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What is Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education?

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is fundamental to helping our pupils become well-rounded citizens who are able to thrive in society. 

At Horizons Academy Bexley, we place an emphasis on supporting our pupils to:

Spiritual development 

  • be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life
  • develop knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • harness a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use their imagination and creativity in their learning 
  • to reflect on their experiences

 Moral development

  • recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, and to recognise legal boundaries and, in doing so, respect the civil and criminal law of England 
  • understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions 
  • take an interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues

 Social development

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts – for example, working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • accept and engage with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. They will develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain

 Cultural development

  • understand and appreciate a wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • understand and appreciate a range of different cultures in the school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • recognise, and value, the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities
  • develop knowledge about Britain’s democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • take an interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. This is shown by their respect and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

How do we develop SMSC at Horizons Academy Bexley?

It is the responsibility of all staff at Horizons Academy to ensure that SMSC education is fully embedded across the school. 

School leaders and governors should ensure that SMSC is a key focus when reviewing and developing changes in the school and that all staff are equipped with the skills and knowledge that they need to successfully support our young people to develop into responsible and respectful citizens who can lead prosperous lives in a multicultural society.

The school community including the pupils themselves will be encouraged to develop their behaviours and understanding of others, recognise that actions have consequences and to treat people with dignity and respect. 

SMSC will be evident throughout all aspects of the school and staff will be encouraged to challenge pupils where language and/or actions challenges the schools ethos of SMSC development.


What are British values?

Horizons Academy Bexley is dedicated to ensuring that pupils understand and respect the fundamental British values that will help them to become well-rounded citizens..

It is a statutory requirement that British values are promoted in all schools and we are committed to ensuring that these are embedded across Horizons Academy Bexley.

The four British values that all schools need to promote are:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

More details about the British values can be found by clicking here

How do we embed British values at Horizons Academy Bexley?

At Horizons Academy Bexley we promote the fundamental British values by:

  • setting an ethos across all areas of the school
  • developing policies that are consistent with our approach
  • ensuring that fundamental British values are visible in a rich, broad and balanced curriculum
  • monitoring how fundamental British values are promoted within the school