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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Aspects of Learning

At its heart, SMSC is about relationships and attitudes.


There are ‘No Outsiders’ at Thomas Hickman School because everyone is included: everyone is welcome and all difference is celebrated.

This is fundamental to our school ethos and permeates all that we do at THS.

At Thomas Hickman School we endeavour to improve the lives of children, young people and families. We celebrate our rich diversity and take steps to tackle all kinds of bullying. In doing so, we believe that children will attain more at school and our community will be happier and more successful.

We celebrate all our children and their families without discrimination.

We are a caring community where our whole-school, BIRDS charter is built on mutual trust and respect for all, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age or gender.  The ‘No Outsiders’ message fulfills our duty to promote diversity and prepares our children for life in modern Britain. 

‘No Outsiders’ is British Law and supports the Equality Act to ensure that everybody is treated equally and without prejudice. 

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils.

The Citizenship Foundation defines spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils in relation to pupils’ ability and willingness to do the following:

  • Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.

  • 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.

At Thomas Hickman School we promote BIRDS values by staff, pupils and governors.

Our “Hand on Heart” principle drives the interactions between people and the way we care for one another. This includes the quality of the physical environment, the range of opportunities provided by the school both within the curriculum and beyond it and the relationship developed by the school with the wider community.

Teachers seek to plan learning experiences that have relevance to the children, and will combine the awe and wonder of the world with practical skills to aid them in their daily lives.

Pupils’ Spiritual Development Is Shown By Their:
  • Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feeling and values

  • Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible

  • 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 their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives

  • Understanding of the consequences of their actions

  • Interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues

Pupils’ Social Development Is Shown By Their:
  • Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different backgrounds

  • Willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively

  • Interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.

Pupils’ Cultural Development Is Shown By Their:
  • Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage

  • Willingness to participate in, and respond to artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological and scientific opportunities

  • Interest in exploring and respecting cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept and respect diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

SMSC development is also embedded into our ethos of our BIRDS Values and our motto;

“ Where curiosity hatches, creativity takes flight and learning soars to a sky of opportunity”.

It can be sensed in our day-to-day practices and many of our policies and practices (such as Positive Relationships and Behaviour policy). A key part of the social development of pupils is their acceptance and engagement with British Values.