All schools in England are required to provide opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC). Our church school ethos supports this area.
Through Spiritual Development, pupils are given opportunities to explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Through Moral Development, pupils are given opportunities to recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Through Social Development, pupils are given opportunities to use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the ‘British values‘ of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.
Through Cultural Development, pupils are given opportunities to appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Schools are required to promote British Values.
Examples of SMSC Development and Promotion of British Values at St Barnabas
SMSC Development and British Values are taught throughout the curriculum and all aspects of school life. In addition we have PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education) lessons, themed weeks and specific activities to spend more focused time on this area.
The Archbishop of York Youth Trust Young Leaders Award
Our Year 6 pupils take part in the Archbishop of York Youth Trust’s Young Leaders Award for several years. Through this project they have planned and carried out activities to help local, national and global communities. They are encouraged to ‘Be the Change You Want to See’. Some of the activities have included litter picking and weeding in the local area, planting in the new community allotment, reading stories at a local Toddler Group based in St Barnabas Church, and bringing the community together at Big Breakfast Event. In addition pupils have raised funds for charities including York Against Cancer, York Hospital, Macmillan, Age UK and the Tubukunde Trust, supporting education in Rwanda. Fundraising has also enabled us to twin 6 of our toilets, meaning that we have helped to provide 6 toilets to communities around the world. All of these charities have been chosen by children and many choices have been made as a result of a personal link (e.g. a family member having cancer treatment). The Big Breakfast events are mentioned in a book called ‘Schools for Human Flourishing’ by The Church England Education Office, Woodard Schools and SSAT. Click on the link to read the excerpt from the book. Excerpt from Schools for Human Flourishing Book
Understanding Democracy and the Parliamentary System
Our School Council, made up of a boy and a girl from Y1-Y6 are elected democratically. Pupils wishing to be considered for the School Council prepare and deliver a ‘speech’ to their class mates about why they would be a good member of the School Council. Members of this year group then vote in a secret ballot and the candidates with the most votes become members for a year. School Council members are encouraged to seek the views of their peers and bring them back to discuss at meetings. This year, the school council have introduced and helped to run a ‘quiet room’ at lunchtimes as an alternative to being out on the playground.
We teach pupils about local and national politics too. In November 2019, we marked ‘Parliament Week’ in school. Children learned about the role of parliament and the rule of law. Shakespeare Class spent an afternoon with the Mayor and Sherriff of York at Mansion House where they were able to ask questions and find out more about these important roles. In the past, children have taken part in Question Time events with local councilors and other local schools. Children were able to ask Councillors about issues in their local area and hear their views about action that would be taken. Read the York Press article about this here.
National events are used as the focus for PSHCE lessons. For example, pupils learned about the Brexit Referendum. Through these types of lessons, pupils are encouraged to give their own views, and listen to and try to understand the views of others. Key Stage 2 classes even held their own referendum!
Cultural Development, Respect and Tolerance
As well as in PSHCE, this is taught and promoted through RE lessons, our Christian Values and Collective Worship and complimented by theme days and events. Recently children have learned more about other faiths and cultures through our whole school Eid focus event and Diversity Day. Reception and Key Stage 1 have enjoyed an African drumming workshop too.
Pupils are taught to ‘love your neighbour’ and to respect and celebrate each others differences. Pupils at St Barnabas are from diverse cultural backgrounds and all pupils get on well together.
Opportunities for Spiritual Development take place through RE lessons, when pupils explore different faiths, beliefs and values. Prayer and reflection is an important part of our school day. This takes place in collective worship, through the central and class reflection areas and prayer times in class. Our Spiritual Garden, at the edge of the playground, and blessed by the Archbishop of York, provides a quiet place for reflection too. In June 2021, the whole school took part in a Prayer Spaces Day to explore our school values.
Our school grounds provide plenty opportunities for spiritual development, through our allotment, regular tree/bulb planting and other outdoor learning activities, wildlife area and more recently planting Tansy Plants to protect the habitat of the local, endangered Tansy Beetle.