What is SMSC? 

It is the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development of the children in our school. SMSC is an integral part of a child’s education. It helps them to develop into aspirational, respectful individuals who will be prepared to live full active lives in their communities, as adults. 

SMSC at Maple Court Academy is a golden thread throughout the academy which underpins all curriculum subjects and feeds into all aspects of academy life. This is not a separate subject that is taught explicitly but an aspect of learning that is present around our school; evident in lessons and behaviour in school. It is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses our children’s personal development. We all have a duty to shape the character, values, attitude and overall development of the next generation. As an academy, we offer thoughtful and wide-ranging opportunities and experiences to develop our children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This subject contributes significantly to our aim of developing the whole pupil. It is evidenced within children’s books, through the class floor books, within their learning and lessons and through our range of curricular offer opportunities.  Some lessons lend themselves more easily to direct SMSC development such as PSHE and RE. We also aim to develop SMSC through assemblies, behaviour expectations and our attitudes in school.  


Spiritual Development 

Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their: 
  • Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings & 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 
How do we expand our children’s spiritual development? 

We have developed an ethos in which all of our children can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected: accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals. 

Opportunities to enrich our children’s spiritual development include: 

  • Awe and wonder activities at the start of a new topic 
  • Connection and belonging 
  • Heightened self-awareness 
  • Assemblies and reflection time 
  • Deep feelings of what is felt to be ultimately important 
  • A sense of security, well-being, worth and purposefulness 

These can occur during any part of the academy day, e.g. when listening to music, discussing the care needed for animals, exercising empathy or creativity, how we live, contemplating the future, etc. 


Moral Development 

Pupils’ moral development is shown by their: 
  • 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 
How do we enrich our children’s moral development? 

At Maple Court Academy we believe that a morally aware pupil will develop a wide range of skills. These can include the following: 

  • Distinguish right from wrong, based on knowledge of the moral codes of their own and other cultures 
  • Develop an ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions 
  • Have an ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements 
  • Ensure a commitment to personal values and our school values 
  • Have respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own 
  • Develop a desire to explore their own and others’ views, and an understanding of the need to review and re-assess their values, codes, and principles in the light of experience 
Our academy develops pupil morality by: 
  • Providing a clear moral code as a basis for behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the academy 
  • Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality 
  • Giving pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values – for example, personal rights and responsibilities, truth, justice, equality of opportunity, right and wrong 
  • Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practice moral decision making 
  • Rewarding expressions of moral insights and good behaviour 
  • Recognising and respecting the codes and morals of the different cultures represented in the academy and wider community 
  • Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their actions, for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour, providing models of moral virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts and assemblies; reinforcing the academy’s values through images, posters, classroom displays, etc. and monitoring in simple ways, the success of what is provided 

Teachers always discuss rules with their classes for the classroom based on the values held by the academy. We teach the children to be aware of their own actions, take responsibility for their own bodies and encourage independence. We will help the children to identify their feelings and think these through so that they are expressed in behaviour that is socially acceptable. This is done through whole school and class-based assemblies, circle time, Social Skills groups and PSHE/Circle Time sessions. We endeavour to raise their self-esteem through praise, stickers, certificates and other means that highlight both academic and social achievements. 


Social Development 

Pupils’ social development is shown by their: 
  • 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 
How do we encourage pupils’ social development? 
  • Identifying key values and principles on which academy and community life is based 
  • Fostering a sense of community, with common, inclusive values 
  • Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality 
  • Encouraging pupils to work cooperatively 
  • Encouraging pupils to recognise and respect social differences and similarities 
  • Providing positive experiences to reinforce our values as an academy community – for example, through assemblies, team building activities, residential experiences, workshops, academy productions 
  • Helping pupils develop personal qualities which are valued in a civilised society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference, moral principles, independence, interdependence, self-respect and an awareness of others’ needs 
  • Providing opportunities for engaging in the democratic process and participating in community life 
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility (playground warriors, ambassadors, Academy council, anti-bullying leaders) 
  • Providing positive and effective links with the world of work and the wider community 
  • Monitoring in simple, pragmatic ways, the success of what is provided 

Cultural Development 

Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their: 
  • 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.
How do we influence our children’s cultural development? 

Children should be made aware of the diversity of other cultures both within modern Britain and throughout the world. This is done through music, PE, art and many other curriculum areas. Children explore important events and history in Britain such as the anniversary of World Wars, annual Remembrance Day activities and the lives of significant historical figures. They also have strong links with Parliament and democracy throughout the academy and lots of opportunity to further their learning. 

We stimulate our children’s cultural development by: 
  • Cultural visits and themes 
  • Drawing on the cultures of our families and communities 
  • Extending pupils’ knowledge and use of cultural imagery and language 
  • Encouraging them to think about special events in life and how they are celebrated 
  • Recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents; providing opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art, crafts and other cultural events and encouraging pupils to reflect on their significance. 
  • Reinforcing the academy’s cultural links through displays, posters, exhibitions, etc. As well as developing partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness, for example, theatre, museum and gallery visits 

As well as developing and promoting the SMSC values, we also promote the following fundamental British values: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual liberty, Mutual respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.  


We are proud to say we have recently been awarded the Silver SMSC Quality Mark recognising our work in this area. 

Pupils thrive and learn well at Maple Court Academy.

| Ofsted 2023

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