SMSC Development

“The best cultural education can change a young person’s sense of the wider world around them, opening up possibilities for their future that may have previously seemed outside of their grasp.”

-Darren Henley

Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural Education at Clapgate

Below you will find our vision for SMSC at Clapgate.

At Clapgate Primary School Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural (SMSC) development underpins all aspects of our board and balanced curriculum, therefore, enabling children to develop the skills and attitudes encapsulated in our values and golden threads.

Our vision for SMSC is to raise the aspirations of our students by nurturing a passion for learning, enriching their learning experiences, providing the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in adult life, and enabling them to secure outcomes which exceed their expectations.

We want to create confident, resilient, and well-rounded adults who have an aspiration for self-improvement and are able to compete equally with their peers in a world beyond school life. We recognise that all students need to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. This development allows them to make sense of their world. Our highly engaging curriculum helps students develop an informed and balanced view on world events, beliefs and values of others. We endeavour to prepare our students for their future when becoming respectful individuals, life-long learners and active citizens in a modern British society.

Please use the link below to download our school policy for SMSC:

SMSC Policy 2021-2023

What is SMSC?

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. The SMSC (spiritual, moral, cultural and social) curriculum can be described as the “hidden curriculum”. It is all the things that we do in school to build up children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding, thoughts and experiences.  It is not taught as a standalone lesson, rather it may be part of Religious Education, Physical Education, Personal, Social and Health Education AND part of the ethos of the school which children experience on a daily basis. SMSC is now highlighted by the government as a key means of promoting basic British values and creating well rounded individual who can contribute towards a modern Britain.

SMSC Education and Our Golden Threads

At Clapgate we research, debate, and share the best ways to engage, motivate and inspire our children, and consider different teaching approaches to help children develop the behaviours and attitudes encapsulated in our golden threads. Central to our decisions about our curriculum and our approach are these five key words that form the basis of our learner profile. Our golden threads clearly set out the skills and values that we want our children experience and build on as they move through school.






Why do we teach SMSC within the curriculum?

  • To develop children’s self-awareness, confidence and decision making skills
  • To develop children’s independent thinking and co-operative skills
  • To encourage children to raise questions which lead them to search for their own answers to make sense of the world
  • To stimulate children through effective questioning, both supporting and challenging their thinking 
  • To develop children’s reflective and questioning skills
  • To foster curiosity and stimulate imagination and fascination in the world around them
  • To encourage children to consider rights, roles and responsibilities
  • To develop respect and integrity
  • To develop an awareness of the diversity and rich culture in our world
  • To encourage children to engage with a variety of cultures and traditions

Within SMSC learning opportunities pupils will:


  • Engage with a variety of learning experiences that encourage awe and wonder
  • Use their imagination and think creatively
  • Understand that choices carry consequences and that every person has rights and responsibilities
  • Develop the ability to make sensible choices and to value the importance of rules
  • Respect the differences between people regardless of culture, race, socio-economic background, ability or gender
  • Develop effective and satisfying relationships
  • Play an active role within the school and the wider community
  • Begin to develop a global perspective
  • Reflect on personal experiences and opinions as well as the views of others
  • Discuss issues that affect our world e.g. environmental, racial, etc
  • Develop effective collaboration skills
  • Develop their thinking skills
  • Provide specific opportunities for practising oracy
  • Promote awareness and understanding of gender, cultural, spiritual and moral issues
  • Develop the life skills to enable pupils to communicate, collaborate, persevere, question, reflect, use their initiative and be flexible

Spiritual Development 

This element focuses on the children developing a set of values, principles, and beliefs which they use to inform their perspectives on life and their behaviour. It involves children exploring the beliefs of others and encouraging the children to respect the faiths, feelings, and values of others.  Underpinning this, is the knowledge and understanding of the British Values mutual respect and tolerance.

