SMSC and British Values Statement
Beaconsfield High School recognises that the spiritual, moral, social and cultural element of students’ education is crucial to their development as an individual, allowing them to take their rightful place in the community as local, national and global citizens. SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural development, and it's a key aspect of education in the UK. SMSC is about the values students are encouraged to hold, their attitude towards learning, knowledge and society. Essentially, SMSC is about helping students develop a range of personal and social skills that will enable them to become well-rounded, responsible, and engaged members of society.
All have a duty to ‘actively promote’ the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. Lord Nash 2014 “A key part of our plan for education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background. We want every school to promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs. This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave school fully prepared for life in modern Britain”.
SMSC is fundamental in preparing students for society and at our school they are helped to develop positive attitudes and beliefs by being given opportunities to:
- Develop spiritual values and reasoned personal and moral values
- Consider the diverse nature of society, developing their understanding and respect for those with different religions, beliefs and ways of life
- Value everyone equally
- Develop quality relationships, based on trust, self-esteem and mutual respect
- Become active, responsible citizens in a democratic society
- Develop an appreciation of human achievements and aspirations
- Develop an understanding of the world in which they live and the interdependence of individuals, groups, nations and the environment
Through SMSC, we seek to develop attitudes and values that will enable students to become confident, resilient and ready to contribute significantly to the world. Our ‘Getting Life Ready’ core skills champion and build resilience, reflection, collaborative working, critical thinking and creativity. We praise students through our 8 core competencies. We provide students with a curriculum that enables them to develop a knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures, particularly those within their own society. We seek to foster an attitude of tolerance and value towards those from a culture and background different from their own. Students are encouraged to develop the capacity to tackle moral and spiritual dilemmas and to try to reach independent judgements, which reflect universal human principles. We also expect students to develop questioning, enquiring minds and learn how to express their ideas appropriately. At BHS, we are aware of our collective responsibilities towards SMSC and we:
- Ensure that all staff are aware of their role in developing students’ interpersonal skills, self-esteem and in preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
- Celebrate student achievement, foster a sense of community and involve students as active participants as much as possible. This is demonstrated through events such as Celebration Assemblies, Sports Award Evenings and the Leavers’ Ceremony. All students are encouraged to raise money for charity through the House System and charity events and older students fulfil a range of roles such as Blossom mentors, Guardian Angel mentors with Lead Prefects.
- Ensure students have a voice. Representatives from all year groups are part of the School Council where they can put forward their views and be listened to. Student voice contributes to curriculum planning and support services planning.
- Ensure students have information about all co-curricular and enrichment activities and that those activities are diverse and inclusive.
- Ensure that the PSHE lessons and all lessons across the curriculum, provide opportunities for discussion and that there are opportunities for reflection in assemblies.
Spiritual development is concerned with how a student develops personal values and beliefs, a willingness to reflect, an ability to communicate these beliefs in discussion and through their behaviour, an understanding of the value and role of faith and religion in societies. Spiritual development will instill a tolerance of other people. It includes imagination, inspiration and creativity, as well as an awareness of self-identify and self-worth.
We promote spiritual development as part of a student’s personal development through:
- Promoting reflection as part of our routine learning
- PSHE lessons
- Religious Education
- Retaining breadth in the curriculum
Moral development is concerned with students’ knowledge, understanding, intentions, attitudes and behaviour in relation to right and wrong within the accepted codes of our society. Their knowledge and awareness of values and attitudes of individuals and society as a whole and socially acceptable codes of behaviour is important. The quality of relationships that students experience, the standards of behaviour in our school form a basis of any judgment on moral development as well as the extent to which students show an understanding of the difference between right and wrong, respect for people, truth and property, a concern for how their actions may affect others, the ability to make responsible judgements on moral issues and personal conduct that they take responsibility for their own actions.
At our school we promote moral development through a range of activities and opportunities both within and outside the classroom such as:
- Working with teachers and form tutors collaboratively
- The PSHE Curriculum
- The curriculum across all subjects
- Rewards and sanctions
- Welfare and guidance
Social development is concerned with developing the skills and personal qualities necessary for individuals to live and function effectively in our society. Social development is based on the acceptance of group rules and the ability to see oneself in a wider context. The quality of relationships in school is crucial in forming students’ attitudes to good social behaviour and self-discipline. The school systematically plans for the social development of students through:
- Classroom organisation and management
- Seating plans and opportunities for group work
- School Council
- Prefect and mentor systems
- Educational Visits, including overseas
- The PSHE Curriculum Links with Further and Higher Education Providers
- Co-curricular activities
- Aspects of the curriculum such as Politics A level
A student’s cultural development refers to an understanding of those values, beliefs, customs, knowledge and skills which link groups together and give people a sense of identity. At our school we seek to develop in students an understanding and awareness of their culture within a multi-cultural society and encourage personal values and self-esteem. Our curriculum provides experiences of all aspects of culture including languages, aesthetic, mathematical, literacy, technological, scientific, musical, political, economic, citizenship and religious education.
There are opportunities for cultural activities and visits:
- Creative and Performing Arts as part of the curriculum for all students at KS3
- Cultural visits
- Visits to centres of cultural interest
- Co-curricular activities
- Mock elections/Bucks Youth Forum
- Charity and fundraising activities
In addition to developing spiritual, moral, social and cultural opportunities for students, we also ensure that the British Values of democracy, the rules of law, individual liberty and respect/tolerance permeate the work of the school.
At BHS, British values are embedded in our curriculum through subjects as well as through explicit teaching in PSHE lessons in Years 7-11. British Values are also ‘taught’ through our tutor activities, assemblies and wider co-curricular opportunities. The values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs are framed in a universal, as well as a British, context. We have a global citizen approach to British Values.
At BHS, the value of democracy is embedded within our understanding of our rights and responsibilities as citizens. At school, we give students the chance to develop an understanding of active, responsible citizenship through abiding by the school's rules and seeing how their voice can be heard within lessons, the tutor and House system and through the Student Council. Our oldest students are asked to give their opinion as to who would best represent them on the prefect body and all tutor groups elect Student Council Representatives and Form Captains. We run mock elections when appropriate giving a taste of the democratic process. Curriculum areas will discuss and investigate other forms of government across the world. We celebrate Parliament Week every year through assemblies and tutor time activities as well as our annual acknowledgement of Remembrance, Holocaust Memorial and other significant national occasions.
An understanding of the importance of the rule of law comes through being part of a community regulated by rules that protect all of us. During PSHE and through specific subjects such as History and English, students are able to explore the importance of living in a society in which the rule of law is respected. Assemblies are also used to reinforce this message, and to help students to interpret national and international affairs. At key points in their journey through secondary school, students are specifically introduced to their responsibilities under the law - with regards to issues such as consent, drugs, alcohol and driving.
Students at BHS are given the opportunity to exercise individual liberty through being free to make choices, but understanding that their choices come with responsibility.
Our students are provided with a knowledge and understanding of different world faiths through RS lessons in Key Stage 3 and through assemblies that explore major festivals and their significance to members of our community. The value of Respect underpins our core school values, and our students understand what it means to be respectful and tolerant of others.
The school seeks opportunities to draw links between British Values and curriculum subjects wherever possible to enhance students’ learning. This is reviewed within our Subject Intents and Curriculum Audit documents.