Spiritual, Moral, Cultural and Social Education
At Meadlands we believe that preparation for future life includes the nurture of understanding, empathy and compassion for others. We believe that Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development is a golden thread running throughout the school, tracking back to our ‘Work Hard & Be Kind’ ethos. This is owned by everyone and demonstrated by leadership at all levels, every day.
In school, we promote Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education through a variety of experiences and activities. It is not taught as a discrete lesson, rather it may be part of Religious Education, Physical Education, Personal, Social and Health Education and part of the ethos of the school which children experience on a daily basis.
Please see attached our SMSC provision map which details the breadth of SMSC in our school.
Fundamental British Values
We promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. The importance of SMSC education in developing well-rounded citizens who contribute to society and improve their communities has always been recognised and promoted as integral to our school curriculum. British fundamental values have always been at the heart of what we do, although in the past they may not have been explicitly labelled as such. When the term ‘British’ values is used it is important to underline that this embraces the fact that we are a nation with a proud history of people of many different ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs and secular values all living together in a plural society. Our school models this wider picture of inclusivity, freedom and equality, so our underpinning values are British to the core.
The many different ways in which we achieve the requirement to promote British values are outlined in the document above. Below are some further examples of how we do this:
We listen to children’s and parent’s voice. Our school behaviour policy is clear that children are expected to contribute and co-operate, taking into account the views of others. Each class sees democracy in action as they elect Class Ambassadors to represent them following a secret ballot as well as the whole school House Captain vote. The Junior Leadership Team, who meet regularly with their staff counterparts, the Head Teacher and termly with the Governing Body, chooses its members through a process of job application and interview. Pupil voice is also heard through PSHE lessons, interviews and surveys and class assemblies.
The Rule of Law
We consistently reinforce our high expectations of children. Children are taught the value and reasons behind our expectations (rules) that they are there to protect us, that everyone has a responsibility and that there are consequences when rules are broken. The understanding of right and wrong is a thread that runs through school activity. It is discussed in school and class assemblies and Collective Worships, RE and PSHE lessons. Children are supported in making good choices between right and wrong by the golden rules (some of which, in classes, are democratically selected by the children themselves) and particular rules e.g. those that govern the use of play equipment. Children are continually reminded about what is needed to make a safe and happy community and the role of boundaries (rules, laws) to achieve this. To reinforce this message, visits from our Police Liaison Officer, Police Officers, Emergency Services personnel and the Fire Service for example are a regular feature of our calendar.
Within school, children are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through our provision of a safe environment and empowering teaching. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms. We provide a culture, environment and opportunity for children to make their own choices, recognising the need for their own and others’ safety and well-being. This is supported by a programme of E-safety and PSHE lessons and assemblies.
We recognise that everyone is important and special, and needs to be treated as such. Our behaviour policy, our school rules, the modelling of adults and pupil leaders as well as the explicit teaching through PSHE and assemblies, actively promotes this value each week.
Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our school, like our country, has a richness that is due to the diversity of those who live here, and we value, embrace, and respect those from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. We aim to enhance children’s understanding of different faiths and beliefs by participating in a range of celebrations throughout the year. Children have the opportunity to dress-up in clothes and try different foods from other cultures and we encourage parents/carers to participate and support our multi-cultural events.
Our curriculum also firmly addresses cultural capital. Through an established process of admissions combined with very strong partnerships, we know our families well. We have identified the currency that we can give to the children in our school to further their social mobility. This, we see, makes the difference:
Vocabulary, morphology and etymology are central to our curriculum intent and therefore threaded through every aspect of teaching and learning. Higher level language and subject specific language (tier 2 and 3) is taught from YrN to Yr6, plotted by teachers, reviewed by subject leaders, displayed in classrooms and used by the children, evidenced in their written and verbal responses. Language is further enhanced through our focus on speaking & listening throughout the school from storytelling in the Early Years, Drama in KS1 and LAMDA in KS2 led by a specialist teacher. Our children pass the LAMDA examinations with distinctions and merits, which is again evidence of improved communication skills, articulation and confidence.
Every child reads every day at Meadlands whether they are part of the Early Readers Club (the lowest 20% readers in the school are part of a specific tailored reading intervention for example following a precision teaching method every day for half a term), or in receipt of 1:1 support from our staff or from one of our volunteers and through completion of the daily reading lessons. The reading lead has developed a systematic and broad provision ensuring children are exposed to a range of authors and genres as they progress through the school. There is a rich, fulfilling, diverse diet of literature for every child. We are not apologetic about aiming for 100% phonics pass in Yr1 and 100% good progress at the end of KS1 and KS2.
We seek wider unique opportunities beyond our school gates which has led to children accessing activities that would otherwise be financially prohibitive. For example our links with Hampton Horse Rangers has led to a number of children experiencing a day at the stables and this led to 2 pupils being selected as a ‘rangers’ and being part of competition groups. This is a career path that parents state their children would never have had. Our links with local sporting clubs, including the local ballet school and Rose Youth Theatre have also widened experiences for our children and something we have consciously worked towards to combat the current climate of digital babysitting. Our children are introduced to a wide range of human creativity and achievement. This is embedded throughout our curriculum and carefully planned by teachers at the start of a new unit of work. Children learn about subject 'heroes' from Greta Thunberg to Mozart to Mo Farah. They have trips to galleries, museums, sport stadiums as well as opportunities to visit the theatre, The Rose, The Globe and The Royal Opera House. They even get the chance to perform at The O2!
We also want the children to introduce their Cultural Capital to us, bringing their experiences into the classroom. With such a well planned curriculum and good knowledge of our families, we have been successful in doing this. Some recent examples include a Yr6 child sharing letters written by his great grandmother during the war and her experiences of being an evacuee, one of our Muslim children teaching his experiences of faith in a whole school assembly, parents who work at The Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew - supporting a topic on conservation and one of our Indian families helping plan an Indian day for the Yr4 children. The staff like to get involved too and have shared experiences of travel to Rwanda, Nepal and Ghana and more recently our Australian club provider led a powerful assembly on the recent bush fires in western Australia.