Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

At William Murdoch Primary School the promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural education is considered to be a whole school issue. Spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development is promoted not only through all the subjects of the curriculum, but also through the ethos of the school and through the development of positive attitudes and values.

‘Teaching contributes strongly to pupils’ spiritual, moral and social development.’ (Ofsted April 2015)

Our children are given opportunities for SMSC development in order to help develop self-confidence, motivation and an understanding of their rights and responsibilities within our diverse society.

Spiritual development

This involves the growth of their sense of self, their unique potential, their understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, and their willingness to achieve. As their curiosity about themselves and their place in the world increases, they try to answer for themselves some of life’s fundamental questions. This is achieved through:-
RE curriculum lessons
Music assemblies
SEAL/Jigsaw schemes of work
Circle time activities
Visits to places of worship
Discussions and debates about world events (news and views activities)


The Department for Education have recently reinforced that ‘pupils need knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy.’

At William Murdoch Primary School, we promote SRE when covering work during the ‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing Me’ topics of work. This helps to develop children’s self-esteem, how to develop caring and healthy relationships and how to develop assertiveness skills in keeping themselves valued, safe and respected. Teaching of SRE puts in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds including looking at the family unit and different types of families, friendships and how to treat each other with kindness. The teaching of SRE will be taught in an age appropriate way which meets the needs of all the pupils of the school.

Moral development

This involves them acquiring an understanding of the difference between the right and wrong of moral conflict and a concern for others. They are willing to reflect on the consequences of their own actions and have the ability to forgive others. They also develop their understanding and knowledge of British Values in order to make an active contribution to the democratic process. This is achieved through:-
PSHE lessons - SEAL/Jigsaw schemes of work
Pupil’s high expectations of themselves
School rules displayed around the school and class charters
Special visitor assemblies e.g. police service
Good to be Green behaviour chart
Behaviour monitoring
Pupils are aware of sanctions if expectations of behaviour are breached
Anti-Bullying Week and focused work on cyber bullying & e-safety
RE lessons
Class discussions and debates where pupils form opinions on topical world events (e.g. First News resources)

Social development

This involves pupils acquiring an understanding of the responsibilities and rights of being members of families and communities on a local, national and global basis. They have the ability to relate to others and to work with others for the common good. This is achieved through:-
Sporting competitions in school and with other schools
After-school clubs
Partnership with other schools e.g. Hamstead Hall, King Edward VI consortia, Handsworth Association of Schools
Pupils perform with other schools as part of the Brass Band, Music Ensemble
Peripatetic music sessions take place where pupils study a range of brass instruments, sitar and tabla
Cultural Evening of Entertainment
Subjects such as performing arts -, drama, choir, brass, sitar, tabla club
Local distribution of harvest gifts
Parliament Week – Young People's Parliament
School councils are elected members (school council assemblies)
Class assembly on Britain -cover aspects of being British
Delivery of the RE curriculum
Safeside trip to local fire station– raise awareness of safety

Cultural development

This involves pupils acquiring an understanding of cultural traditions and the ability to appreciate and respond to a variety of imaginative experiences. They acquire a respect for their own culture and that of others, an interest in others’ ways of doing things and curiosity about differences. This is achieved through:-
RE curriculum - focused work on different religions
Visits to places of worship :
Year 2 – Synagogue
Year 3 – Church
Year 4 - Hindu Temple
Year 5 – Mosque
Year 6 - Sikh Temple
Festival assemblies and celebrations – Eid, Diwali, Guru Nanak, Christmas etc
Religious symbols displayed in classes
Welcome display in different languages
Remembrance assembly
People in History annual project and assembly to showcase the best samples of projects
Cultural Evening of Entertainment
Instrumental music lessons and workshops e.g. African dance, steel drums, bhangra etc
Parliament week-local MP visited the school, visit to Houses of Parliament
Class assembly on Britain - cover aspects of being British
Theatre productions e.g. Artefacts Theatre Company
Knowledge-Rich Curriculum includes teaching and learning of local/national and international studies (e.g. Y3-Ancient Egyptians)
Knowledge-Rich Curriculum covers a range of historical periods e.g. Ancient Egyptians, Romans, Victorians, etc,
Sports Coach delivering ‘Wake up Shake up’ sessions
Sports Day
Health Week
Music assemblies with each Year 4 pupil receiving instrumental instruction
Drama club
Art club & sewing club
Cooking club
Charity work in school, e.g. support for natural disasters e.g. earthquakes, hurricanes, Children in Need, Poppy Appeal, Christmas Jumper Day, Cancer Research, Comic and Sport Relief
I Am Learning/My Maths enables children to compete against global peers