What is SMSC?                                      


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum.


Strong evidence shows that promoting SMSC in schools can contribute to raising academic standards and improving children's life chances.


According to the Department for Education, schools should: 

• enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence; 

• enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England; 

• encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely; 

• enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England; 

• further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; 

• encourage respect for other people; and 

• encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England. 


SMSC is essential to the academic progress of pupils. It isn’t taught separately but is woven through school life and is linked to everything we do at St Luke and St Philip’s. Some SMSC development is deliberately planned for, for example through Worship, RE and PSHEC lessons, linked to characters and situations in class reads or books read in English, or through our Culture Box presentation days. At other times, SMSC development is naturally occuring due to current affairs or incidents happening in school and the local community.


Quality spiritual, moral, cultural and social development enables children, and the adults who work with them, to flourish. 


To find out more about how we support our children’s SMSC development, you are more than welcome to look at our SMSC evidence files in school, filled with wonderful examples of children’s  work, thoughts and opinions. 


What do we mean by British values, and how does it link with SMSC?


‘Through ensuring pupils’ SMSC development, schools can also demonstrate they are actively promoting fundamental British values. Meeting requirements for collective worship, establishing a strong school ethos supported by effective relationships throughout the school, and providing relevant activities beyond the classroom are all ways of ensuring pupils’ SMSC development. Pupils must be encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance. 

It is expected that pupils should understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.’

Promoting fundamental British values as part of SMSC - DfE 2014 


There are five core British values taught in school - 

  • Democracy

  • The rule of law

  • Individual liberty

  • Mutual respect

  • Tolerance of different cultures and religions

At St Luke and St Philip’s, British values are woven through the ethos of the school, linking with our high positive behaviour expectations and by ensuring all children’s voices are heard. We discuss each of the British values on a rolling programme during weekly themed Worship, linking current affairs with God’s scripture, our school values and our vision. Additionally, the British values are discussed during the RE and PSHEC curriculums, as well as through informal occasions should they arise. 

To find out about which British value we are focusing on each week, parents and carers are more than welcome to join us for Worship, and to look at the children’s work on the Worship Wall.  


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Updated: 10/06/2024 128 KB