Pupil development

Curriculum subjects provide opportunities to promote pupils' Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development.

Explicit opportunities to promote pupils' development in these areas are provided in Religious Education and the non-statutory framework for Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) and citizenship. A significant contribution is also made by the school's ethos, effective relationships throughout the school, collective worship and other curriculum activities.

Spiritual Development

We recognise that pupils who are developing spiritually are likely to develop some or all of the following characteristics:

  • A set of values, principles and beliefs, which may or may not be religious, which informs their perspective on life and their patterns of behaviour;
  • An awareness and understanding of their own and others’ beliefs;
  • A respect for themselves and for others;
  • A sense of empathy with others, concern and compassion.
  • An ability to show courage in defence of their beliefs.
  • A readiness to challenge all that would constrain the human spirit, for example, poverty of aspirations, lack of self-confidence and belief, moral neutrality or indifference, aggression, greed, injustice, self-interest, sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination.
  • An appreciation of the intangible – for example, beauty, truth, love, goodness, order, as well as for mystery, contradiction and ambiguity.
  • A respect for insight as well as knowledge and reason.
  • An ability to think in terms of the  ‘whole’, for example, concepts such as harmony, interdependence, scale, perspective.
  • An understanding of feelings and emotions and their likely impact.

Our school aims to encourage spiritual development by:

  • Giving pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs, and the way in which they impact on peoples’ lives;
  • Encouraging pupils to explore and develop what animates themselves and others;
  • Giving pupils the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they impact on people and how an understanding of them can be helpful;
  • Developing a climate or ethos within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected;
  • Accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals;

Promoting teaching styles that:

  • value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns
  • enable pupils to make connections between aspects of their learning
  • encourage pupils to relate their learning to a wider frame of reference – for example, asking ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘where’ as well as ‘what’; and monitoring in simple, practical ways, the success of what is provided.

Moral Development

We recognise that pupils who are morally aware are likely to develop some or all of the following characteristics:

  • An ability to distinguish right from wrong, based on knowledge of the moral codes of their own and other cultures.
  • Confidence to act consistently in accordance with their own principles;
  • An ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions.
  • A willingness to express their views on ethical issues and personal values.
  • An ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements on moral dilemmas.
  • A commitment to personal values in areas which are considered right by some and wrong by others.
  • A respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own.
  • A desire to explore their own and others’ views; and an understanding of the need to review and re-assess their values, codes and principles in the light of experience.

Our school aims to encourage pupils’ moral development by:

  • Providing a clear moral code as a basis for behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school;
  • Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality;
  • Giving pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values – for example, personal rights and responsibilities, truth, justice, equality of opportunity, right and wrong;
  • Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practice moral decision-making;
  • Rewarding expressions of moral insights and good behaviour;
  • Modelling, through the quality of relationships and interactions the core values we wish to promote – for example respect, kindness, responsibility, honesty and aspiration;
  • Recognising and respecting the codes and morals of the different cultures represented in the school and wider community;
  • Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their actions, for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour, providing models of moral virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts and assemblies;
  • Reinforcing the school’s values through images, posters, classroom displays, etc and monitoring in simple ways, the success of what is provided.

Social Development

We recognise that pupils who are becoming socially aware are likely to be developing the ability to:

  • Adjust to a range of social contexts with appropriate and sensitive behaviour;
  • Relate well to other people’s social skills and personal qualities;
  • Work successfully, as a member of a group or team;
  • Share views and opinions with others, and work towards consensus;
  • Resolve conflicts
  • Reflect on their own contribution to society and to the world of work;
  • Show respect for people, living things, property and the environment
  • Benefit from advice offered by those in authority or supportive roles;
  • Exercise responsibility;
  • Appreciate the rights and responsibilities of individuals within the wider social setting;
  • Understand how societies function and are organised in structures such as the family, the school and local and wider communities;
  • Participate in activities relevant to the community;
  • Understand the notion of interdependence in an increasingly complex society.


Our school aims to encourage pupils’ social development by:

  • Identifying key values and principles on which school and community life is based;
  • Fostering a sense of community, with common, inclusive values; promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality; encouraging pupils to work co-operatively;
  • Encouraging pupils to recognise and respect social differences and similarities;
  • Providing positive group experiences – for  example, through assemblies, team activities, residential experiences, school productions, competitive sport;
  • Helping pupils develop personal qualities which are valued in a civilised society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference,  moral  principles, kindness, independence, interdependence, self-respect;
  • Helping pupils resolve tensions between their own aspirations and those of the group or wider society;
  • Providing conceptual and linguistic framework within which to understand and debate social issues;
  • Providing opportunities for engaging in the democratic process and participating in community life;
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility;
  • Providing positive and effective links with the world of work and the wider community;
  • Monitoring in simple, practical ways, the success of what is provided.

Cultural Development

Pupils who are becoming culturally aware are likely to be developing some or all of the following characteristics:

  • An ability to recognise and understand their own cultural assumptions and values and those of others;
  • An ability to reflect on important questions of meaning and identity;
  • An interest in exploring the relationship between human beings and the environment;
  • An appreciation of diversity within the school, local, national and international communities.

Our school aims to encourage pupils’ cultural development by:

  • Presenting authentic accounts of the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures, addressing racism and promoting race equality;
  • Extending pupils’ knowledge and use of cultural imagery and language;
  • Encouraging them to think about special events in life and how they are celebrated;
  • Recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents;
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art, crafts and other cultural events and encouraging pupils to reflect on their significance;
  • Developing partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness, for example, theatre, museum, concert and gallery visits;
  • Reinforcing the school’s cultural links through displays, posters, exhibitions, etc.;
  • Auditing the quality and nature  of opportunities for pupils to extend their cultural development across the curriculum;
  • Monitoring in simple ways, the success of what is provided.