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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

At Clifton Hampden C of E Primary School we recognise that Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) plays a significant part in the personal development of pupils and impacts on their ability to learn and achieve, and to develop a clear understanding of the values which underpin life in Britain. Scroll down or click on the document below to find out how we promote each aspect of SMSC in our school. 

We define each area as:

Spiritual Development involves:

  • The development of insights, principles, beliefs, attitudes and values which guide and motivate us.
  • A developing understanding of feelings and emotions which support reflection and learning.
  • Developing recognition that pupils own insights, principles, beliefs, attitudes and that values influence them in their own lives. 

Moral Development involves:

  • Self-evaluation and understanding of capacity to develop and grow.
  • Relationships-values others for themselves.
  • Society-valuing truth, freedom, justice, human rights, the law and promotion of the common good.

Social Development involves:

  • Pupils’ interests in the understanding of the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels and their responsibility towards ensuring this.
  • Pupils developing social skills to work and live effectively with each other.
  • Positive participation and contribution that may include conflict resolution.

Functioning effectively in a diverse society by modelling mutual respect of others and of property and socialising with pupils from different religions, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

Cultural Development involves:

  • Ensuring that pupils understand and respect cultures, including their own, and reject discrimination based on difference.
  • Developing a willingness to participate in new experiences and to develop awareness of music, art, dance and literature, etc. in different cultures. developing social skills to work and live effectively with each other.
  • Positive participation and contribution that may include conflict resolution.
  • Functioning effectively in a diverse society by modelling mutual respect of others and of property and socialising with pupils from different religions, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.

How is this evidenced?

Spiritual Development

  • Multi faith RE Curriculum, Whole school assemblies linked to Christian values, Outdoor learning, Forest School, Residential visits, Harvest festival, SEAL/ PSHE activities, Faith leader visits, Singing assemblies, Opportunities to reflect on their experiences and learning, Visits to places of worship, Curriculum learning about the world, Charity work, Assessment for Learning opportunities (self & peer).

Moral Development

  • RE Curriculum, Age appropriate responsibilities, Circle Time/ PSHE activities, Anti- Bullying week, Whole school assemblies linked to Christian values, School Council, Singing in the local Community, Charity work, After school clubs, Class rules, Rewarding expressions of moral insights and good behaviour e.g. Sending to Head teacher/ Celebration book, Positive behaviour management strategies.

Social Development

  • Circle Time /PSHE activities, School Council, Whole school assemblies linked to Christian values, After school clubs such as indoor games, multi-skills, etc., Lunch time clubs such as French, recorders, School visits, SEAL, Transition visits, Charity support, .e.g. Children In Need & Comic Relief, Extending community links, Residential visits, School productions, Sports Days, Playtimes, Curriculum activities with collaborative approaches.

Cultural Development

  • Whole school assemblies linked to Christian values, Curriculum opportunities – RE/PSHE, Celebration of a selection of religious festivals, Art and Music events, Book Days/Week, Visiting Authors, Theatre visits and trips, School trips to museums etc, Forest School, Opportunities to take part in school productions, Cultural/Diversity Days, Anti-Bullying week, Visits from people from different faith groups and/or cultures, MFL in school, Sports Days, Ukulele for Year 5 & 6, Opportunities for individual instrument lessons, Reading challenges, Use of artefacts and multicultural stories.

What is the impact on pupils?

Spiritual Development

  • Pupils show empathy and the ability to reflect on their own and others achievements.
  • Pupils develop attitudes, values and principles.
  • There is an increased ability for them to centre themselves, empathise with others and see beyond the self.
  • Pupils have time to reflect/calm down which shows a positive impact on their behaviour.
  • Pupils are able to remember/recollect.
  • All of the above form part of school routine e.g. Pupils know not to start eating their lunch until Grace has been said. 
  • Pupils have a first-hand experience of places of religious worship. 

Moral Development

  • Pupils have more confidence in themselves and in their community.
  • Pupils are able to give reasons for things being right and wrong.
  • There is no fighting in school and a positive atmosphere pervades.
  • Pupils look after each other and take responsibility for each other; any conflicts are resolved quickly and effectively.
  • Pupils have very clear values which they refer to and impacts on their behaviour; they have a definite sense of what is right and what is wrong.
  • Pupils enjoy celebrating others achievements and have opportunities to feel proud of themselves and others.
  • All of the above form part of school routine e.g. Pupils know not to start eating their lunch until Grace has been said. 
  • Pupils have a first-hand experience of places of religious worship. 

Social Development

  • Pupils are able to socialise with a wide range of people and pupils.
  • We receive positive comments from the community when we go on trips and when we receive visitors.
  • Pupils build relationships and friendships.
  • School ethos has a family feel where all pupils are cared for and valued.
  • Widening of pupil horizons.
  • Pupils feel they have a say in their school.
  • Pupils exercise responsibility.

