Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education (SMSC) and British Values
At Mawsley Primary our key ethos has always been to consider the needs of our children as a whole person – not to educate them solely on their academic needs and physical needs but to consider their feelings of self-worth, security and community spirit. We pride ourselves in supporting our children to become valuable, thoughtful and well-rounded citizens and we use a wide range of educational opportunities to ensure that our academic and citizenship education go hand in hand.
In line with the New Curriculum the DfE have produced new terminology and guidance for what was previously known as citizenship education. This new vocabulary is now becoming embedded within our already established spiritual, moral, social and cultural curriculum. The major new term in our learning is ‘British values’ – this encompasses democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith. Below is a breakdown of how we deliver S.M.S.C concepts to our children.
Developing self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
We hold the value high that anyone is capable of achieving anything and even within our own school motto – ‘Think it, learn it, believe it, ACHIEVE IT’ – the children are given the message that if they have confidence and self-belief they are able to achieve. Praise and recognition is a key part of our curriculum which promotes the children’s self-esteem and self-confidence. From our weekly achievement assemblies to termly values awards as well as attendance certificates and learning points, the children are always made aware of how much we value their efforts. This is not just in terms of their academic performances in lessons and progress within curriculum subjects but also their ability to be resilient, persistent and determined when they face challenging situations, being cooperative and kind towards others and respectful towards people and resources.
Over the years there have been many curriculum activities at MCP to promote self-esteem and confidence. Here are just a few of them:
Beaumanor Hall residential (Year 3)
Condover Hall residential (Year 6)
Olympic project (whole school)
Careers Day (whole school)
Prom in the Park
Mawsley Art Exhibition
Distinguishing between right and wrong
Being a community primary school we are always supporting and educating our children about how to be good citizens which obviously includes choosing to make the right decisions and distinguishing between what the right and wrong choices are, both at school and in their lives outside school. We all promote and follow The Golden Rules which form the basis of our everyday interactions around school. The rules are all phrased in a positive manner e.g. ‘Do be honest’, ‘Do look after property’, ‘Do be kind and gentle’, and where children have made the right choices they are rewarded with incentives such as learning points and stickers. There are also consequences to breaking the golden rules such as speaking to a senior member of staff.
As part of our school family we use ‘Behaviour Mentors’, who are older children selected due to the nature of them being superb role-models, to befriend and support younger children to make the right choices in school and especially on the playground. We also work with our local PCSO’s to educate the children about the laws of our country and right and wrong in the wider society.
Making a positive contribution to society
We pride ourselves on our children’s ability to respond positively in the wider community and are frequently praised, when the children are taken on trips, and to sporting events and competitions outside of school, on how well behaved and well-mannered Mawsley children are. As a school we aim to involve the local community in our school family and invite a wide range of the community to our school events such as the aforementioned Prom in the Park and Art Exhibition. Our local nursery is often invited to Key Stage 1 events such as sports day and Christmas shows.
Within our RE curriculum we also focus on communities and have school designed units which cover charitable work. This year’s in particular was one very close to our hearts as the children in Year 6 decided to raise money for their classmate to provide a motorised wheelchair for him. The Team Tom project was inspiring and involved the whole community and definitely gave the children a clear purpose – the contribution they made was not just positive but heartfelt!
Promoting tolerance and harmony between our own and other cultures
Being a village location has meant that our curriculum has always been very carefully planned to ensure we embrace a wide range of cultures, and teach our children about the differences and similarities in British customs and traditions and those from other faiths and cultures. Within our school family we have a wide range of nationalities and are very lucky to be able to have visitors from other religions and countries come in and talk to our children first-hand about their experiences. Below are just a sample of the multi-cultural visitors and the events they talked about at Mawsley:
Chinese New Year
Hinduism – Divali/Holi
Italian, Greek and Turkish visitors to talk about the Mediterranean
Sikhism – The Five K’s
Islam – Muslim traditions
Respect is a key part of our ethos at Mawsley. Respect is one of our key values which is commended for individual children who become role-models within their classes. Not only respect for each other but other faiths, cultures and even respect for property and other people’s time. Our children also take part in philosophy lessons each week which teaches them the vocabulary of respect – they learn how to discuss and debate a range of philosophical, moral and topical issues respectfully with one another.
We also aim to teach our children to respect how our own liberty and culture has grown through our own British history, holding events like Grandparents Day and Remembrance Day help us to celebrate and appreciate our own heritage.
Participation in democracy
The annual election of the School Council is the most important type of participation in democracy our children experience at MCP. Two representatives from Year One to Year Six are voted for and then additionally the children vote for their school Prime Minister, Deputy and Treasurer. Through this process the children get the opportunity to explore first-hand the processes they will go through when they are older – in the Key Stage 2 classes discussions are linked back to our country’s democracy and we explore some of the actual Members of Parliament including local councillors. The school council have previously had the opportunity to meet with our local M.P. and hear what his job entails and discuss local issues with him. Our children have also travelled to the Houses of Parliament and spent the day exploring the meaning of democracy and how it works in the wider world. The Mawsley Parish Council have also on various occasions asked our Pupil’s Parliament to work with them to explore how Mawsley could be developed for the children.
Preparing Our Children for Life in Modern Britain
At Mawsley Community Primary School we are aware of our responsibility to prepare our children for life in modern Britain through curriculum experiences and activities. In every year group, in age appropriate ways, we use our opportunities for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development as the main way to teach and discuss the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths. We also use our R.E. and P.S.H.E. lessons to provide many and varied opportunities to develop and deepen understanding. Our children embrace these concepts and through their actions and comments demonstrate how they are applying these values in their lives.
At Mawsley Primary we work hard to ensure children are given exposure to many experiences in school, the local community and further afield to develop their learning in this area and also to show these values in action, for example when attending sporting competitions with other schools in the county, going on education visits both within and out of Northamptonshire and when participating in activities on residential trips.
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