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Grangetown Primary

SMSC and British Values




SMSC refers to the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children. This is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but rather an aspect of learning that is present in many aspects of school life - for example in lessons, in assemblies, and in the way we encourage appropriate behaviour and attitudes. SMSC permeates the life of the school and is linked to what can be termed our Ethos. Some lessons lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE and Religious Education.

What does SMSC education include?

  • Spiritual: The opportunity to explore beliefs, experience and faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity and reflect on experiences.
  • Moral: The opportunity to learn what is right and wrong and respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views.
  • Social: The opportunity to use a range of social skills to participate in the local community and beyond; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict.
  • Cultural: The opportunity to explore and appreciate cultural influences; participate in cultural opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. 

British values

All schools are required to promote ‘fundamental British values'. This is built into our curriculum, and into many aspects of our day to day practice - for example in how we promote Pupil Voice and how we encourage appropriate behaviour and attitudes. The fundamental British Values are:

  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • tolerance and respect.

Through our SMSC and British Values provision, we:

  • Enable the children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Enable the children to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England.
  • Encourage the children to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely.
  • Enable the children to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England.
  • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect their own and other cultures.
  • Encourage respect for other people.
  • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect on the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.


Our SMSC and British Values Policy is here.

Intent, Implementation, Impact


  • To ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of SMSC, throughout the curriculum and the general life of the school.
  • To give each pupil a range of opportunities to reflect upon and discuss their beliefs, feelings and responses to personal experience.
  • To enable pupils to develop an understanding of their individual and group identity.
  • To enable pupils to begin to develop an understanding of their social and cultural environment and an appreciation of the many cultures that now enrich our society.
  • To give each pupil the opportunity to explore social and moral issues, and develop a sense of social and moral responsibility.
  • To give our children an understanding of a number of key values, including what have been termed British Values, and to give the children opportunities to explore the impact of these values within their daily lives.


SMSC in action at GPS - practical activities


Jigsaw PSHE actively promotes children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. Every Jigsaw lesson from Early Years to upper primary offers opportunities for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development, and this is clearly mapped and balanced across each year group - Jigsaw have produced a document - SMSC and Emotional Literacy domains in Jigsaw - to demonstrate this comprehensive coverage.

Spiritual Development

Spiritual development focuses on an individual’s own personal beliefs and values, their resulting behaviours and their understanding of and appreciation for the beliefs of others. Through spiritual development, children are able to understand and reflect upon their own feelings, experiences and emotions. Spiritual development also encompasses the use of imagination and creativity in learning, and a sense of fascination and awe in the wider world. Spiritual awareness includes a willingness and ability to reach out and engage with other people, displaying an interest in their lives and their values/beliefs.

Curriculum opportunities enable pupils to:

  • Be curious and to express feelings of delight and wonder – children are given opportunities to achieve this through scientific investigations, new life (often covered in Y3 with a visit to a farm), the global landscape, the vastness of Space, the beauty of nature, etc.
  • Empathise and consider the viewpoints of others – children are given opportunities to take part in debates and drama activities, and to discuss feelings and empathise with characters in familiar and unfamiliar stories.
  • Consider how a belief can change people’s lifestyles - R.E, investigating communities and faiths through educational visits and historical case studies.
  • Discuss what they think they have achieved and what they need to do to be successful in the future – the children are encouraged to set achievable goals throughout the school year and think about the steps required in achieving their goals.
  • Experience moments of stillness and reflection – the children have many opportunities for reflection during assemblies, both class and whole school, and during PSHE lessons.
  • Discuss their beliefs, feelings, values and responses to personal experiences.
  • Form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships.
  • Reflect on, consider and celebrate the wonders and mysteries of life.

Moral Development 

Moral development is linked to an understanding of right and wrong, including enabling pupils to develop an appreciation of the consequences of their behaviours and actions. It encompasses the ability to explore moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate other points of view.

The classroom environment and curriculum promote moral development through:

  • The school Golden Rules are discussed with the children in assemblies and in class at the beginning of the school year and are displayed in classrooms. Class rules are agreed with children and displayed in each individual classroom.
  • We have in place clear and consistent rewards and sanctions that children understand and see as fair.
  • Assemblies that discuss Value Words and linked Jigsaw Themes are held throughout the year.
  • Activities that enable pupils to give opinions and demonstrate their responses in particular situations: debates, drama, role play, hot-seating, etc.
  • Children learn the skills needed to listen and respond appropriately to the views of others through their PSHE lessons and are given opportunities to practice these skills during circle times, debates and assemblies.
  • Children are given opportunities to take initiative and act responsibly, with consideration for others e.g. playground buddies.
  • Children take part in activities and discussion to help them distinguish between right and wrong.

Social Development

Social development involves learners working effectively together and participating successfully in the school community as a whole. Through appropriate social development the children gain the interpersonal skills that allow them to form successful relationships and to become positive members of their class, of the school community and of additional groups such as sports teams. Positive and appropriate social development includes the ability to get along with others regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity. It enables other points of view to be valued and appreciated and allows any conflicts to be avoided, and/or quickly diffused. It includes the ability to show tolerance, respect and understanding towards others.

