Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development at St Mark’s

Learn more about our Christian values here.


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

At St Mark’s CofE Primary School we recognise that the personal development of children – spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) – plays a significant role in their ability to learn, achieve and become responsible citizens.  We therefore aim to deliver an education that provides children with opportunities and experiences to develop character and skills linked to these areas which support our Christian ethos and values – faith, forgiveness, hope and love.

SMSC will be embedded within all aspects of school life.  Specific learning opportunities will be planned and delivered throughout the curriculum.

Spiritual Development

Spiritual development is shown by:

  • Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values;
  • A 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 and their understanding of others’ experiences and beliefs.

At St Mark’s we promote pupil’s spiritual development by:

  • Giving pupils the opportunity to explore values and beliefs, including religious beliefs, and the way in which they impact on people’s lives (e.g. acts of daily worship, visitors, RE, History and PSHE curriculum)
  • Where pupils already have religious beliefs, supporting and developing these beliefs in ways which are personal and relevant to them (special table in all classes, Prayer Table in communal area, candles lit in worship, daily opportunities provided for reflection, prayer spaces and more).
  • Encouraging pupils to reflect and learn from reflection (daily modelled opportunities provided for reflection)
  • Giving pupils the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they impact on people and how an understanding of them can be helpful (Literacy, Drama, Music, Dance curriculums, Year Group performances, celebration worship, and special events such as Remembrance Service).
  • Developing a climate or ethos within which all pupils can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected (Class Charters, Relationships and Behaviour Policy, School Committees, Celebration Worship)
  • Accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals.
  • Promoting teaching styles which: values people’s questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns; enable pupils to make connections between aspects of their learning; encourage pupils to relate their learning to a wider frame of reference, for example asking ‘why’, ‘how’ and ‘where’ as well as ‘what’.
  • Taking seriously and valuing our Collective Worships and RE lessons, recognising that these events in particular provide opportunities for learning, understanding, and spiritual development.
  • Promoting good mental health and wellbeing throughout our provision, including through the use of HeartSmart.

Moral development

Moral development is shown by:

  • 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

At St Mark’s we promote pupil’s moral development by:

  • Providing a clear moral code as a basis for the behaviour which is promoted consistently through all aspects of the school (relationships and Behaviour Policy, Class Charters, Anti-Bullying Week, acts of worship)
  • Promoting racial, religious and other forms of equality (Racial, Inclusion, Equal Opportunities, SEN policies)
  • Giving pupils opportunities across the curriculum to explore and develop moral concepts and values, for example, personal rights and responsibilities, truth, justice, equality of opportunity, right and wrong (Learning Behaviours, School Council elections, Eco Committee, 4 key Christian values, RE, English and History curriculum, worship led by Immanuel)
  • Developing an open and safe learning environment in which pupils can express their views and practise moral decision-making (School Council and Eco Committee elections, Safeguarding policy and practice, NSPCC Assemblies, E-Safety Assemblies)
  • Rewarding expressions or moral insights and good behaviour (Celebration worship, Class Charts, Golden Time, Recognition Points)
  • Making an issue of breaches of agreed moral codes where they arise; for example, in the press, on television and on the internet as well as in school (PSHE curriculum, HeartSmart, Class and Year Group worships)
  • Modelling, through the quality of relationships and interactions, the principles which they wish to promote; for example fairness, integrity, respect for persons, pupils’ welfare, respect for minority interests, resolution of conflict, keeping promises and contracts (Y6 buddies, Celebration worship, Class charters, Circle time, whole school fundraising)
  • Recognising and respecting the codes and morals of the different cultures represented in the school and wider community (celebration of religious festivals, visitors from other cultures, themed weeks for year groups)
  • Encouraging pupils to take responsibility for their actions; for example, respect for property, care of the environment, and developing codes of behaviour (School Council, Class Charters, Eco Committee)
  • Providing models of moral virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts, assemblies and acts of worship (Literacy; History; RE; PSHE; Assembly; Drama).
  • Reinforcing the school’s values through images, posters, classroom displays, screensavers, exhibitions etc (RE Week, Cross depicting school’s key values displayed throughout school, Dove depicting all Christian values, banners, general environment).