At Clapgate, spiritual development is covered through:

  • Our school ethos and our golden threads of ‘Humanity’ and ‘Spark’
  • Our whole curriculum which includes exciting experiences that use imagination and creativity to inspire and fascinate learners
  • A rigorous Religious Education scheme from Foundation Stage to Year 6
  • Weekly Religious Education lessons across school
  • Weekly whole school assemblies, including special assemblies covering topics such as Poppy Day etc
  • Weekly celebration assemblies
  • Promoting a culture of oracy and encouraging children to formulate arguments and opinions and to express themselves confidently
  • Teaching and learning about festivals and celebrations
  • Christmas Nativities for Foundation Stage and Key Stage One
  • Celebrating diversity, different faiths, and cultures across school
  • The use of reflective practice and questions/ thoughts- e.g. What if…/ Why and how…
  • Topics/ projects to allow children to learn about the world around them
  • School trips and visitors which inspire awe and wonder
  • Thought of the day
  • Circle time sessions
  • Nurture groups delivered by our therapeutic team
  • Promoting respect of each other’s own cultures and beliefs or non-beliefs
  • Faith stories (where appropriate) with key messages and concepts

Moral Development

Moral development focuses on children’s knowledge, understanding, intentions, attitudes and behaviour in relation to right and wrong within the accepted behaviours of society. It relies on their knowledge and awareness of values and attitudes of individuals and society as a whole. Underpinning this, are the values and understanding of democracy, law, liberty, respect, and tolerance. The quality of relationships that students experience, the standards of behaviour in the school as well as the values promoted by the school will form the basis of any judgment on moral development.

At Clapgate, moral development is covered through:

  • Our school ethos and the golden threads of ‘Humanity’ and ‘Team’
  • Our school’s behaviour policy and principles
  • The use of the three R’s (Ready, Respectful, Responsible)
  • Additional school policies and documentation (SEND/ Inclusion /Equal Opportunities policy, equalities objectives)
  • Consistent adherence to the behaviour policy and rewards and sanctions consistent throughout school- all stakeholders are involved in the creation and implementation of this
  • Class recognition boards
  • Class suggestion boxes
  • High quality SEND provision within school
  • Assemblies based around moral and ethical issues
  • A rigorous RE and PHSE scheme implemented across school
  • Weekly RE and PHSE lessons
  • Learning about other cultures and countries – respecting the values and ways of life of others
  • School Council
  • Developing positive sporting behaviours
  • Developing empathy towards others and showing concern for other people’s feelings and emotions
  • Charity fundraising days
  • Discussions of right and wrong- reflective practice
  • Promoting making right choices and modelling of positive behaviours in school- practitioners leading by example
  • Circle time/ nurture sessions
  • Visits and visitors e.g. Police officers etc
  • Discussions and debates around matters in the world
  • Moral stories- recognition of wrong and right
  • Acceptance and celebration of similarities and differences- e.g. SEND, cultures, faiths, personalities, with an inclusive ethos displayed within school
  • Tolerance and acceptance of others’ views- School Councillors acting on behalf of the pupil voice
  • Rejecting all forms of bullying, cruelty, dishonestly, violence and discrimination

Social Development

Social development: developing an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of living in a community and being a “responsible citizen” in modern Britain. It also includes the fundamental British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect, and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. At Clapgate, we are committed to fostering the skill and qualities of ‘Team’ through the development of self-confidence, co-operation, sensitivity to others, reliability, initiative and understanding. We provide an environment where pupils can take responsibility for themselves and others in school and the wider society.

