Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural (SMSC) Education lies at the heart of our curriculum and our commitment to realising our vision. Our carefully-crafted SMSC curriculum was developed in-house to ensure we are meeting the needs of our school whilst fulfilling our statutory requirements regarding Health & Relationships Education (HRE) and Fundamental British Values.
Our approach to SMSC Education is driven by our belief that SMSC is as much about knowledge and skills as any core curricular discipline; as such, we have made deliberate choices about when and how each strand of SMSC is taught (see table below). With our combination of discrete timetabled SMSC time and strands that are embedded throughout the curriculum, we are intent to cultivate independent, reflective, and respectful citizens of the world who are ready to participate in and contribute to society.
Our SMSC offer has been developed in conjunction with our Inclusion offer and Behaviour Policy. We teach emotional literacy through the Zones of Regulation programme which is a powerful and accessible tool for communicating and regulating emotions and supports all children to succeed at school. Children earn Class Dojo points for their houses and towards their own milestones; Dojo points are linked explicitly to our school values. All staff employ a shared language when it comes to praising expected behaviours and recognising when children have demonstrated our values.
Religious Education (RE)
We adhere to the Oxfordshire Agreed RE Syllabus to frame the teaching of RE. We alternate class-based RE lessons with whole-school virtual assemblies. In class, children learn about beliefs, practises, and symbolism of all major world religions. Our assemblies take a more philosophical turn as children are taught to grapple with Big Ideas such as ‘Do you shape your own destiny?’ and ‘Are humans superior to animals?’. Children quickly become comfortable with sophisticated and mature discussions, and their reflections are captured on our Big Ideas chalkboards which are on display around school.
Health and Relationships Education (HRE)
We fulfil our statutory requirements to teach HRE for one hour per week from Years 1 and above. We developed our offer over two years from the teaching objectives given by the Department for Education and now have a progressive curriculum that covers a range of topics (see table below) to equip children to be successful in their future working and personal lives.
Our values were chosen after a process in which children, staff, parents, and SSB members were consulted for their views. We selected 12 Global Values that would best support us to realise our school vision; as such, we have a balanced list of values to help us grow children into compassionate, respectful, and ambitious citizens who treat others sensitively and are intentional about achieving their goals.
Our Global Values:
Each month we focus on a different value, and the value of excellence underpins everything we do from behaviour on the playground to presentation in children’s work.
Votes for Schools
Votes for Schools is an engaging platform for Years 1-6 that builds student voice through discussions around current affairs and world issues. Teachers access the resources each week from a pack that is sent from the Votes for Schools organisation. Discussion topics are responsive to current world affairs, political movements, and civil issues that arise in real time. By delivering Votes for Schools in class for a 45-minute session every week, our schools embed British Values, Prevent, and National Curriculum SMSC objectives for Years 1+. In Votes for Schools sessions, children are taught about world affairs in a manner that is entirely age-appropriate through resources that are planned and created by qualified teachers. Children end their session by voting for their answer to the discussion question of the week and can review the results at the beginning of the following week’s session.
Part of our ambition to empower children to become successful global citizens includes responding to significant changes and developments around the world, particularly those that are understood to have a lasting impact on future generations. To this end, we dedicate curriculum time to the teaching and learning of issues surrounding climate change whilst simultaneously covering relative national curriculum objectives.
Each term, one day will be a dedicated Climate Change Day, each focusing on a different question.
- What’s the difference between weather and climate?
- “Recycling is changing the world.” Do you support or challenge?
- What are the top 3 contributing factors to climate change?
- What will the future look like?
- Whose responsibility is climate change?
- How did the national lockdowns impact the environment?
Each climate change day includes learning taught scientific and geographical content, a virtual assembly with a Climate Change scientist about her current work, and an opportunity to consolidate the learning of the day; this could be through collaborative artwork, planning a climate change demonstration, or writing letters to parliament asking for action!