Social development

Social development is shown by:

  • Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, co-operating 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

At St Mark’s we promote pupil’s social development by:

  • Identifying key values and principles on which school and community life is based (worships based on Christian values, working closely with parents, ‘FOSM’ events, whole school fundraising, links with Immanuel Church, cluster schools inc primary and secondary, colour groups, sports day)
  • Fostering a sense of community with common inclusive values which ensure that everyone, irrespective of ethnic origin, nationality, gender, ability and religion can flourish (whole school ethos and shared values)
  • Encouraging pupils to work cooperatively (Play Leaders, Year 6 buddies, whole school speaking and listening events)
  • Encouraging pupils to recognise and respect social differences and similarities (RE, PSHE curriculum, Pastoral Team)
  • Providing positive corporate experiences; for example, through assemblies, team activities; residential experiences, school productions (year group performances, year group trips/ events, Y6 residential, class sharing work in Celebration Worship, choir and orchestra performances, sporting events and competitions, inter-class competitions)
  • Helping pupils develop personal qualities which are valued in a civilised society (Learning Behaviours, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference, moral principles, independence, interdependence, self-respect)
  • Helping pupils to resolve tensions between their own aspirations and those of the group or wider society (Relationships and Behaviour Policy, Pastoral Team, School Counsellor)
  • Providing a conceptual and linguistic framework within which to understand and debate social issues; providing opportunities for engaging in the democratic process and participating in community life (School Council Elections, Eco Committee Elections, Christian Voice Ambassador Elections, Raising Hope Foundation Elections)
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility (School Council, Eco Committee, Christian Voice Ambassadors, JRSOs, Raising Hope Foundation Elections, WebReps, Play Leaders, Y6 Buddies)
  • Providing positive and effective links with the world of work and the wider community (Website, links with Immanuel Church, noticeboards, school open for community events, fundraising, sporting tournaments)

Cultural development

Cultural development is shown by:

  • Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • Willingness to participate in, and respond to, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • Interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

At St Mark’s we promote pupil’s cultural development by:

  • Providing opportunities for pupils to explore their own cultural assumptions
  • Celebrating the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures (Geography, RE, History, Literacy, Art, Dance, Music curriculums, visitors from different cultural backgrounds, themed weeks)
  • Recognising and nurturing particular gifts and talents (WebReps, Sporting competitions, musical concerts and performances)
  • Providing opportunities for pupils to participate in literature, drama, music, art and craft and other cultural events and encouraging pupils to reflect on their significance
  • Developing partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness (Careers Fair, visiting theatre groups, trips to museums, concert performances, links with schools in other countries, themed weeks)
  • Reinforcing the school’s cultural values through displays, posters, exhibitions, etc


How St Mark’s Wider Community contributes to the development of SMSC 

  • Immanuel Church is situated within the school building and therefore creates a variety of links to develop pupils spiritual development.
  • Immanuel members work with the school in developing prayer spaces and worship times.
  • We provide a range of lunchtime and after school clubs such as football, netball, book club, gardening, choir, orchestra, running and more. These are vital to the spiritual and social development of children.
  • We have a number of visitors into school to discuss their jobs, cultures and interests linked with themed weeks. This embeds the Spiritual, Social and Cultural development of the children.
  • The children go on various trips and visits to enrich their learning this is also key to the Spiritual, Social and Cultural strands of SMSC. In Year 6 the children go on a PGL residential trip. This is a fantastic opportunity for the children to develop their social development. The choir regularly perform at community events such as Festival Place and The Anvil.
  • Children participate in many fundraising opportunities, more recently creating strong links with an orphanage and school in Ghana through the ‘Raising Hope’ foundation.
  • The school council helps promote moral development as a whole school approach.
  • All worships embed the spiritual and moral development of all children.