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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)

Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development (SMSC)


At St. Patrick’s, we recognise that the personal development of pupils; spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, contributes to their ability to learn and achieve. Within the ethos of the school, we therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive, caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of cultures.

British Values…Gospel Values!


John 10:10 - ‘I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.’


At St Patrick's, we recognise the importance of helping pupils develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally, alongside academically, so that they are fully prepared for life in British society and for the role as citizens and are able to make the strongest possible contribution to the Common Good of all.  An important part of SMSC is to support children to engage with British values:

  • Democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.


St Patrick's is required, under section 78 of the Education Act 2002, to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils.  From November 2014, schools also need to promote British values as part of a broad and balanced curriculum.


As a Catholic School, we actively promote values, virtues and ethics that shape our pupils’ character and moral perspective through the teachings of the Church.  We are confident that a continuing focus on Gospel values will give our pupils the necessary awareness of what it means to be a good citizen in Britain today, and embed them with the skills needed for a successful and productive life as a member of British society.


St Patrick's is committed to serving its’ community.  It recognises the multi-cultural, multi-faith and ever-changing nature of the UK.  It also understands the vital role it has in ensuring that groups or individuals within the school are not subjected to intimidation or radicalisation by those wishing to unduly, or illegally, influence them, 


Equal opportunities guidance is followed, which guarantees there will be no discrimination against any individual or group, regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status, or similar.  St Patrick's is dedicated to preparing pupils for their adult life beyond the formal, examined curriculum and ensuring that it promotes and reinforces British values to all its pupils. 


Pupils are expected to display knowledge of the fundamental aspects of British values.  They should:

  • Understand the democratic process and how citizens can have a say in decision making.
  • Recognise the advantages to living under the rule of law and how law is essential for a safe society.
  • See that there is a separation of power and why it exists.
  • Understand the reasons for accountability of institutions and why courts maintain independence.
  • Know why freedom of religion protects all faiths, as well as those with no faith.
  • Accept that people who hold different religious beliefs should be tolerated and not be discriminated against.
  • Value the importance of identifying and combatting extremism.



Democracy (Pupil Voice)

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

The ability to communicate is an important area of learning.  We ensure pupils are given a ‘voice’ to communicate.

By valuing each ‘voice’ and listening and responding to that voice we demonstrate support for democracy.

Children have many opportunities for their voices to be heard, including:

School council elections and meetings

Walk with Me group elections and meetings

Play Leader applications

Pupil voice interviews with subject leaders

Pupil questionnaires


The Rule of Law (Understanding why)

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully!

An environment in which children feel safe and secure, provides the optimum conditions for learning to take place.

Each class begin the school year setting out and agreeing their class expectations.

The importance of rules / laws is reinforced consistently throughout school days.

Children are helped learn how to manage their behaviour and take responsibility for their actions.  Pupils understand the connection between actions and consequences.

Visits from authorities such as Police, fire service and PCSOs help reinforce key messages about laws and safety.

School rules and expectations are clear and firm, helping children to distinguish right from wrong, helping them respect the law and the basis on which it is made and helping children understand that the rule of law protects individuals and keeps us safe.


Individual Liberty (Freedom to choose)

Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised!


Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them!


Within school, children are encouraged to make choices within a safe and supportive environment.

It is important for children to understand that freedom does not mean doing whatever you want but includes the need to consider consequences so we are free to make the right choice.  Children are encouraged to think of others needs as well as their own.

Learning to work independently is an important part of learning to understand ourselves.  We believe that teaching children to be independent can boost and nurture healthy self esteem and build the resilience needed to be a successful adult. 

Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour.  They are encouraged to show compassion, kindness and forgiveness to others.


Mutual Respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs (Dignity)

Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!


Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God!


Tolerance, good manners and respect for all is embedded within the culture of our school.  Throughout all learning, modelled behaviour and activities, St Patrick’s promotes mutual respect for individual differences. 

We are an inclusive school where everyone is valued, cared for and has a contribution to make.  

Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children!


The Catholic ethos is integral and truly embedded in all our school life.  We also explore other Faiths during RE sessions and whole school theme weeks.  Children in our school with different faiths are encouraged to share their practices and special celebrations.

The school and children work hard to support a range of charities and organisations (CAFOD, Macmillan, Children in Need, NSPCC, Sports Relief / Comic Relief, Nugent Care, The Brick).  Poppies are sold in school and Remembrance Day activities, including the minute silence, ensure children understand this tradition/event. 


Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!