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Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural Development at St. James' School


The aims of SMSC   

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum.  It requires us to think about the kind of people we aspire to be and the kind of world we aspire to create.  At St James’ Primary School, we aim to provide pupils with learning opportunities that will enable them to face the world ahead of them and become part of a society that values others. 

We have defined each area of SMSC in the following ways:

Spiritual development - taking time to reflect on self-beliefs, the beliefs of others and our amazing world.

Moral development - how we learn to understand what is right and wrong. 

Social development - how we learn to play, co-operate and work together in school, our community and the world. 

Cultural development -  finding out about Britain’s parliamentary system, how other people live and celebrating diversity. 


The provision of SMSC

Development in SMSC takes place across all curriculum areas with particular strong links to collective worship,  RE and PSHE. At St James’ primary we follow the SCARF scheme for PSHE, which places SMSC at the heart of its learning.  Our effective relationships throughout the school and provision of relevant activities beyond the classroom all implicitly support our pupils’ SMSC development.


We aim to provide our children with opportunities to develop in the following ways:

Spiritual development

Thinking about myself:

  • Awareness of feelings; the ability to reflect and express.
  • Awareness of our uniqueness; happiness with who we are.
  • Gratitude for the things we have and the person we are.
  • Exploration of personal faith.
  • Development of imagination and creativity.

Thinking about others:

  • Empathy and understanding; respect and tolerance.
  • To love and be loved (loving your neighbour).
  • Making a difference; sense of duty.

Thinking beyond the things that we can see:

  • Encountering/experiencing God; having a sense of what lies beyond the material/physical.
  • Ability to formulate and discuss the ‘Big Questions’.
  • Opportunities for prayer, connecting with God.
  • Making sense of the world.

Thinking about the beauty of our world:

  • Developing a sense of awe and wonder.
  • Enjoying the miracles of everyday life.
  • Taking time for what really matters.
  • Appreciating the beauty in art, music, nature.


Moral development

  • Recognise the difference between right and wrong, applying this to their own lives, understanding the consequences of their own behaviours and actions and respecting both the civil and criminal law of England.
  • Recognise the unique value of each individual.
  • Listen and respond appropriately to the views of others.
  • Gain the confidence and resilience to cope with setbacks and learn from mistakes.
  • Show respect for the environment.
  • An interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues.


Social development

  •  Develop an understanding of their individual and group identity.
  • Learn about service in the school and wider community including by volunteering, co-operating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively.
  • Begin to understand the need for social justice and a concern for the disadvantaged.
  • Acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; our pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.


Cultural development

  •  Recognise the value and richness of cultural diversity in Britain, and how these influence individuals and society.
  • Understand and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage.
  • Willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities.


The above applies to all staff, pupils, parents/carers, governors, volunteers and any other partner agencies working within or at St James’ Primary School.  It is applied within any provision to the pupils whether within the school curriculum, on external visits or extra-curricular clubs.