At Grangetown, social skills are developed through: 

  • The PSHE Curriculum which follows the Jigsaw scheme of work.
  • Modelling of positive social behaviour by all staff.
  • Team games at playtimes and lunchtimes, in PE lessons or at tournaments and festivals.
  • Turn taking and team building activities. In Years 5 & 6, all children are given the opportunity to visit Derwent Hill, a superb residential setting in which children can further develop team work skills.
  • Pair and small group work within the classroom
  • Collaborative activities in after school clubs and when classes work together on various projects throughout the year (e.g. class swaps during anti-bullying week and World Book Day).
  • Working with others across the local community (local care homes, St Aidan’s Church, our feeder school, visits etc).

Cultural Development 

Cultural development enables the children to develop an understanding of their own culture, the cultures of others and to value cultural diversity. Opportunities to develop in this area are given through art projects, music lessons, stories, dance and design technology (food).

Children are introduced to a regional and global perspective in life through:

  • Links with local and international schools, and the curriculum opportunities this brings
  • Stories from different cultures
  • First hand experiences through local visits, theatre, art and artists
  • Visitors from the local & international community – artists, dancers, teachers, writers, musicians.
  • Being part of local, national and international fund raising events.
  • Studies of different lifestyles including different food, dress, festivals and places of worship.
  • Visits to many places of worship across the school.


Our comprehensive approach to SMSC is designed to positively influence the children’s development across the four areas of PSHE: Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural. The desired impact is set out below. 

Spiritual development is shown by the children’s: 

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

Moral development is shown by the children’s: 

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
  • understanding of the consequences of their actions
  • interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.

Social development is shown by the children’s:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.

Cultural development is shown by the children's:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

Jigsaw and SMSC

Jigsaw PSHE actively promotes children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development. Every Jigsaw lesson from Early Years to upper primary offers opportunities for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development, and this is clearly mapped and balanced across each year group - Jigsaw have produced a document - SMSC and Emotional Literacy domains in Jigsaw - to demonstrate this comprehensive coverage.

British Values

The Department for Education’s five-part definition of British values is: 

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

At Grangetown, these British Values are taught through the four SMSC areas (which are cross curricular), and via our RE and PSHE curriculum. Children will encounter these principles throughout everyday school life.

What do British Values look like in practice, in school, taking each of the five Values in turn?


Pupil Voice is a strong feature of life at Grangetown. Our pupil-elected School Council plays an important role in our school. The Council members are elected by the rest of their class, following an ‘election campaign’, and are involved across the whole year in making our school a better place. Being a part of the school council allows the children to be involved in making decisions and helping to design our special themed days and weeks. 

Through our work on democracy, we aim to show pupils how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process. Pupil questionnaires and interviews are also conducted throughout the year, on a variety of issues, and the children enjoy using their ‘Suggestion Box’. We know that the formation of the School Council and the active participation of our pupils will sow the seeds for a more sophisticated understanding of democracy in the future.

The Rule of Law

Our pupils will encounter rules and laws throughout their entire lives. We want our pupils to understand that whether these laws govern the class, the school, the neighbourhood or the country, they are set for good reasons – namely to protect individuals and ensure well-being and safety - and must be adhered to.

Our SMSC/PSHE work ensures that pupils are taught to distinguish right from wrong, on moral grounds, linked to the agreed codes of conduct within each class and across school. As pupils get older, this in turn is linked to the civil and criminal law of England – for example when years 5 & 6 engage in discussion in their Show Racism the Red Card Workshops, and when the children learn about Online Safety.

This understanding of the importance of rules will be consistently reinforced through assemblies and our curriculum. We create many opportunities to debate and discuss the reasons for laws so that children can recognise the importance of these for their own protection. Throughout the year we welcome visits from members of the wider community including police and the fire brigade. We believe that clear explanations and real life stories emphasise the importance of the rule of law for our pupils.

Individual Liberty

We invest a great deal of time in creating a positive culture in our school, so that children are in a safe environment where choices and freedoms are encouraged. Making the right choices and being responsible for those are important principles at Grangetown, and this is reinforced in every year group.

We encourage children to choose tasks that will challenge them, giving them more freedom to determine their own learning.

We offer a range of clubs which pupils have the freedom to choose from, based on their interests.

We believe that valuing choice and freedom in daily school life will foster a value for individual liberty as the children embark upon their adult lives.

Mutual respect

Mutual respect is at the core of our school life. Students learn to treat each other and staff with respect. We emphasise the importance of being caring and considerate at all times. 

Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

At Grangetown we offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum, in which all major religions are studied through our comprehensive and carefully structured RE curriculum. Our themed days embed a strong international dimension across our curriculum. The children visit local places of worship, and learn about prominent religious festivals. We have active links with our partner school in Nepal . We strongly believe that tolerance is gained through knowledge and understanding. Through our curriculum and the routines of our daily school life, we strive to demonstrate tolerance and help children to become knowledgeable and understanding citizens who can build a better Britain for the future, and who can in fact become active, positive and tolerant ‘citizens of the world’.

British Values at GPS - examples of practical activities.

Promoting SMSC & British Values

There are many practical activities that promote and strengthen SMSC and British Values at Grangetown. These are set out in the PDFs below.