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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.




Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning willingness to reflect on their experiences.

We will develop pupils’ spirituality through

  • encouraging pupils to realise that they and their families are unique, and valued as members of God's family;
  • helping pupils to develop an understanding that St. Martin's is a church school with a distinctive ethos, underpinned by Christian traditions and practices, and is part of a global Christian family;
  • ensuring that pupils develop knowledge and understanding of the school’s core Christian values of Creativity, Trust, Responsibility and Compassion, and knowing what the bible says about them;
  • providing opportunities for pupils to feel part of a community, and to serve it (for example, by being a part of the school council), and to recognise the importance of what this means to others;
  • enabling pupils to develop the skills and language required to enable them to tackle the big questions and mysteries of life;
  • encouraging pupils to recognise that we are all different, and to value the differences between us all.
  • providing pupils with opportunities and "spaces" for prayer and reflection.


Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.

Pupils will be given opportunities to develop a moral code through

  • supporting pupils to recognise the difference between right and wrong, particularly from the viewpoint of what the bible says;
  • helping pupils to understand how our moral choices can affect the lives of others, and that our actions always have consequences;
  • working together within the confines of our Positive Behaviour Policy, ensuring that St. Martin's School operates efficiently for the benefit of its community. 
  • understanding the importance of forgiveness and "new starts" in the life of our school - as modelled in our Positive Behaviour Policy, which provides opportunities for fresh starts, just like when we say sorry to God;
  • exploring "Big Issues" in the wider community and in the world, and encouraging pupils to realise that each of us has a responsibility to work for justice (for example, by collecting for the Trussell Trust Food Bank via our in-school Food Box, and our Harvest Festival collections)
  • learning from the teachings of other faiths, in order to become tolerant citizens of a multi-faith world.


Pupils’ social development is shown by their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
    • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British valuesof democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

To foster social development, the school aims to provide opportunities for pupils to: 

  • build relationships founded upon the Christian values explored through Collective Acts of Worship, and the school's four key values chosen by our school families;
  • gain a clear understanding that our school is part of a wider Christian community including local, national and worldwide;
  • access care and support from school staff, our school vicar and her church team, and outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapist;
  • be equipped to become responsible citizens who recognise the importance of service, and recognise that their communities can be made better by their own actions (in 2015-16, Yr 6 pupils will undertake the Archbishop of York Young Leader's Award for the first time);
  • feel proud to belong to St. Martin's School. 


Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

To foster cultural development, the school aims to provide pupils with opportunities to:

  • gain a knowledge and understanding of who they are, and where they come from (family heritage)
  • develop knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the cultures of individuals that we meet on a daily basis, as well as other cultures living in the UK
  • develop a knowledge of local Christian heritage, particularly through visits to local churches and the Cathedrals that Yorkshire is blessed with.
  • develop a knowledge and understanding of how Christians all over the world may differ, whilst sharing key beliefs. 
  • understand the relationship between religious beliefs and culture through a creative, challenging and interactive RE curriculum 
  • understand what it means to be part of a community characterised by openness, hospitality and an eagerness to learn from one another 

Definitions taken from School Inspection Handbook from September 2015 (OFSTED)

School consults with a wide range of stakeholders, evidence, and reports to develop ideas, and in this case offers thanks to the Diocese of Gloucester