our curriculum and embed these into our acts of collective reflection
Spiritual development is concerned with the exploration and development of feelings and emotions; personality, individuality and uniqueness; and knowledge and understanding of their own and different beliefs and cultures. We foster a sense of community, with common, inclusive values which ensure that everyone, irrespective of ethnic origin, nationality, gender, ability, sexual orientation and religion can flourish. We help pupils develop personal qualities which are valued in a society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference, moral principles, independence, interdependence and self-respect. We provide a conceptual and linguistic framework within which to understand and debate social issues. We encourage students to work together co-operatively.
Cultural development is concerned with encountering the defining aspects of different cultures. Explorations of values, beliefs, customs, foods, artefacts and stories allow the pupils to make comparisons and develop knowledge of lifestyles and choices of others. We provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own cultural assumptions and values. We present authentic accounts of the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures. We extend pupils knowledge and use of cultural imagery and language, recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents. We provide opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art and craft based activities.
SMSC development is taught through and reflected in all areas of the curriculum and through all aspects of school life. Pupils are provided with the opportunities to gain in knowledge and understanding and to develop the skills they need to participate in the life of the diverse community in which they live. For example:
Where you can find SMSC in Dudley Infant Academy:
Children are able to build empathy and develop an understanding of their own and others beliefs. They are able to see beyond themselves and understand that some questions may never be answered. They have first-hand experience of different religions in their community and have opportunity to share similarities and differences. Children will experience opportunities for awe and wonder which encourages them to think and reflect. Pupils will have more confidence in themselves and others. They will have a better insight into what’s right and wrong and will develop an understanding of the consequences of a wrong choice. They will be able to give reasons for things being right and wrong and the consequences of choices on themselves and others. The school will be a positive environment where everyone shows respect for each other. Pupils will look after each other and take leadership seriously. They will accept conflict can happen but will develop skills to resolve them quickly and effectively. Pupils will develop an understanding of the schools and their own values which has a positive impact on their behaviour. Pupils will celebrate each other’s achievements and have opportunity to feel proud of themselves, of others and of the school. Pupils will be able to socialise with a wide range of people from different backgrounds. They will understand the power of collaborative learning and use it as a tool to progress. Pupils will be able to build close relationships and friendships with each other and adults, the community is close knit with a single objective – for us all to become highly successful lifelong learners. Pupil’s voices will be listened to and acted upon and they will feel that they have a say in their school. Children will have a greater awareness of different cultures and people from those cultures. This helps to contribute to a positive school atmosphere where everyone is accepted. Pupils will develop an understanding of the world outside their own and have opportunity to showcase their diverse talents and feel valued for this
We promote ‘British Values’ through our spiritual, moral, social and cultural education which permeates through the school’s curriculum and supports the development of the ‘whole child’. We recognise that such development is most successful when those values and attitudes are promoted by all the staff and provide a model of behaviour for our pupils. The curriculum in all phases offers broad and balanced opportunities.
‘British Values’ have been identified as:
The ability to understand and communicate are the most important areas of learning. We ensure that pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate. This ‘voice’ could be using words, objects, photographs, pictures, symbols, signing, eye pointing or body language. We empower our pupils by giving them opportunities to make choices about the things that they believe to be important. By valuing each voice and by listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate that we support democracy and liberty. We have an active School Council.
Rule of Law:
We involve pupils in setting codes of behaviour; helping pupils to make decisions and choices that are acceptable to the school community and society at large. Pupils are helped to learn to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions. Staff are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment within the school and beyond. We can help many pupils to understand the connection between actions and consequences. This type of environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn, promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.
Pupils are encouraged to become good and valued citizens. We do this by supporting each pupil to become as independent as possible. We endeavour to demonstrate that everyone has rights; this includes the right to say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to ideas or activities. Many of our pupils will be able to take responsibility for particular roles and to understand that with certain rights comes certain responsibilities. 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 being independent can boost and nurture a healthy self-esteem.
We promote each pupil’s inclusion in activities, settings and locations that are appropriate to them individually to meet their needs. Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted. This may include working with external coaches, theatre groups etc. The curriculum is personalised and planned for pupils and may include transitioning within the range of resources and places on the site and going into the community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations which include community events and shared participation with other schools/colleges. 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. 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 instil ‘fair play’ and engender a ‘team spirit’. Although some of our pupils may find it difficult to articulate their feelings and concerns; staff are attuned to changes in demeanour and well-being that may indicate anxiety. If they are concerned about a pupil our accepted practice links to the Child Protection Policy which entrusts a duty of care to all staff to actively protect and promote the welfare of children.
The staff work closely with parents, carers and other professionals to ensure that the pupils at Dudley Infant Academy are happy, well cared for and enabled to learn the skills they need to live a fulfilling life as part of their community.