What is SMSC?
SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All schools in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC.
Spiritual: explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral: recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social: investigate moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.
Cultural: appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
SMSC in the Early Years
SMSC development is now referenced throughout Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook. In the Early Years, we have a thoughtful and wide-ranging promotion of pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development and their physical well-being.
- Encouraging awe and wonder for environment – e.g. lying looking at clouds in the sky
- Encouraging appreciation of nature – e.g. spider webs, watching ladybirds
- Encouraging children to reflect on their experiences, individually and in group time
- Supporting development of imagination and creativity through stories and open-ended creative provision
- Planning for and offering magical moments
- Acknowledgement of importance of enjoyment to well-being through having fun e.g. jumping in puddles
- Encouraging awe and wonder for objects – e.g. curiosity cube
- Encouraging strong key person relationships – influencing quality of life through these interactions
- Through questionnaires encourage community involvement in thinking about values to promote e.g. being honest
- Promote values through stories at large group time
- Discuss values and feelings through use of the “Box of Feelings” programme
- Reward system rewarding attitudes e.g. being kind
- Staff modelling of values e.g. being friendly
- Supporting children’s following of rules e.g. “no running in the classroom”
- The Restorative Approach is used consistently by all staff in the nursery
- Use of conflict resolution techniques to encourage children’s understanding of feelings of others
- Use of keyperson groups to encourage children to form friendships
- Staff support social skills and development throughout play and learning experiences
- Snack times and lunch club– supporting table manners
- Teaching self-care habits – e.g. blowing noses, covering mouth when coughing
- Support inclusion of children within play and challenge any stereo typing e.g. “boys can’t come in the home corner”
- Support transition process into nursery and into school
- Support development of respectful behaviour e.g. listening to others, not invading other children’s space
- Sharing a wide range of quality inclusive texts/stories and social stories with children
- Appreciation of cultures of others as it arises from home backgrounds of children within nursery and within the books shared
- “News from Home” sheets encourage families to tell us about their own cultural celebrations and customs and these are shared
- Encourage bi-lingual children to use their home language, as well as English and discuss importance of this with parents
- Challenge stereo –typical language and ensure all types of families feel accepted and respected.
- Quality inclusive resources purchased and provided in the environment
- Understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures