SMSC and Modern British Values
“Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and, within this, the promotion of fundamental British values, are at the heart of the school’s work.” Through the use of Picture News, we can help keep children up to date with the fast-changing world around them. Helping to challenge their ideas and pre-conceptions; ultimately this will help to broaden their horizons and enable them to deal with the modern world.
At Victoria Primary Academy we are committed and passionate about developing pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) awareness. Within the specific areas we aim to:
- Spirituality – explore beliefs and experiences, respecting values, discover yourself and the surrounding world and your place within it, use imagination and creativity and being able to reflect as an individual.
- Moral – ensure that our students understand the difference between right and wrong including choices and consequences.
- Social – use social skills appropriately in different contexts, understanding how different groups and communities function and developing tolerance of others.
- Cultural – develop students’ ability to have awareness of the wide ranging cultural influences that have shaped their own lives and heritage, whilst also acknowledging that there are a huge range of influences from further afield which have helped shape Britain’s history, values and place in the world. We are committed to providing our students with a variety of sporting, artistic, musical and cultural opportunities. Our students at Victoria Primary Academy, understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity and appreciate cultural influences.
In our changing world and local communities, it is also significantly important to promote the 5 core principles of British values as part of SMSC and this includes celebrating our strong vision and ethos, encouraging and supporting students to develop effective relationships, providing a broad and balanced curriculum, whilst offering activities beyond the classroom.
All of our students are strongly encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. We also promote the British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance. By actively promoting these values, we challenge anyone in our school community whose opinions or behaviours undermine these core beliefs.
At Victoria Primary Academy we have shared and reflected upon what British values mean to us. Tolerance and respect are embedded in our school values which are reinforced regularly and in age appropriate ways. We want our school community to be proud of their nation and understand how they can contribute as effective citizens. We understand that this important process begins at a very early age and we seek to nurture this at Victoria Primary Academy.
Students have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We understand the need for their opinions and views to be at the centre of our decision making. Students are given the possibility of seeing that their ideas have value, and that others have different ideas that have value too. They realise that they don’t always have to be right. They have the confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.
Staff model the democratic process on a daily basis by inviting questions and sharing views through discussion. Our students are taught explicitly to verbalise their thinking, to consider the greater good and be aware of the needs of others.
Through Pupil Voice, students are able to put forward their views about the school. During child initiated learning, all students develop their decision making skills and learn to make informed choices and take responsibility for them.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout our daily practice, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through whole school issues. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that laws govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police, help reinforce this message.
Within academy life, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for young children to make choices safely, through provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example this is delivered through our E-Safety and PSHE lessons. Whether it be through choice of learning challenge, of how they record, of participation in our numerous extra-curricular clubs and opportunities, students are given the freedom to make choices. Lunchtime is an excellent example of this, every child works collaboratively, sharing equipment and engaging in good manners. As a school we do not shy away from routines that may be challenging, instead we enable and train our students to make informed personal choices.
Students learn that their behaviour has an effect on their own rights and those of others. All members of the school community treat each other with respect. We also share the consequences of what happens when respect and tolerance are not employed as strategies. We regularly discuss current affairs with our students, enabling them to make sense of the world they are in.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
At Victoria Primary Academy, assemblies are regularly planned to celebrate cultural diversity through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE and flexible curriculum teaching reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school. We understand that it is important to understand the different faiths of the world.
What do we do at Victoria Primary Academy to celebrate being British?
- study key historical figures and events in British history (e.g Remembrance Day) and learn the key geographical facts and regions of Britain
- actively participate in community celebration of St George’s Day and listen to music from around the different regions of Britain, learning traditional British songs
- participate in off-site visits to local historical places and support national events such as the Olympics, World Cup etc.