SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development and learning and at Meadlands we continue to promote SMSC through a variety of experiences. Experiences and lessons with the aim of promoting understanding, empathy and compassion for others in preparation for future life.
We believe SMSC is a golden thread that runs throughout the school (School Review 2018), tracking all the way back to the ethos and leadership that the school stands for ‘Work Hard & Be Kind’. This ethos is owned by everyone and demonstrated by leadership at all levels, every day. Here are some examples of our SMSC curriculum offer:
We make ‘real’ space for the spiritual learning through a discreet RE curriculum and every Wednesday assembly time is focused on religion and reflection; teaching the children about religious festivals and celebrations. All year groups attend a workshop at our local Church, St Andrews, and Reverend Alice Pettit frequently visits Meadlands to lead an assembly. In addition to this Key Stage 2 visit a place of worship, so by the end of Yr6 there is a breadth in understanding of a number of different religions in our country:
6: Neasden Hindu Temple
5: West London Synagogue
4: Ealing Sikh Gurdwara
3: Wimbledon Buddhist Temple
In school our Muslim children lead workshops and assemblies teaching their peers about ‘Being a young Muslim in Britain today’.
Our annual International Week has SMSC at its core, in 2018/19 the children learned about the 12 International Sustainable Developmental Goals (please come and visit our school and take a look at the hall display for each class pledge). The outcome of this is our children developed a wider understanding of citizenship and global issues, following international week the children requested a plastic-free Christmas Fair, leading assemblies about plastic and sea pollution, assemblies on deforestation and the importance of recycling. The children are leading this.
A new PSHE curriculum has been introduced in 2018/19 – see PSHE curriculum page.
The children vote on the school charity for the year, in 2018/19 they chose Momentum (child health charity) & Battersea Dogs Home. Miss Taunton is leading a number of workshops on both of these charities throughout the year with visits from the charities in assembly.
VIP morning is always hugely successful in sharing the cultures and histories of our families and the children have been involved in making traditional Ethiopian biscuits, Afghanistan design and dress, Polish language lessons amongst many other things and all of these are led by our parents. This is very much a speaking and listening event so reflections are not recorded but the impact is seen and felt in community spirit and growing the children’s understanding of one another.
The school has very a strong relationship with a local charity RUILS who support independent living for people with disabilities. RUILS volunteers visit each year to lead on assemblies and workshops for KS2. We re-pay this kindness by hosting a Christmas carol concert and tea party for local friends who are supported by RUILS here at school.
Ham has a strong community spirit and we work with local groups and respond to key events happening and impacting upon our families. In 2018 the school took part in two events commemorating WW1, this coincided with assemblies at Meadlands where children learned WW1 songs and the reason why we wear poppies in November (which are always sold to the children here in school). Meadlands also celebrates the UN International Day of Peace. Each year two visitors lead an assembly on the International Day of Peace and teach the children the significance of the white poppy.
We are proud of our moral purpose. The school motto and mantra are embedded in our day to day and we celebrate a different value each month in our achievement assembly. This almost culminates in our annual Kindness Week, when children are given opportunities to understand what kindness and compassion mean and apply this to their own thinking and behaviour. Amongst other things the children carry out acts of kindness in the community, visit a local elderly group, write and post letters to elderly relatives and consider ways that they can help others to make life a little jollier.
Wonder Writing Days have a multiple purpose; to engage the children in writing but enthuse debate over a moral/philosophical question. In our last wonder day children created protest posters and placards, debated in class, wrote fantastic articles and letters arguing their case. This was fundamental British values of law and freedom of speech in action!
We engage with resources and opportunities beyond our school gates. A recent example of this is our Malden Oaks collaboration. Over the past term we have worked with the local specialist secondary provision to support a group of KS3 pupils in achieving their bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, they have visited Meadlands each week to read with groups of children The impact we have seen in our school is a slow growing understanding of working with teenagers and particularly those with additional needs.
In addition to this we have regular visits from local services: Police, Health, Social Care – and the charity sector Samaritans, NSPCC to lead assemblies throughout the year. Kingston Hospital led first aid training for Yr5 and 6 and the school’s SENDCo has developed a ‘pop up shop’ with the school nurse presenting sessions for parents around key issues we see in our community. The first one focused on anxiety in young people.
Democracy is also woven throughout the curriculum with opportunities of children to vote and elect through the choices that they are given. Some examples of this are: in Yr6 with the election of two nominations for Pupil Parliament, whole school with the voting in of House Captains, children are given the chance to vote for music played at lunch time and in assemblies. Additionally in Yr6 we organise an annual trip to Lavender Court Rooms in Clapham.
So what next?
A broad and balanced curriculum As detailed in the SDP Meadlands Senior Leaders are focusing heavily upon curriculum during the course of this academic year, with the development of our Curriculum Intent/Offer from which we will pull together what we believe and want our curriculum identity to be. Following this subject leaders will be completing a number of mini projects:
Curriculum assessment in non-core subjects (by which a review of standards, quality of learning, progression of skills as well as what ‘expected’ looks like in different year groups for different subjects)
We expect to see SMSC woven specifically in PSHE, RE, Assembly and aspects of literacy and through our annual International Week. We are avoiding the ‘everywhere and nowhere’ by ensuring that the learning in these key subjects is substantial and significant. See points above!
Developing an early transition programme so that our EHCP pupils in Year 5 are supported through the application process into Year 7 and our Year 6 children are well prepared emotionally and academically for the move into Yr7.
Development of a whole school prayer. Something which the children can develop and can be used as reflection time at the end of our assemblies.