SMSC & Universal Values
SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural. All schools in England must develop pupils' SMSC education as part of the national curriculum.
Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experiences; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect meaningfully on their own actions and the actions of others.
Moral: Recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social: Use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
The Citizenship Foundation National SMSC Quality Mark
Coppice Valley is the proud recipient of a Silver SMSC award, recognising our work to promote excellent SMSC education.
At Coppice Valley, our aim is to inspire all our pupils to love learning and to be socially and morally responsible citizens of the world. Our purpose is to nurture the growth of the whole child - academically, socially and emotionally. Good relationships are at heart of our school - our ethos is warm, supportive and family friendly.
Our school values – Brave, Kind and Curious – are embedded in our school SMSC education through PSHE lessons, assemblies and teachable moments that occur in the everyday life of the school.
How SMSC is taught and experienced at Coppice Valley
We recognise the importance of SMSC education to our children. SMSC education is as much an approach as it is discrete experiences. SMSC is a golden thread that weaves through all we do – how we work in teams, discuss and debate, encourage reflection, consider ethical impact, explore the wonders of the world and give our pupils a voice.
Our curriculum is an important part of our SMSC (including values and character work) education as we have designed it with SMSC in mind. Our Coppice 50 (see website) are key experiences that develop our pupils SMSC over their seven years with us. They are specific to the needs of our curriculum and context, providing our pupils with bespoke SMSC opportunities.
Our character-building work is based around promoting and teaching our school values - Brave, Kind and Curious. Our approach to learning, our curriculum and our Coppice 50 helps our pupils build resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge (Brave), to show compassion (Kind) and to keep learning and growing as a person (Curious). Our curriculum stretches and challenges our pupils, encouraging them to think deeply, and developing their self-esteem and their confidence.
Our curriculum includes the 5 Foundations for Building Character
- Sport – which includes competitive sport and activities such as running, martial arts, swimming and purposeful recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, orienteering, gym programmes, yoga or learning to ride a bike.
- Creativity – this involves all creative activities from coding, arts and crafts, writing, graphic design, film making and music composition.
- Performing – activities including dance, theatre and drama, musical performance, choir, and public speaking.
- Volunteering & Membership – for example, litter-picking, fundraising and working with local, national and global charities and groups to help others.
- World of work –we encourage entrepreneurship with our Young Enterprise Group. We provide opportunities to meet role models from different jobs through our membership in Primary Futures, a national group who bring people into school from a range of careers.
We understand we have a duty to provide for the Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education of pupils whilst promoting the values of Democracy, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Respect and Tolerance. These have been called British values but are now more commonly called Universal values as they are not unique to Britain and all of these values underpin the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Our work to promote pupils’ (SMSC) development, including work on citizenship and community cohesion, anti-bullying learning, equalities and diversity work, ensures we meet the government’s requirements to teach fundamental British values. Undertaking constructive values education does not only act as a preventative measure against radicalisation and extremism, but is also a vital part of preparing children to get on in life, creating critical thinkers and active citizens who respect others and challenge prejudice and discrimination.
The Cultural Learning Alliance states that cultural capital "is characterised by the experience and skill to be able to deploy the appropriate knowledge in any given situation: a job interview, a conversation with a neighbour, building a work network and so on." It is often assumed to be about providing children with cultural experiences of 'high art' such as theatre, art and literature, but cultural capital can refer to much more including:
- technical cultural capital – e.g. IT
- emotional cultural capital - such as empathy and sympathy
- embodied cultural capital – e.g. language, expressions, mannerisms;
- national cultural capital - working on an assumption of an existence of traditions, the lack of which can act as a disadvantage
Our curriculum, including the Coppice 50, is broad and wide-reaching. It is a knowledge rich curriculum, designed to introduce pupils to the best that has been thought and said as well as the knowledge and skills they will need for life today such as emotional literacy and an appreciation for diversity and equality.
Beyond lessons, our pupils SMSC education extends to:
- Whole school assemblies and weekly celebrations of values with parents
- Visits to different places of worship and visits to school by different representatives of religions and belief-systems
- Annual residential experiences for years 1-6 (sleepovers at school in KS1 and short trips away in KS2)
- Christmas and Easter celebrations with our community
- Diversity week - celebrating different religions, races, families and abilities
- Around the World day - celebrating the cultures of the families in our school
- Give it Go day - opening up our pupils' minds to try new things. Last year we did fencing, karate, knitting, tree-climbing and camp-fire making,
- Meditation and mindfulness - part of our regular practice at Coppice Valley
- Charitable projects - we support local, national and global projects
- Eco-schools - we have an Eco Council and are in the process of achieving Eco-school status
- GOLD Healthy schools status, Kindness UK School of the Year 2020, Anti-Bullying Alliance GOLD award, Positive Identities Service Beacon School status for Equalities
- Termly whole school pupil voice conferences so our children can share their ideas with us about school improvement
- Anti-bullying week - we teach pupils how to recognise and deal with bullying in our curriculum
- Sports competitions against local schools
- Crucial crew - training for our year 6 pupils from local emergency services
- Daily lunchtime calm club, run by our teaching assistants to provide a quiet space during lunch time for children who want some downtime or to talk to a peer or adult about their feelings
- Buddies for new pupils - Reception pupils and in-year transfer pupils are given a buddy to help them settle in
- Visits to the local council offices to see local politics in action
- Whole school theatre visit - we all go the pantomime together!