Valley End Cof E Infant (VC) School
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) Policy
C & L 16
Review – Spring 2022
Vision, Ethos and Values
Our vision is to educate children in a caring, safe and positive environment where all are welcome and valued. At Valley End children will be nurtured to live a life in which they flourish and thrive academically, spiritually and personally. We aim to foster a joy of learning and lay the foundations of love for all, forgiveness and respect to create a generation of people with strong, life-long values. Children will enjoy coming to school in the knowledge that they are loved by God and as part of the Valley End family.
At Valley End Infant C of E Infant School, staff and pupils aim to live out the vision, ethos and values of the school. Our vision, ethos and values have clear and strong links to SMSC and underpin everything that we do, believe in and strive for. At Valley End Infant School, we are a ‘Caring Christian Learning Community’ and we to: –
- ensure that our school is a caring, trusting learning community that is underpinned by Christian values and beliefs
- welcome and be hospitable to children and their families from all faiths, backgrounds and beliefs
- provide active and enjoyable learning opportunities, through practical, collaborative and personalised learning
- achieve excellence by providing our children with a secure, safe, learning environment and the support to explore and grow in their knowledge of the world
- develop our children’s understanding of Christianity by establishing an ethos and curriculum that informs them that God is all around, loves them and wants them to be the best they can be
- equip our children with the skills, independence and values they need for lifelong learning and successful lives
- encourage children to develop enquiring minds, self-confidence and self-discipline, whilst being aware of and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others
- develop children as individuals and British citizens, who are tolerant, forgiving, and thoughtful towards others
- establish effective partnerships with parents to ensure the best learning outcomes for all pupils.
Our school Golden Rules for the pupils also have strong links to SMSC and further work to underpin the life of the school. Our Golden Rules are: –
We love and care for each other.
We look after property and God’s creation.
We are honest and we always tell the truth.
We always try hard to do our best.
As a church school, we believe that spiritual development is a very important aspect of staff and pupil well-being. Spiritual development relates to the aspect of inner life that may or may not be linked to a religious belief. It is characterised by reflection about meanings of existence and experiences, by a search for values of enduring and intrinsic quality and by a sense of ‘otherness’ from that which is visible and evident. As a church school with a distinctive Christian character, we provide staff and pupils with many varied opportunities for spiritual development that are mostly related to the Christian faith. Such opportunities include: –
- Listening to God.
- Being still.
- Whole school and class assembly time/collective worship.
- Listening to spiritual and biblical wisdom.
- Enjoying the wonders of nature and creation.
Whether or not staff or children have a faith, we offer opportunities to encourage spiritual development, by, for example:
- Encouraging a depth of response to such things as beauty, music and art.
- Becoming aware of and to appreciate the wonder of the outside environment.
- Curriculum opportunities within in such lessons as Religious Education and Personal, Social and Health Education.
- Open ended enquiry that allows deeper responses or questioning from adults or pupils.
- The development and expression of feelings and emotions and of self-respect.
- Reflection upon relationships, the worth and value of each individual.
- An awareness of the value of personal faith and an appreciation of those that may hold different beliefs.
Our vision, ethos and Golden Rules underpin the strong moral values in the school. Moral development relates to how a person behaves, why they behave in that manner and what code or framework gives them that direction. Morality need not be linked to religious belief. However, questions of intention, motive and attitude cannot be explored in a moral vacuum and as a Church of England School we believe in a moral education rooted in Christian teaching. Our aim is to help each child develop a sense of morality by: –
- Distinguishing between right and wrong.
- Being able to acquire a personal value system.
- Acquiring an understanding of social implications of a value system both personally, within the community and worldwide.
- Through giving to charities, becoming involved in age appropriate local or global social justice or environmental issues. This then shows an awareness of the relationship between moral belief and action.
- Through involvement in community life, issues and culture.
- Advocating truthfulness.
- Keeping promises.
- Respecting the rights and property of others.
- Acting considerately and kindly towards others.
- Helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
- Taking personal responsibility for our actions.
- Developing an understanding of self-discipline.
- Concern for the environment.
- Equal opportunities.
- Restoring relationships through honesty, forgiveness and saying sorry.
At Valley End Infant School the children are encouraged to take pride in their own culture and work towards understanding, respecting and appreciating other cultures. We encourage the children to think of their school as a community that works together to make a difference to themselves, each other and other people involved or visiting the school. We also encourage pupils to understand that they can make a difference to their own or other culture both locally and globally.
Children are given opportunities to: –
- Explore, recognise and respect their own and others’ traditions and cultures.
- Recognise, respect and value differences.
- Explore, value and respect cultural similarities.
- Take pride in their own heritage and culture.
At Valley End C of E Infant School, we aim to develop children as individuals and British citizens, who are tolerant, forgiving, and thoughtful towards others.
We embrace British values by: –
- Celebrating British festivals and special days.
- Celebrating difference.
- Voting for School Council Representatives with a system of age-appropriate democracy.
- Involving pupils in charity collections as well as local and global social justice and environmental issues.
- Involving pupils in the school’s Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies.
- Involving pupils in keeping and knowing the consequences of the Golden Rules.
- Giving pupils choices and involving them in age-appropriate decisions across the school.
- Acknowledging the freedom and quality of life and education in Britain.
- Being part of a strong ethos driven culture and school community.
Community Links and Visitors to School.
Strong messages about spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues are communicated through the behaviour of all in the school and the quality of the relationships between all the stakeholders.
Any visitors in assembly will be asked to outline their presentations prior to delivering them in school and a member of staff will be in the assembly to ensure that no strong contrary views are being expressed to the children. A member of staff will always accompany any visitor to the school at all times.
We aim for all those who have contact with the school to perceive and understand:
- The values that permeate through the life of the school.
- The quality of the relationships between all members of the school community.
- The level of commitment to promoting equalities for all.
- The focus on developing responsibility, initiative, and pride in the work of individuals and the school.
- The range and quality of activities designed to promote personal development.
- The consistency with which values are pursued.
At Valley End Infant School we value the importance of developing strong links between the school and the local, regional, national and international communities. We encourage children’s involvement with the local community through the Personal, Social and Health Education aspect of the curriculum. Children learn through assemblies, concerts and special events. We encourage our children to be involved in the local community, so that they learn how to participate in a practical way in the life and concerns of their local community. We also allow our children to know that they can make a difference to, and understand, different global communities. Working with parents, charities, international schools and organisations, the business community, public services, and voluntary services teaches the children to become active citizens.
Through the school’s community links the school aims to: –
- Help children prepare for the future and their role as active local and global citizens.
- Help children to understand that they can make a difference both locally and globally.
- To care about our school and the local and global environment.
- Enable our children, our parents and our staff and governors to all work together.
- Acknowledge our place in the community and as part of three parishes.
- Seek ways in which we can benefit and enhance the community.
We encourage further links with:
- Local churches
- Local schools
- Secondary schools
- The press
- Industry and businesses
- Other agencies
- Voluntary/charitable organisations
- Local Authority
- The Diocese
- International schools and organisations.
The social, moral, spiritual and cultural aspects of school life at Valley End are monitored and evaluated by the Headteacher and governors through:-
- Learning walks.
- Lesson observations
- Discussions with children.
- School Council meetings.
- The monitoring of collective worship.
- Talking to visitors.
- Listening to children’s responses and reactions.
Teaching and Learning
Child Protection and Safeguarding