Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education

At Jesmond Gardens Primary School we recognise that the personal development of children - spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) - plays a significant role in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop:

  • Their own values and beliefs;
  • Their own spiritual awareness;
  • Their own high standards of personal behaviour;
  • A positive, caring attitude towards other people;
  • An understanding of their social and cultural traditions; and
  • An appreciation of the diversity and richness of their cultures.

 We consciously facilitate opportunities in these four areas in the following ways:

SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT: This refers to 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. This is developed by:

•       Giving pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs and the way in which they impact on people’s lives. This is done, for example, through Assemblies, Personal Education, Circle time, Rainbow Days and History.

•       Jesmond Gardens follows the Hartlepool RE syllabus, which includes Judaism, Hinduism and Christianity. Diwali is a particular focus in year 3 and 4.

•       Christians festivals such as Easter, Christmas and Harvest are celebrated each year in class and at a whole school celebration.

•       Remembrance day is respected and valued each year in a whole school assembly.

•       Giving pupils the opportunity to understand human emotions and feelings, the way they impact on people and how an understanding of them can be helpful; for example, through Literacy and Drama, Music and Dance, Geography and PSHE.

•       Developing a climate, or ethos, within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected; for example; School Council; Celebration Assemblies; Rainbow Days

•       Offering pupils the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the natural environment; for example, visit to local areas such as the seaside, parks and museums such as Beamish.

•       Accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals; for example, School Council, vision and values, Jesmond Charter

Promoting teaching styles that:

•       Value pupil questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns.

•       Enable pupils to make connections between aspects of their learning.

•       Encourage pupils to relate their learning to a wider frame of reference; for example, asking ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘where’ as well as ‘what’.

MORAL DEVELOPMENT: refers to a pupil’s understanding, attitude and behaviour to what is right and what is wrong. This is developed by:

•       Providing a clear moral code for behaviour, which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school; for example, Behaviour Policy; Unit contract, Jesmond Charter; Anti Bullying Week, E-Safety.

•       SEAL and PSHE curriculum including drug education and sex and relationships alongside a newly implemented scheme to eradicate homophobic bullying.

•       Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality (Racial, Inclusion, Equal Opportunities, SEND policies).

•       Giving pupils opportunities to explore and develop moral concepts and values throughout the curriculum; for example, truth, justice, equality of opportunity, right and wrong (RE; History; Literacy; Assembly; Drama; School Council; Magistrates visit to Year 6, Community Police officer visits) 

•       Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practice moral decision making (School Council; Drama; Safeguarding policy & practice).

•       Rewarding expressions of moral insights and good behaviour (Celebration Assembly; unit reward systems).

•       Modeling through the quality of relationships and interactions the principles we wish to promote; for example, fairness, integrity, respect for persons, pupil welfare, respect for minority interests, resolution of conflict keeping promises and contracts (whole school charity events e.g. furniture from Jesmond Road donated to The Gambia, collecting for Children In need/Jeans for Genes, Macmillan coffee morning, local charities; Celebration Assemblies; Assembly themes).

•       Recognising and respecting different cultural groups represented in the school and the wider community (celebration of religious festivals in RE and history).

•       Encouraging children to take responsibility for their actions; for example, respect for property, care of the environment and code of behaviour (Behaviour Policy; Assembly themes). Crucial Crew events (knowledge of emergency services and how to keep safe)

•       Providing models of moral standards through the curriculum (Literacy; History; RE; PSHE; Assembly; Drama).

•       Reinforcing the school’s values through the display of Vision, Purpose, Golden Rules and Jesmond Charter)

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: refers to a pupil’s progressive acquisition of the competencies and qualities needed to play a full part in society. This is supported by:

•      Fostering a sense of community with common, inclusive values (Assembly; Home-School Agreement; ‘Friends’ events including Christmas & Summer fairs; involvement with community arts projects; partnership with local churches & mosque, Rainbow Days).

•      Raising money for charities, Children in Need, Macmillan Coffee morning and local branches such as Guide dogs for the blind

•      Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality (Racial & Equal opportunities policies).

•      Encouraging children to work co-operatively (teams for project within topics/Eco school, cemetery gates project and Tesco Fun Run, Rainbow Days).

•      Encouraging children to recognise and respect social differences and similarities; for example, where they live, different kinds of family models, age issues (RE; literature; PSHE).

•      Providing positive corporate experiences; for example, special curriculum events, productions, school council, termly Rainbow Days.

•      Helping pupils develop personal qualities, which are valued in society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for differences, moral principles, independence, inter-dependence, and self-respect.

•      Helping children to relieve tensions between their own aspirations and those of the wider group.

•      Providing opportunities to participate in the democratic process and participate in making community decisions (School Council).

•      Providing children with opportunities to exercise leadership and responsibility (School Council, Year 6 lunchtime helpers, groups leaders in class).

CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT: refers to pupils developing their understanding of beliefs, values and customs in social, ethnic and national groups different to their own. This is supported by:

•      Providing children with opportunities to explore their own cultural assumptions and values. Experience days and Rainbow Days allow children to explore new skills and talents.

•      Celebrating the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures (Geography; RE; History; Literacy; Library; Assembly; Art; Dance; Music; celebrating festivals and drawing on diverse parent cultural backgrounds).

•      Developing partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupil’s cultural awareness (Drama, music and dance groups, Cool Club, Scouts, links with local Museum, links with local volunteers -WW2).

•      Reinforcing the school’s cultural values through the website and Facebook.

•      Using ICT and the worldwide web to extend partnerships with those from other cultural backgrounds (links with other schools – Africa, Australia and India topics).