Cultural Development

  • Aware of people from different cultural backgrounds which help to contribute to a positive atmosphere in school.
  • Pupils have an understanding of a world outside their own.
  • Pupils feel they have opportunities to showcase their diverse talents and feel valued for this.
  • They experience opportunities for awe and wonder.

How do other curriculum areas contribute to the development of SMSC?

Curriculum Area

How it makes a positive contribution to the development of SMSC


  • Developing confidence and expertise in language, which is an important aspect of individual and social identity;
  • Enabling pupils to understand and engage with the feelings and values embodied in high quality poetry, fiction, drama, film and television;
  • Developing pupils’ awareness of moral and social and cultural issues in fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film;
  • Helping pupils to understand how language changes over time, the influences on spoken, and written language and social attitudes to the use of language;
  • Developing knowledge and experience through reading, discussing and writing stories from other cultures.
  • Encouraging children to reflect on changes from the past using stories from British culture.


  • Enabling pupils to acknowledge the important contribution made by mathematics by non-western cultures.


  • Encouraging pupils to reflect on the wonder of the natural world;
  • Awareness of the ways that science and technology can affect society and the environment;
  • Consideration of the moral dilemmas that can result in scientific developments;
  • Showing respect for differing opinions, on creation for example;
  • Co-operation in practical activity;
  • Raising awareness that scientific developments are the product of many different cultures.


  • Preparing the children for the challenges of living and learning in a technologically-enriched, increasingly inter-connected world;
  • Making clear the guidelines about the ethical use of the internet;
  • Acknowledging advances in technology;
  • Developing knowledge of how technology has made improvements to the lives of children and adults;


  • Opportunities for reflection on the earth’s origins, future and diversity are given;
  • Reflection on the fair distribution of the earth’s resources and issues surrounding climate change;
  • Study of people and physical geography offers our children the chance to reflect on the social and cultural characteristics of society.


  • Looking at the creation and evolution of British society;
  • Enabling pupils to reflect on historical issues;
  • Showing an awareness of the moral implications of the actions of historical figures.


  • Art lessons develop children’s aesthetic appreciation and in turn Art evokes feelings of ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’;
  • Giving pupils the chance to reflect on nature, their environment and surroundings;
  • Studying artists with spiritual or religious theme.


  • Refection on products and inventions, the diversity of material and ways in which design can improve the quality of our lives;
  • Awareness of the moral dilemmas created by technological advances;
  • How different cultures have contributed to technology;
  • Opportunities to work as a team, recognising others’ strengths, sharing equipment.


  • Encourages pupils to be open to the music of other cultures;
  • Offer opportunities to consider the role of music in society;
  •  Enabling pupils to see how music can cause differences of opinion;
  • Encourages pupils to look at the way music can change moods and behaviour;
  • Pupils are encouraged to share their responses to a range of genres, instruments, lyrics and rhythm.
  • Reflection and enjoyment of listening to and making music either alone or with others;
  • Problem solving skills and teamwork are fundamental to Music, through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting music;
  • Pupils are encouraged to develop their musical skills, communicating with others and explaining responses to each other;
  •  Working together in pairs or groups and supporting others is a key part of Music sessions;
  • Pupils are given opportunities to develop an appreciation of various cultures and the range of music and dance associated with them.


  • Reflection on ideas, opinions and beliefs from a selection of different religions and in turn how this relates to human values, responsibilities and rights;
  • Develop an understanding of the nature, role and influence of religion in the world;
  • Pursuing a personal quest for meaning, purpose and value by reflecting on the significance of personal experience and emotion as well as exploring different religious and non-religious beliefs about meaning, purpose and value;
  • Develop an awareness of the influence of beliefs on attitudes and behaviour.


  • Opportunities to develop understanding of differing points of view;
  • Enabling children to gain the skills of conflict resolution;
  • Further develop social skills, especially feelings of empathy;
  • Exploration of our British society, e.g. elections, democratic rule, monarchy;
  • Reflection on ideas and opinions regarding social issues (particularly related to themselves and friendships);
  • SEAL activities developing self-esteem, self-reflection, awareness of others and skills for life.

French (KS2)

  • Children may gain insights into the way of life, cultural traditions, moral and social developments of other people;
  • Social Skills are developed through group activities and communications exercises;
  • Listening skills are improved through oral/aural work.


  • Activities involving co-operation, teamwork, competition, rules, self-discipline and fair play;
  • Exploring the sports and traditions of a variety of cultures;
  • Individual activities that provide the opportunity for self-reflection, awareness and challenge.