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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural

At Edith Cavell, we recognise that social, moral, spiritual  and cultural development is central to the education of all children and is an integral part of the  whole curriculum and ethos of the school. It is reflected in the behaviours of individuals  and in their interactions and also in the provision of teaching, resources and learning  environments.

SMSC development is taught through and reflected in all areas of the curriculum and through all  aspects of school life. Pupils are provided with the opportunities to gain knowledge and understanding and to develop the skills they need to participate in the life of the diverse community in which they live.

Social development relates to the development of knowledge and understanding and the  acquisition of skills in relating to others. This begins with family and friends and extends to the  wider community beyond. Children are taught to respect each other and to appreciate each  other’s similarities and differences. An awareness and understanding of, and respect for, the  environments in which they live is also developed. We look at building an understanding of the  world we live in and different types of relationships and communities so we can be successful in the future.

Moral development relates particularly to developing knowledge and understanding of right and wrong. Children learn to make choices in their behaviour through developing knowledge of boundaries and understanding of consequences. They learn by example, through group activities and real life situations.

Spiritual development is concerned with the exploration and development of feelings and emotions; personality, individuality and uniqueness; and knowledge and understanding of their own and different beliefs and cultures. 

Cultural development is concerned with encountering the defining aspects of different cultures. Explorations of values, beliefs, customs, stories, foods and artefacts allow the pupils to make comparisons and develop knowledge of lifestyles and choices of others.

What does this look like in action at ECAN?

Some examples of the ‘Social’ element of SMSC at ECAN:

Staff at mealtimes and on the playground promote appropriate social interaction. Children sit in mixed classes at lunchtime and both adults and house captains lead play and support younger children in their play. 


The RSHE curriculum contains units on Health and Wellbeing, Relationships  and Getting on in the World. 

Educational visits and visitors from within the community and beyond their own environments give children the chance to experience different social situations. They gain the skills to be an integral and successful part of the world around them. 

There is additional provision at lunchtimes from those who may find social situations difficult.  

The children and the school support different charities in the year and learn about them, such as collecting for the local food bank, Nelson’s Journey and the Poppy Appeal.  

Appropriate support and interventions, such as speech and language support, social skills groups  and games take place across the year to support children to be successful communicators and  members of the community.  

Some examples of the ‘Moral’ element of SMSC at ECAN:

There are agreed reward systems in place so that all children can celebrate a range of  achievements in and out of school. We celebrate the achievements of all of our pupils within the school community and on the newsletter.  

PIPs (Personal Inclusion Plans) are agreed between the pupil, parents and staff and are implemented to support children to be happy and safe in school. 

The RSHE scheme of work and the Thrive approach we use in school support children in dealing with issues to do with rules, negotiating difficult situations, emotions, caring for one another, making and keeping friends, living in a  community.

Some examples of the ‘Spiritual’ element of SMSC at ECAN:


Children learn about different world religions in RE and ask questions that believers would ask (theology).

Visitors from a variety of faiths come to take assemblies and lead workshops.

We explore the language and culture of the children in our school.

Children are encouraged to take part in periods of reflection at different times throughout the  school week. 

Through Thrive, My Happy Mind, assemblies and circle time activities, children are helped to gain an  understanding of their feelings and emotions and their likely impact on themselves and others. 

In Forest School pupils are encouraged to appreciate the awe and wonder of the world around them whenever  appropriate occasions arise.

Curriculum enhancements support children to appreciate the awe and wonder of the world around them e.g. a visiting planetarium in Science week in the school hall, using Lyfta to explore environments further afield than their own country.

Some examples of the ‘Cultural’ element of SMSC at ECAN:

There are regular celebrations of religious festivals over the year.

English includes units on stories from other cultures and we also relate this to other subject areas such as History. 

Pupils live by the school values showing appreciation to British Values. All pupils are accepted equally and play an active part in the school community.

Children participate in a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities provided by the school. 

Some of the places we see SMSC at ECAN…

  • Throughout the curriculum; not solely the RE, Art and RSHE curriculums

  • The Thrive Approach

  • My Happy Mind 

  • Circle Times

  • Assemblies 

  • Daily interactions between individuals

  • The library (and within our stories and curriculum texts)

  • Our Forest School provision

  • Within our Behaviour Practice 

  • Structured and personalised reward systems 

  • Extra-curricular activities 

  • Family-style lunchtimes

  • Commando Joes

  • Educational visits and visitors

  • Pupil Voice (Student Council and Pupil Ambassadors) 

  • Special days (fundraising, cultural experiences and immersion days) 

  • Lunchtime Cabin  

  • Small group interventions 

  • Different zones of the playground  

  • Our work on supporting mental health and well being  

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