At Great Barr Academy we aim to provide a community ethos that enables students to grow as individuals, appreciating their own worth and the worth of others. In all subjects across the curriculum staff work towards developing Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) aspects. Students are encouraged to contribute to the life and work of the academy and, from the earliest opportunity, exercise their responsibilities as members of a community. The focus of our SMSC programme is to empower students to stay safe and share the positive British values of society.

Defining spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in the context of our students

Students’ spiritual development suggests that they have opportunities to:

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

Students’ moral development suggests that they have opportunities to:

  • recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
  • Reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others, attitudes they need in order make responsible moral decisions and act on them
  • Show interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.

Students’ social development suggests that they have opportunities to:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • take initiative on wider social issues and establish ways they can help on individual, local, national and global scale
  • make an active contribution to the democratic process and show an understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.

Students’ cultural development suggests that they have opportunities to:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • interact with different cultures and lifestyles and explore their advantages and disadvantages leading to healthy respect and the celebration of diversity.
  • develop an understanding of Britain’s local, national, European and global dimensions

How is SMSC met in each key area at Great Barr Academy?

The climate and ethos of the school underpins the provision of SMSC. This can be exemplified through areas such as:
• Our vision statement
• SMSC policy
• Leadership & Management
• School rules
• Junior Leadership Team
• Awards & Rewards

SMSC themes are always outlined through both mini-school and whole school assemblies. This takes place through the reinforcement of our routines and rituals (social), calendared events (Remembrance, Holocaust) and charitable undertakings (Sierra Leone).

PSHE will provide concrete evidence of the school’s provision in promoting pupils’ behaviour and safety.
This can be achieved through teaching pupils to develop and maintain relationships, lead healthy lifestyles, develop personal identity, appreciate diversity and manage risk.

Key concepts and processes in Citizenship contribute to SMSC. These include the development of understanding in areas such as:
• Rights & responsibilities
• Diversity
• Democracy
• Justice
Also through children and young people taking responsible action, using critical thinking skills, enquiry and advocacy.

Healthy Eating makes a positive contribution to SMSC. Physical activity and emotional Health and well-being as through its aims to develop healthy behaviour, promote social inclusion, reduce health inequalities and improve outcomes.
RS makes a significant contribution to all of the areas of SMSC by enabling pupils to question issues of human life and morality, develop a sense of identity and foster awareness and understanding of others beliefs and practices.
Our three PD Days enable pupils to a deeper experience of SMSC aspects. They enable students to reflect on issues such as slavery (culture), the Lost Generation (spiritual), STEM cell research (moral) and individual identity (social) for example.
English makes a major contribution to pupils’ SMSC development through:
• Developing confidence and expertise in language, which is an important aspect of individual & social identity.
• Enabling pupils to understand and engage with the feelings and values embodied in high quality poetry, fiction, drama, film and television.
• Developing pupils’ awareness of moral and social issues in fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film.
• Helping pupils top understand how language changes over time, the influences on spoken and written language and social attitudes to the use of language.
• Supporting whole school policy on issues such as discipline and behaviour
• Enabling pupils to acknowledge the important contribution made to mathematics by non-western cultures.
• Encouraging pupils to reflect on the wonder of the natural world
• Awareness of the ways that science and technology can affect society and the environment.
• Showing respect for differing opinions on creation or cloning for example.
• Co-operation in practical activity
• Raising awareness that scientific developments are the product of many cultures.
Social Science
• social influence / attachment
• Self-concept
• Identity and gender identities
• Ethics in research
• Norms and societal values
• Crime and deviance
• Explanation of societal atrocities
• Socialisation
• Families in multi-cultural Britain
• Care values / equal opportunities
• Looking at the establishment of multi-cultural Britain
• Enabling pupils to reflect on issues such as imperialism and communism
• Showing an awareness of the moral implications of the actions of historical figures
• Opportunities for reflection on the creation, earth’s origin and future.
• Reflection and discussion on the fair distribution of the earth’s resources
• Studies of people and places giving pupils the chance to reflect on the social and cultural characteristics of society.
• Learning about beliefs, values and the concept of spirituality.
• Reflect on the significance of religious teaching in their own lives.
• Develop respect for the right of others to hold beliefs different from their own
Computer Studies
• Making clear the guidelines about the ethical use of the internet and other media devices.
• Acknowledging advances in technology and appreciation for human achievement.
• Reflecting on ingenious products/inventions, the diversity of material and ways in which design technology can improve the quality of life.
• How different cultures have contributed to technology.
• Opportunities to work as a team, recognising strengths and sharing equipment/ideas.
• Giving students a chance to reflect on nature, their environment and surroundings
• Studying artists with spiritual or religious themes and also looking at issues raised by artists which concern ethical issues i.e. War and violence
• Teaching that encourages students to be open to the music of other cultures.
• Considering the role of music in society and to see how music can cause conflict and differences of opinion.
• Looking at the way music can change moods and behaviour.
Physical Education
• Activities involving co-operation, competition, rules, self-discipline & fair-play
• Exploring the sports and traditions of a variety of cultures
• Individual activities that provide the opportunity for self-reflection, awareness and challenge.
• Students may gain insights into the way of life cultural traditions and moral and social developments of other people.
• Social skills are developed through group activities and communication exercises.
• Listening skills are improved through oral work.