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What is SMSC?

SMSC stands refers to 'Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural' development. Below are some summaries of what we mean by each term. 

  • Spiritual learning to the opportunities given to pupils to reflect on their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and explore their views on life. It includes developing an understanding of others and a respect for their faiths, feelings and values. Spiritual learning encourages pupils to enjoy learning about themselves, others and the wider world.
  • Moral learning refers to developing pupils' understanding of right and wrong. It gives them the opportunity to apply this understanding to their own lives and enables them to connection action to consequence. Through moral development, pupils can gain an understanding of the laws and legal boundaries of England. They learn to listen to and offer views about ethical issues, helping them to foster a moral standing based on both evidence and belief. 
  • Social learning includes pupils applying their social skills to various areas of their learning. It teaches them the value and importance of collaborating with a wide range of people and engaging within their community. It enables them to understand and apply the British Values. 
  • Cultural learning develops pupils' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a range of different cultures within and beyond school. It allows them the opportunity to identify things we have in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities.  It helps pupils to understand the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own and others heritage. 

How is SMSC development considered at Ramsgate Arts Primary School?

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development links all things that contribute towards a pupil's personal development.

At Ramsgate Arts Primary School, we are very proud of how our ethos and curriculum positively contribute to and build on our pupils SMSC development. SMSC weaves through the fabric of school life at RAPS. It can be found within our curriculum, within our interactions with pupils and within our school ethos. To see some explicit examples of how SMSC is incorporated through learning at RAPS, please explore the curriculum subject tabs on our website where you will find a brief summary of SMSC development for individual subjects. Alternatively, download the SMSC at RAPS document found at the end of this webpage. 

Why is SMSC so important? 

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is at the heart of what educators aim to achieve. Through developing pupils' SMSC, we are providing them the necessary personal development to move forward into each stage of their life with confidence and joy. SMSC development allows young people to understand themselves, others and the wider world, helping them navigate towards success. 

Effective SMSC development follows pupils not only within the classroom but also beyond the school gates too. It contributes towards pupils' sense of identify and moral compass, fostering character and impacting their motivations and values. 

How can I develop SMSC in my child?

Try using the below tips to support your child's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. 

1. Encourage enquiry. Enquiry (one of the RAPS core values) is a really powerful tool for development. By encouraging your child to ask relevant questions and seek answers, you are enabling them to develop across all areas of SMSC. Encourage enquiry by modelling asking questions and seeking answers; this will help you child approach life with wonder and awe. 

2. Discuss difference. Children live lives that are centred around themselves. This is completely normal! However, opening your child's heart and mind to difference is an incredibly powerful strategy to support their SMSC development. Have discussions about different types of families, religions, cultures, traditions and beliefs etc. 

3. Explore personal values and beliefs. Allowing young people the time and space to reflect upon what beliefs and values they hold is vital in helping them develop a strong sense of sense. Try to listen without judgement to how your child feels or what they think about topical issues, educating them with key information to help them form their views. 

4. Present choices. Presenting choices to young people is vital to help them feel valued. When offered choice, young people can explore their options and learn to be analytical in their thinking. Sometimes, children make the wrong choices, but using these instances as opportunities for reflection and growth is a wonderful way to develop a child's moral compass. 

5. Help others. Finding ways to help others within the community is a fantastic way to foster your child's SMSC development. By helping within the community-whether its a beach clean, raising money for a local charity or sending a card with an elderly neighbour- young people learn compassion and kindness. They learn the value of respect and care and how their actions can make a positive contribution to the lives of others. 

If you would like any further guidance, to share your child's SMSC development or have any concerns, please contact

 Mrs Beech who will be happy to discuss SMSC development with you.