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Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Education (SMSC)

At Cheriton Primary School we aim to provide an inspiring and engaging curriculum that ensures pupils are well prepared to make a difference to the world around them. This includes comprehensive academic, spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical education for all our pupils. Below we have provided a snapshot of the breadth and range of these opportunities.

Definitions  (from the Ofsted School Inspection Handbook, 5thApril 2024)

    The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life
  • knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences

     The moral development of pupils is shown by their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, and to recognise legal boundaries and, in doing so, respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

  The social development of pupils is shown by their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • acceptance of 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. They will develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain

 The cultural development of pupils is shown by their:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures in the school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • ability to recognise, and value, the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities
  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic Parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. This is shown by their respect and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities


How we promote spiritual


How we promote moral


How we promote social


How we promote cultural



Pupils are encouraged to ask questions and wonder about what they are exploring. Pupils use their creativity and imagination through their language choices and are taught to explore the beauty of language. Texts selected allow pupils to develop a sense of wonder about the world around them.

Through reading, drama and writing we provide opportunities for pupils to experience moral dilemmas and consider how they would respond by taking on perspectives of different characters. They develop an understanding of a range of different views and have opportunities to rehearse different responses. The importance of right and wrong is regularly considered, through reading fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

In developing our speaking and listening skills (both in English lessons and the wider curriculum), we encourage pupils to develop skills of listening to each other and responding appropriately. They work together to develop communication skills and the ability to work in a range of different groups.

Through reading a diverse range of texts, we expose pupils to a wide variety of cultures and backgrounds. We actively select texts to read that contrast with our own experiences and encourage pupils to be curious about cultures around them. Opportunities are also developed for pupils to attend theatre productions to develop cultural capital. 


In Maths, pupils are taught how to and encouraged to use creativity in solving problems and reflect on their own learning. They are able to explore mathematical concepts and link these to the world around them, developing an interest in the concepts studied.

When solving problems and reasoning, pupils learn to justify their opinions and explain why they believe they are correct. Others may look at problems in different ways and so they learn how to explore problems from different perspectives, discussing their ideas and reaching conclusions or compromises. Maths gives pupils opportunities to explore the consequences of actions and what happens if they change aspects of their work.

In Maths, pupils work in a range of different groups, exploring problems and trying to reach solutions. They learn to take on different roles within these groups.

Pupils learn the British system of counting and are exposed to other number systems (e.g. Roman Numerals).


The science curriculum provides opportunities for pupils to develop a sense of wonder about all aspects of the world around them. In KS2 they explore the concept of evolution and reflect on the different beliefs that groups hold. In solving problems and experimenting, they are using their imaginations and being creative.

In Science, pupils learn about the world around them, including the natural environment and the importance of their moral duty to protect it. They learn about a range of moral and ethical issues and debate the impact that scientific development can have.

Pupils work cooperatively to investigate and enquire, listening to each other’s ideas and working together to achieve a collective goal. They discuss and debate ideas, reaching conclusions and presenting their findings.

In Science, pupils learn about the cultural impact of scientific advancement and learn about how developments in science have advanced our society.




While learning a language, pupils are also taught about the beliefs held in France and French speaking countries and have opportunities to reflect on how these are similar or different to their own.

Pupils learn about a culture that is different to their own and learn to respect the beliefs and values of this culture. They learn that right and wrong and appropriate behaviour is transferable across different cultures.

Pupils learn to communicate in a different language and develop confidence in communicating in a range of different social situations (e.g. with peers, on holiday). They develop skills that support them in participating in British society. Through studying the culture of the language they are learning, they also learn about different social conventions and learn to respect those from different cultures.

In learning a modern foreign language, pupils are taught about the food, art, music, history, traditions and culture of countries speaking that language.


In History, pupils look at the different beliefs of groups of people over time (e.g. the Greeks, the Romans, and the Vikings) and compare their beliefs to our own today. Pupils develop an enjoyment of exploring the past and generate a sense of awe and wonder when looking at the achievements of our ancestors. Through studying WW1 and WW2 pupils reflect on the sacrifices made by others and the impact that this has on our own lives today.

Through an enquiry based approach, pupils are encouraged to explore a range of sources about historical events and form their own views of what they believe happened, drawing on the available evidence. This encourages them to consider what is right and wrong and challenge the accounts that may be presented to them (e.g. pupils explore whether Sir Francis Drake was a great explorer or a pirate).

Historical enquiry leads pupils to acceptance and engage with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain. They work together to research, debate, discuss and present, working with individuals from different faiths and socioeconomic groups.

Pupils learn about different cultures in British History and their impact on our lives today. They explore the origins of our democracy (as well as learning about Greek, Roman and Egyptian political systems) and learn about key figures from British history. They visit sites of historical interest and learn about local history. The focus of the history curriculum is to develop a coherent understanding of how Britain has changed over time.


Pupils explore different parts of the world and are asked to imagine what it would be like to live there. They compare their lives and experiences to those of other people from around the world and ask questions to find out more. They experience the beauty of the natural world and a sense of awe and wonder when learning about the world around them.

Moral issues are a vital part of many of the topics covered in Geography. Pupils look at how the development of cites have put pressure on wildlife and the rural-urban fringe. Pupils explore issues of poverty and the development of shanty towns and the issue of food miles and the moral dilemma of importing food and the consequences of it on global warming.

Activities in the geography classroom - pair work, group work, debating, role-play, geographical games - foster good social behaviour and self - discipline. Fieldwork geography makes a key contribution to social development, where the children have to work together to ensure their group is successful in achieving their outcome. This is particularly true on residential trips.

Through its study of real people in real places, geography makes a major contribution to cultural development. Pupils learn about the characteristics of their local area, and why it is like that, and contrast where they live with more distant localities, in this country and abroad. A sense of place requires a knowledge and understanding of the cultural traditions of the people who live there. For example, at KS2 pupils might explore different attitudes towards the environment.

Art and Design

Creativity and imagination form a crucial part of all Art and Design work, with children reflecting on the work of famous artists, architects, craft makers and designers before creating their own pieces of work. Reflecting on their own experiences will also form part of their learning.

Pupils develop tolerance and respect through working together.  They dispel stereotypes and myths about another cultures. They learn to respect cultural diversity

In Art, pupils work collaboratively with other children to create a piece of art.  They practise with a partner and give feedback to each other. As a school, pupils organise and run ‘art exhibitions’- where they have the opportunity to view their peers work and express their feelings on this to one another.

Pupils compare similarities and differences between our culture and another by comparing art from other countries and art in our own culture (e.g. Aboriginal art; Mehndi patterns). They learn to see the relationships between our lives and those of others. They respect cultural diversity. Through educational visits to Art galleries and visits from artists, they develop cultural capital and learn about the importance of art and art history in British society.


Pupils learn to show their delight and curiosity in creating sound and music. The make links between their learning in English, RE, Geography etc. with music and its’ origins. They consider how music can make them feel different emotions or evoke particular memories and they consider the beauty, pattern and symmetry in what are often considered to be beautiful pieces of music.

Pupils engage in critical discussions of musical performances and dramas/ presentations from other pupils and also visiting professionals. Where there is a specific cultural or social reference that is explicit in the work examined we encourage pupils to reflect upon this. When pupils present their own work we ensure fair and objective assessment and evaluation of their work.

Pupils work cooperatively to investigate and enquire in Music, listening to each other’s ideas and working together to achieve a collective goal. They discuss and debate ideas, creating compositions. They learn how to evaluate each other’s work and how to provide sensitive and appropriate feedback.

Pupils learn about music from British culture and other cultures from around the world. They look for similarities and differences, deciding what their personal preferences are. Pupils participate in a range of cultural activities, including listening to live performances of music and meeting composers and musicians. They learn about the importance of music within British culture and the significance that anthems and songs may have for individuals and groups. Pupils use a wide variety of instruments from around the world to enrich the cultural experiences of our learning.

Design Technology

In Design Technology, pupils are presented with problems and challenges and have to use their imagination and creativity to find solutions. They have to reflect on their own experiences and consider various different aspects of ‘design’. This may include taking into account the beliefs, wishes and values of the clients they are producing the products for.

In Design Technology pupils develop a sense of ‘moral conscience’ through focusing upon the moral dilemmas raised in designing and making new products. Pupils are taught to understand the wider impacts on the environment when designing and making new products. They consider carefully the materials and components they will use when designing and making, applying sustainable thinking. Topics and projects are included where pupils have to apply the principles of reusing and recycling.

Pupils are taught the concept of self-regulation to ensure that they accept responsibility for their behaviour and the safety of others. Pupils are encouraged to give each other reminders when standards fall short of the collective expectation. This establishes and maintains a safe, secure, learning environment. Pupils develop the ability to work with other and to accept each other’s unique personality. Pupils are taught to have effective conversations about the work we do through self and peer evaluation, and to give and accept constructive criticism as a vehicle to improve learning outcomes.

Wider cultural awareness in design technology is developed through projects that have a connection with our past heritage and how our industrial routes have shaped our nation. Pupils explore materials and designs from different cultures.


In RE, pupils study a range of different religions, with a focus on understanding the world around them and making links to their own lives. They develop an interest in, and tolerance towards, other faiths, feelings and values and are taught to ask questions and find answers to learn more.

Pupils gain a sense of moral values from their experience of learning in RE, enabling them to think and act responsibly, courageously and compassionately towards themselves, other people, society and the environment. Religious based discussions and stories in assemblies, the day to day decisions/choices the children make inclusive of behaviour, rewards and sanctions and the spectrum of Religions taught al contribute to moral development. Opportunities for circle time are given to discuss our own personal history and special events throughout the year such as birthdays and holidays. Collaborative learning opportunities give the opportunity to argue and reason their viewpoints with their peers.

Pupils are taught to appreciate, appraise and share experiences and ways of expressing meaning from a variety of faiths (both with regard to the children themselves, and of those religions and worldviews studied)

Pupils learn what it means to be a Christian in Britain today – developing an understanding of how Christianity has shaped their heritage. They learn about the beliefs, values and history behind Britain’s Judeo-Christian heritage. Pupils explore cultural and religious diversity locally and globally (both with regard to the children themselves, and in the faiths and worldviews studied). 


In PE, pupils explore the achievements of athletes, past and present, understanding what has driven them to achieve. They learn about the importance of health and wellbeing, including mental wellbeing in staying healthy, and respecting the feelings and values of others.

Pupils learn about the importance of rules through playing games, both for fun and competitively. They learn to recognise right and wrong, and understand the impact not following the rules can have. They learn to recognise the impact of their actions and how this can affect the wellbeing and actions of others. Pupils develop their own games, considering what rules they need to develop to ensure that everyone can join in and play fairly.

Pupils work together in a range of different teams to compete. They learn how teams work best and what happens if individuals within the team do not cooperate. They learn to communicate effectively with each other. Through playing with a range of different groups of children, they develop a willingness to participate and learn to apply a range of different social skills to the situations they are in.

Pupils learn about the role of sport within our own society and others and learn about the cultural meaning of supporting a team. They learn about the origins of some sports and the impact these have had on our cultural heritage.


Pupils learn about the beliefs of other groups of individuals and there is a strong focus on learning how to show respect for others. Pupils learn how to challenge each other’s views sensitively and how to deal with situations where they might have to challenge the beliefs of others. They use imagination and creativity in exploring and role playing new and familiar situations.

PSHE sessions have a strong focus on learning the difference between right and wrong and pupils are regularly asked to role play situations to consider the most appropriate way to behave. They learn how to challenge each other respectfully and learn how to work together. They learn about communities, including Britain as a country, and the role they play in upholding fundamental British Values. They investigate a range of moral and ethical issues in a supportive environment.

Pupils use a range of different skills to socialise with different children and take on different roles within groups. They learn how to communicate effectively with each other and reflect on how to resolve conflicts effectively. They explore common social situations they may encounter and consider how they may (and should) behave in these situations.

Pupils develop an understanding of British culture and values and what has shaped these. They learn about the British democratic process and how this works, including testing these systems out by holding their own elections. They learn about key figures in Britain, both past and present, and their impact on shaping our lives. Pupils also learn about key current events from around the world.


Pupils use their imagination and creativity in programming and solving problems. They develop a sense of awe and wonder about the power of computers.

Through learning about e-safety, pupils learn about right and wrong and the impact that their actions online can have on others. They learn about staying safe online and explore a range of moral and ethical issues they could be faced with when working as part of an online environment.

Pupils work together in groups to solve problems and learn to listen to the ideas of others. They learn how to compromise and how to challenge each other’s’ views appropriately. They learn about staying safe online and who they should and should not communicate with. They learn about different types of communication (e.g. email, chat) and the social conventions for these.

Pupils take part in projects that have a cultural focus (both within Britain and further afield). They learn about the role that technology plays in our society, how this has changed over time and how this may be different in other cultures.