Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural. All schools in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC.

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 beyond. 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.

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.

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.

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.

SMSC at Beverley Minster C of E Primary School means that: Social development:

  • I can care about myself and other people
  • I can work with and respect other people

Moral development:

  • I can choose between what is right and wrong
  • I can understand the consequences of my choices and actions

Spiritual development:

  • I can understand what fascinates me and talk about it with others
  • I can ask ‘why’ questions
  • I can see wonder in the world

Cultural development:

  • I can be proud of who I am and where I come from
  • I can learn about and respect other peoples’ cultures


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:


There is a high level of staffing at mealtimes and on the playground to promote appropriate social interaction. Pupils play together in group games and imaginative play on their own and with adults.

Our learning environment and curriculum

At Beverley Minster CE Primary School social skills are developed through:

  • Modelling of positive social behaviour by all staff
  • A PSHE scheme of work which contains units on Health and Well-being, Relationships and Online Safety.
  • After school clubs
  • Sporting activities
  • Being taught to be effective communicators through the school’s approach to the curriculum where questioning and talk for learning is encouraged across the school.
  • Buddy and team games at play times and lunch times
  • Turn taking and team building activities
  • Pair and small group work within the classroom
  • Educational visits, including swimming, and working with others across the local community (local care homes, cluster schools, local sports school partnership, School choir in the community)
  • Circle times feature in all classes promoting turn taking and social interaction.

The values of ‘Respect’, ‘Perseverance’ and ‘Friendship’ are explicitly taught and modelled throughout the school.


Our learning environment and curriculum

The classroom environment and curriculum promote moral development through:

  • Codes of conduct and class rules, agreed with children and displayed in the classroom.
  • Clear and consistent rewards and sanctions that children understand and believe to be fair
  • A positive whole school approach to behaviour management that seeks to put in place behaviour plans with the help of the Behaviour and Inclusion Leader.
  • Class and school collective worships that discuss moral values and cite expectations.
  • Activities that enable pupils to give opinions and show their values.
  • Discussing the choices made by the pupils and others and the resulting outcomes, character studies, studies of historical figures.
  • The values of ‘Justice’ and ‘Forgiveness’ are explicitly taught and modelled throughout the school
  • The PSHE scheme of work has units dealing with issues to do with rules, negotiating difficult situations, emotions, caring for one another, making and keeping friends, living in a community.


Our learning environment and curriculum

The classroom environment and curriculum promote spiritual development through encouraging pupils to:

  • Be curious and to express feelings of delight and wonder, (scientific investigations, new life, the global landscape)
  • Empathise and consider the viewpoints of others, (debates, drama activities, discussing feelings and empathising with characters in familiar stories)
  • Consider how a belief can change people’s lifestyles, (R.E, investigating communities and faiths, historical case studies)
  • Discuss what they think they have achieved and what they need to do to be successful in the future, (self- assessment, peer-assessment, target setting activities)
  • Experience a broad RE scheme of work which contains units on celebrations, festivals and worship from Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism and other faiths.
  • Take part in periods of reflection at different times throughout the school week.
  • Experience prayer and stillness during the school day.
  • Through PSHE and circle time activities, gain an understanding of their feelings and emotions and their likely impact on themselves and others.


Our learning environment and curriculum

Children are introduced to a regional and global perspective in life through:

  • Links with local and international schools
  • Stories from different cultures
  • First hand experiences through local visits, theatre, art and artists
  • Visitors from the local and international community
  • Being part of National and International fund raising events
  • Studies of a different lifestyle including different food, dress, festivals and places of worship.
  • Learning about other cultures when raising money for charity
  • Being taught to understand the lifestyles and choices made by the variety of different cultures and faiths that exist within the school
  • Learning about celebrations of religious festivals over the year including harvest, Diwali, Christmas, Easter, Eid, Chinese New Year.
  • Studying subjects such a Geography and RE which have units on other cultures and religions.
  • English includes units on stories from other cultures.
  • Accepting all pupils equally and recognising that they play an active part in the school community regardless of their colour, religion or gender.
  • All pupils participating in a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities provided by the school.

Further information on our SMSC programme can be found on our SMSC Policy.