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Promoting British Values & SMSC

SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural and all schools must show how well their pupils are developing in SMSC. At Seaburn Dene, we identify where aspects of SMSC can be developed within the curriculum and beyond. 


Here are the OFSTED definitions from their 2015 handbook:


Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in 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.


Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, recognise legal boundaries and, in so doing, 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.


Pupils’ social development 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 and engagement with the fundamental British valuesof democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; they develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and those of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • 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, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

The DFE has recently reinforced the need to promote British values in our schools. The fundamental British Values defined by the DFE are:


  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs



At Seaburn Dene, we believe that it is important that these British values permeate everyday life in Seaburn Dene from electing school councillors to the curriculum. We have a duty to prepare our children for life in modern Britain and keep them safe.  Significant events we have commemorated during recent years include:


  • The annual Armistice Day silence of remembrance
  • The Queen's Jubilee
  • The Royal Wedding and birth of Prince George
  • Elections, including the vote for Scottish independence
  • Shakespeare Week


In history we look at key figures and events that have created our country from Stone Age to present day. In geography we become more familiar with our city, region and country and think about our place in the world and the responsibilities we have as a nation.


1. Democracy

Pupil voice plays a big part in the life of Seaburn Dene. Our pupil elected School Council play a strong role in the school, having recently developed and written an Anti Bullying Policy supported by a professional from the NSPCC. Pupil questionnaires and interviews also take place on a variety of subjects throughout the year and opinions contribute to the development of the curriculum and the way in which we teach it. Our school Behaviour and Discipline Policy involves both rewards and sanctions which the pupils understand.


2. The Rule of Law

The importance of laws, whether in the form of rules that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced as being set for the good of the majority. We teach children that rules are there to keep us safe and, if broken, there are consequences as specified in the school Behaviour and Discipline Policy. School rules are promoted each day through everyday situations and wider laws are promoted in assemblies. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire brigade, lifeguards etc help to reinforce our message and the school works well in partnership with all these authorities.


3. Individual Liberty

At Seaburn Dene we work hard to support children in being confident to make their own choices within a safe environment. Within lessons children often have a choice of approaches and materials to enhance their learning. They are able to chose from the many clubs we offer according to their own interests. Through our e-safety teaching, assemblies and PHSE lessons, pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms.


4. Mutual Respect


Our school ethos and Behaviour Policy promotes the value of mutual respect, whatever beliefs, abilities or ethnic background of other people. This is reiterated throughout the day in terms of the way we speak to each other politely and never laugh at the endeavour of others, however successful. To break down barriers we invite special guests into the school e.g an Invictus athlete. In assemblies we often look at difficult themes such as racial injustice in history, attitudes towards women in history and cultures and how what we say can have a serious impact on the feelings of others.


5. Tolerance of others of Different Faiths and Beliefs


As a school we believe that tolerance is borne out of knowledge so our curriculum is vital to developing tolerance. Learning in Religious Education is heavily weighted towards learning about the main religions in Britain and, whenever possible we visit places of worship.




Week Ending



The importance of perseverance to achieve goals


Making changes


Celebrating Britain


Australia (Australia Day 26th)


The World of Charles Dickens




Hindu stories and festivals (Holi)


Caring for our Wildlife


Every picture tells a story


Shakespeare and His World








Loyal Service-Queen becomes the longest serving British monarch


Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur-being Jewish


Autumn Days and stories


Harvest (Succot)




Explorers and Adventures (Columbus Day)


The Seaburn Way






OT stories


Giving Thanks


Advent and preparing for Christmas