Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Learning at Slimbridge Primary School


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is not a stand-alone subject but rather an ethos that runs through all aspects of school life. It is an opportunity to eliminate bias and encourage balance, and therefore is present in how we talk, act and model to the school community and we aim to produce children who are self-assured, happy, emotionally articulate and confident individuals. Primarily, these areas are taught within Religious Education (Gloucestershire Agreed Syllabus 2017-2022) and PHSE (Jigsaw).  PHSE also encompasses Relationships and Sex Education (statutory from September 2020) and British Values – please see the additional linked pages.

Here is an overview of our PHSE Jigsaw Curriculum – information for parents: Information-for-parents-and-carers-leaflet

and a ‘snapshot’ of the content of the curriculum for each age group: 

Overview Snapshot Map 3-11 (2019 Release 2)


We have themed assemblies throughout the week where we teach and involve our children in the world around them, through knowledge and discussion. The themes follow our SMSC learning on the following areas: School Values, Celebrating Success, News and General Knowledge, Caring For Our Environment and Multi-Cultural Awareness.

We also run specific programmes/subjects to support SMSC development:

Philosophy for Children

School Values Assemblies

School Council/ Eco Council 

Chess in Schools

Growth Mindset

Learning Powers

Outdoor Learning

Local Curriculum

Connecting Classrooms

Community and Cluster events


But equally important are the high expectations for good manners, modelled across the school by staff and the discussions that Honesty is not a school value but a personal value.

What does SMSC mean?

The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:

  • Ability to be reflective and their beliefs, religious and other, 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
  • Use and appreciation of imagination and creativity
  • A willingness to reflect

The moral development of pupils is shown by their:

  • Ability to recognise what is right and wrong and apply this to their decision making. This includes an understanding of the civil and criminal law of England
  • Understand the consequences of their actions
  • Interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and understand the viewpoint of others can be different but valid.

The Social development of pupils is shown by their:

  • Developing a range of social skills to enable children to be tolerant and understanding of people of different religions, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings and understand the need to resolve conflicts
  • Accept and embrace with the British values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, respect and tolerance for all groups in the UK. Also see British values opportunities table.

The cultural development of pupils is shown by their:

  • Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • Understand and appreciate the range of cultures within the school and community
  • Knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and how it has shaped history
  • Willingness to participate in and respond to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • Interest in exploring, understanding and showing respect for different faiths and cultures. So that they respect, show tolerance and celebrate different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups.