Effective SMSC development is more than just good RE

Effective SMSC
Richard Goodman - Assistant Head Teacher
Kim Tanjong Pendry – RE Teacher
The Venerable Bede CE Academy, Sunderland
Effective SMSC development
- Venerable Bede CE Academy as a model of good practice for
SMSC development
- What is SMSC development?
- Why is SMSC development important?
- What have we done as a school linked to SMSC development?
- RE and SMSC development
- A focus on spiritual development
Model of good practice for
SMSC development at
Venerable Bede Academy
Personal Development
Fully developing the whole child – helping pupils grow
and develop as people – preparing them for the adult
world – allowing pupils to make sense of the world
Schools are not the only actor responsible for pupils’ personal
development. Education cannot, therefore, be expected to a fill a
moral vacuum left by society or family. But it can, and should, help
those who receive it to make better sense of the world and
personally develop.
What personal development looks like in a school?
This is how the school develops
pupils – climate/soil
This is how the pupils actually
develop – plant/flower
What does the school do to allow
for SMSC/personal development?
What does the student get from
the school’s provision?
How do pupils develop
How do pupils
What are the standards of
behaviour/behaviour policies?
How do they show signs of
personal development?
Are there clear values/ethos?
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development
Fully developing the whole child – helping pupils grow and develop
as people – preparing them for the adult world – allowing pupils to
make sense of the world – achieving their full potential
- All subject areas have
a responsibility and the
potential to promote
Personal Relationships
- Relationships between
all staff and students
- Ethos and values of
the school
- Behaviour and
pastoral care
- Collective worship
Spiritual development
Pupils’ spiritual development can be seen through:
The growth of their sense of self through reflection of their personal values, beliefs
experiences, strengths and weaknesses.
The exploration of the values and beliefs of others and the development of respect
for these.
A sense of passion, enjoyment, fascination and awe and wonder in their learning,
and about themselves, others and the world around them.
The use of imagination, creativity and expression of feelings and emotions in their
learning allied with a willingness to achieve and do their best.
Moral development
Pupils’ moral development can be seen through:
The ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and the willingness to
apply this understanding to their own lives.
An understanding of the consequences of their own and others’ actions and a
readiness to accept the consequences.
The exploration and investigation of moral codes, moral values and ethical issues
within school and wider society and to apply their understanding of what the right
thing to do is
Cultural development
Pupils’ cultural development can be seen through:
An understanding and appreciation of the range of cultural influences that have
shaped their own heritage and development.
A willingness to participate in, and respond to, artistic, musical, sporting,
mathematical, technological, scientific and other cultural opportunities and activities.
An interest in exploring and showing understanding of, and respect for cultural
diversity including how they accept, respect and celebrate diversity through their
attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local,
national and global communities.
Social development
Pupils’ social development can be seen through:
An understanding of the rights and responsibilities of being members of families and
communities (at a local, national and global level) and appreciating how these
communities function.
Developing their personal qualities and social skills through working in different social
contexts including with pupils of different ages, abilities, gender, religious, ethnic,
cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
A willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others
and being able to resolve conflicts effectively to work towards the common good
Why is SMSC development
The moral theorists Kant, Piaget and Kohlberg all
believed that over time young people grow and develop
morally and socially as well as spiritually and culturally.
‘The human being is not born as it
is but grows and develops over
time into an autonomous person’
Education legislation and SMSC
- The 1944 Education Act
- The 1988 Education Reform Act
- The 1992 Education (Schools) Act and the creation of
- The Schools Inspection Act 1996, The Education Act
2002 and the Education Act 2005
Ofsted and SMSC
‘SMSC development is crucial for individual pupils and for
society as a whole. Most teachers would see it as the heart
of what education is about – helping pupils grow and develop
as people. The importance has repeatedly been recognised
by legislators; schools are required by law to promote pupils’
SMSC development and inspectors are required to inspect it’
(Ofsted 2004).
SMSC development as a limiting
factor in Ofsted judgements
The 2013 Framework for School Inspection and the
subsequent Inspection Handbooks highlight how the
provision a school has for pupils’ SMSC development
has become a limiting factor in the overall effectiveness
of the school and the quality of education it provides.
Judging the quality of a school
In order to make a judgement about the quality of education provided in
the school, inspectors must first make four key judgements. These are:
- the achievement of pupils at the school
- the quality of teaching in the school
- the behaviour and safety of pupils at the school.
- the quality of leadership in, and management of, the school.
In addition, inspectors must also consider:
- the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at the school
- the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs
of the range of pupils at the school, and in particular the needs of:
pupils who have a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010
pupils who have special educational needs.
the school ‘requires improvement’ as it is not a ‘good’ school
because one or more of the four key judgements ‘requires
improvement’, and/or there are weaknesses in the overall
provision for pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
the school is ‘inadequate’ and, if so, whether it has
serious weaknesses, or requires special measures.
A school with serious weaknesses is ‘inadequate’ in
one or more of the key areas, and/or there are
important weaknesses in the overall provision for
pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural
Similarly, a school can only be considered ‘outstanding’ if
‘the school’s thoughtful and wide-ranging promotion of
pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
and their physical wellbeing enables them to thrive in a
supportive, highly cohesive learning community
What have we done as a school
for SMSC development?
‘Effective SMSC development is
more than just good RE’
First response –
Excellent – 0%
Good – 10%
Satisfactory – 32%
Poor – 43%
No understanding – 15%
Second response –
Excellent – 6%
Good – 34%
Satisfactory – 41%
Poor – 19%
No understanding 0%
Yes – 58%
No – 42%
Yes – 89%
No – 11%
Student Voice
RE and SMSC development
Experiential learning
opportunities within RE
Curriculum content
How does RE
promote effective
Nature of how RE is
Spiritual Development
‘Who am I?’
‘From life to death: where are we going?’
‘Why is it hard to believe in God?’
Moral Development
‘What is the best type of guidance?’
‘What does justice mean to Christians?’
‘Technology – beauty or beast?’
Curriculum Content
Social Development
‘What are we doing to the environment?’
‘How and why do people worship?’
Cultural Development
‘What is Christianity?’
‘Who am I?’, ‘What does it mean to be a Jew?’
‘How should a mosque call its members to prayer?’
Nature of assessment within RE
AT1 – learning about religion
AT2 – learning from religion
Experiential learning opportunities
within RE
RE themed competitions and projects:
- Spirited Arts
- Holocaust memorial week
- DISC project (community)
- Trinity project
- RE Young Ambassadors
- Pilgrimage project
Visitors within schools:
- Sir Peter Vardy
- Street Pastors
- Holocaust survivor
- Clergy and religious leaders
- Gram Seed
- Durham Cathedral
- Holy Island
- Local places of worship comparison
Pilgrimage Project
Holocaust Memorial
A focus on spiritual development
What I wanted to know:
• Do students identify with the Ofsted (2004)
definition of spirituality?
• Do students consider themselves to be
What I did:
• Carried out a series of Community of Enquiries
with 2 Year 7 classes, 1 high ability and 1 low
A Community of Enquiry is a Philosophy for Children (P4C)
approach that attempts to regulate dialogue in the classroom
and ‘represents an explicit aspiration towards maintaining
respect for other people while also agreeing, disagreeing,
questioning and bringing others into the dialogue’ (Williams,
2012, p. 4). Williams suggests that the overall aim of a
Community of Enquiry is for ‘individual participants to achieve
better understanding, make better judgements and to be
accountable to a community of peers’ (2012, p. 5).
First Stimulus
Your spirituality is not
something you can see or
It is the thing that makes you
who you are and may or
may not still exist when
you die.
It is an understanding of who
you are, what you are
worth and what your
meaning and purpose is.
You could think of it as your
‘spirit’ or your ‘soul’ or your
‘personality’ or ‘character’.
Second Stimulus
‘A spiritual life is
something you
make for yourself
but not by
‘A spiritual life is something
you make for yourself but
not by yourself’
Year 7 Questions:
Do your parents help you make a spiritual life?
How can you make a spiritual life?
How can friends make a difference to a spiritual life?
Are we good to have a good afterlife?
Is your spiritual life after you die or now?
How would it be your choice if someone helped you?
Are we in a spiritual life now?
Can God help you make a spiritual life?
What is a spiritual life?
Who has a spiritual life?
Is respect a spiritual life?
What I found:
• Students agreed that we all had an individual spirituality and
that this did exist (in some form) after death
• Students linked spirituality to a process of learning from
mistakes and making the right choices
• Religious students linked meaning and purpose to God and the
pursuit of a place in heaven
• Non-religious students linked meaning and purpose to the
pursuit of happiness
• Religious and non-religious students agreed that the way in
which we develop spiritually is linked to the way in which we
treat others. For example; with kindness, generosity and
• Students recognised that there was a connection between
how they treated others and how they felt (inside)
‘Spiritual development is not specifically about teaching children about
spirituality, but is concerned with providing them with certain skills, space in
the classroom and time for them to touch upon and, if needed, construct
their own spirituality. They may then share this with their peers, connecting
self to others’ (2012, p. 182).
Tools for spirituality and spiritual
Ng, Y. (2012)
(Ng, Y. (2012) Spiritual development in the classroom: pupils and educators learning
reflections, International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 17 (2), 167-185).
Community of Enquiry as a tool for
spiritual development
RE Today, Blaylock (2012)
•Fostering personal and group
•Enabling pupils to build on
their own and others’ identity
•Encouraging pupils to reflect
on their own and others’
beliefs, values and attitudes
•Promoting an ethos of respect
for self and others
•Encouraging empathy and
“Going back to Penny, you know
what she said about being
happy? I think that if you are
always happy you are never
gonna experience doing
something wrong or making a
mistake and people are saying
you get another chance to come
back but everyone makes
mistakes, no one can be happy
all their life.”
Spiritual Development and the Whole
Tutor Worship – Reflection Diaries
Student led Worship
Key Stage Worship
KS3 Hall SLT
Y8 Student led Worship
Tutor Worship
KS3 Hall SLT
Tutor Worship