At Clapgate, social development is covered through:

  • Our school ethos and the golden threads of ‘Humanity’ and ‘Team’
  • Embedding the skills needed for speaking and listening, and drama activities
  • Positive and well-developed relationships with each other, parents and teachers
  • Having a rich language environment
  • The PSHE curriculum- Jigsaw
  • Weekly PHSE lessons across school from EYFS-Year 6
  • Our highly creative Arts curriculum
  • The use of the outdoor environment when delivering high quality learning opportunities
  • Our Physical Education curriculum
  • Encouraging pupils to formulate arguments/ debates and express views and opinions
  • Opportunities for collaborative learning- co- operative work, talk partners, paired work
  • Unstructured times of day- e.g. playtimes/lunchtimes
  • Playtime Leaders
  • Problem solving activities and teamwork in all areas of the curriculum
  • School trips, visits and residentials
  • Role-play/drama activities
  • Parental involvement opportunities
  • After school clubs
  • Opportunities for pupil voice – e.g. regular pupil questionnaires, school council meetings
  • Our Year 6 end of year production
  • Charity fundraising days – e.g. Children in Need, Red Nose Day
  • Assemblies
  • Targeted support to promote confidence and social skills, delivered by our therapeutic team
  • Groupings- independent, group work, opportunities to share expertise and key skills
  • Transition days- dedicated time with new teachers to promote positive attachments
  • Promoting good manners throughout school
  • Wider links with the community and carrying out community work
  • Inter-schools sporting competitions

Cultural Development

Cultural development is defined as the knowledge and understanding of others’ cultural traditions. It is about feeling comfortable with a variety of cultures and experiencing a range of cultural activities (for example art, theatre, travel, concerts).

Within cultural development at Clapgate, children develop the fundamental British Value of mutual respect and tolerance.  They do this through valuing and celebrating the cultural diversity of our school, our society, and of the world. Through our curriculum, we promote an appreciation of our cultural traditions and explore the diversity of other peoples’ cultural traditions and beliefs.

Art, DT, music and drama are an integral part of our school curriculum. The arts are taught as distinct subjects in a skills-based manner.  Experimentation, risk and innovation are actively encouraged.  A great deal of time and energy is focused on the children’s creative journeys.  Our intention is to create confident, independent artists who can articulate and value their own creative journeys whether that be in art, music, drama or dance.

At Clapgate, cultural development is covered through:

  • Our school ethos and the golden threads of ‘Spark’ and ‘Humanity’
  • Our highly creative, broad and balanced curriculum – drama is at the heart of it
  • Well planned school visits to museums, galleries, concerts, and theatres
  • Our large, well-resourced art room where children can use a variety of materials to explore their ideas and creativity
  • Our specialist art and PE teachers in school
  • Providing children with workshops with professional artists, craftsmen, architects, musicians, archivists, curators, film makers, poet, authors, actors
  • Allowing children chance to create, design, devise, compose and choreograph their own work in collaboration with classmates (dance, playscripts, drama)
  • Using digital technology with the children to access and understand great culture
  • Encouraging children to be adventurous about their choices of cultural activities – e.g. literature, films, visual arts, crafts, heritage, music, and dance
  • Learning about people who have created art forms and the historical development of these (human creativity and achievements)
  • Providing children with the knowledge to talk about ‘the best that has been thought and said’
  • Our school magazine
  • Our Arts council – pupil voice relating to the arts provision in school
  • Out school radio/ podcasts
  • Our application for the Arts Mark Platinum award
  • A variety of dance workshops – e.g. street dance and cheerleading
  • Opportunities to take part in our West End standard school productions!
  • Instrumental teaching from various musicians (e.g. recorders, piano, guitar, steel pans, boom whackers)
  • Teachers using a range of drama tools effectively in lessons
  • Regular singing lessons and weekly music lessons
  • Live performances from musicians
  • Musical composition classes
  • ‘Imagineering’ sessions as part of writing experience days to create a ‘spark’ for learning
  • Visits from people of different cultures
  • MFL teaching
  • Afterschool clubs specialising in the Arts – videography club and animation clubs
  • Sports Day
  • Encouraging children to have high aspirations for themselves and to have knowledge of the career opportunities available to them
  • Promoting acceptance and sensitivity to other cultures and beliefs- celebration assemblies and celebrations in RE topics.
  • Awareness of leadership- in home, at school and the wider context – e.g.  UK parliamentary system
  •  Awareness of the global issues that impact on children’s lives- e.g. flooding/homelessness/ Coronavirus