MARVELS LANE PRIMARY SCHOOL
SPIRITUAL, MORAL, SOCIAL & CULTURAL POLICY
Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development lies at the heart of everything we do at Marvels Lane. We have the highest expectations of achievement academically, creatively, personally and socially as we aim to enable every child to Be The Best That They Can Be in all that they say and do.
The following definitions inform our policy and practices in this area:
The spiritual development of pupils is shown by their:
~ ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life
and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values;
~ sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them;
~ use of imagination and creativity in their learning;
~ willingness to reflect on their experiences;
~ appreciation, awareness and curiosity about awe, wonder and mystery.
The moral development of pupils 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;
~ commitment to a set of common values that inform and define their behaviour as individuals and as part
of the school and wider British and world community.
The social development of pupils is shown by their:
~ 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, cooperating well with others and being able to
resolve conflicts effectively;
~ interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at various levels.
The cultural development of pupils is shown by their:
~ understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own
~ 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.
We aim to promote children’s SMSC development in and beyond the class through a wide range of complimentary systems, procedures and opportunities which together help define the ethos of the school.
Marvels Lane has a shared set of values decided upon by pupils, parents, staff and governors e.g. Respect, Perseverance, Kindness, Tolerance, Responsibility, Positivity (see website for full list). We explore each value through stories and encouraging children to think, talk and ask questions about each one. Through concentrating on one values word per month over a two year cycle, we help everyone to find and develop the values within themselves and come to an understanding that what they say and do influences others and therefore their community.
A variety of assemblies across the week encourage children to listen, think and discuss the values word of the month. Stories, sometimes from a variety of faiths, are used along with questions, current affairs and real life dilemmas to develop and deepen children’s understanding of the value at a level appropriate for their age.
Friday Sharing Assembly and end of half term assemblies allow us as a community to celebrate children’s many successes and achievements and, in doing so, boost both their confidence and the many skills required to be a respectful, attentive audience.
Teachers use an allocated circle time each week to meet as a class. During this time they might
- a) read and discuss stories connected to the values word
- b) provided a safe, open floor in which to discuss / solve problems relating to the class
- c) play listening / team-building games to develop their class identity
- d) cover other areas of personal development and relationships as defined by the PHSE/RSE scheme of work
Gem Powers (see our Gem Powers Page)
We have adapted the research ideas of Dr Tom Robson into a set of Gem Powers designed to encourage children to develop the key characteristics and behaviours that make successful learners.
Ruby Power – Being positive to oneself and others
Diamond Power – Solving problems
Emerald Power – Having a go, bouncing back, conquering nerves, building confidence and resilience
Sapphire Power – Concentrating, focusing and resisting distractions
Our aim is that they are an engaging way through which children can understand what they can / should do in the classroom to be effective learners and be able to talk about what they are doing.
Many of the characteristics (e.g. positivity and problem solving) are encouraged beyond the classroom also.
All children will be taught a topic based curriculum designed to develop their creativity and imagination by linking subjects’ knowledge, skills and understanding within relevant and exciting topics. Irresistible learning is further encouraged through the provision of ‘wow’ activities and opportunities (e.g. trips, visitors, theme days, new experiences) at the beginning, middle and end of each topic.
A wide range of opportunities for music, art, dance and performance enable children to explore feelings and develop skills within and beyond the class curriculum. This includes an entitlement for years 3 to 6 to participate in significant creative arts event.
Subject programmes of study ensure that year group plans cover key requirements for example: tolerance and understanding of different faiths through RE and History; British values through History, visits to London, choice of topic; healthy and safe lifestyles through PE, RSE and Science.
A full and increasing programme of extra-curricular clubs, financially supported to be accessible for all, provides further opportunities for children’s SMSC development.
As one of the founding school partners of Wide Horizons Outdoor Adventure, we aim to provide children (and families) with a wide range of opportunities to expand their horizons and do things that they have never done before. This can be through term-time and holiday residential trips (Yrs 3, 4 & 5), day / weekend visits to activity centres, orienteering or science visits to the woods, or one-off challenges such as abseiling.
We believe that school / community projects such as “Have You Ever…?” (had an adventure doing something you’ve never done before) promote awe, wonder, enjoyment and fascination about the vast array of opportunities on offer in and around London.
Duty and Responsibility
Throughout their time at school, children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own individual actions and to contribute to their class, school and wider community. From an early age, they are given a variety of opportunities to take on particular roles in class. In Yr 5, they volunteer to be Diamond Dudes – problem solvers for the younger children in the playground. In Yr 6, they are asked to write a persuasive application to become a Responsible Person, which requires them to do a range of duties at lunchtime to make the lunch hall and playground better places for everyone. Beyond this, children can express their views through their School Council, which includes two children from each year group (2-6) democratically elected each year. These children will also take on key roles within the school such as welcoming important visitors and visiting the local mayor.
Children’s views and opinions are sought regularly through the school council, school questionnaires and during special time. Children are also made aware that if they have any problem, they will always be listened to. This is done within a positive, solution-focused atmosphere. Children should know that they can speak to any adult, including key adults beyond the classroom such as the Pupil Parent Support Worker (PPSW) or the project manager from Place2Be – a school based counselling service. Children may also write down their problems and post them in their class Worry Box to be dealt with later. There are also open lines of communication with parents as an additional safety net for the rare occasions when children don’t feel able to talk in school. In short, we aim to create an environment in which problems that children can’t solve themselves are talked about, listened to and, where possible, solved.
Pastoral and Safeguarding Teams (See Safeguarding Policy)
While pupil well-being is the responsibility of all staff, key members of staff meet regularly to oversee the variety of preventative and reactive pastoral provision across the school. In addition to day to day pastoral care provided by the senior team, the PPSW and SEN TAs work with individuals and groups on social skills, conflict resolution, positive play and friendship strategies. Place2Be offers more long term Art Therapy or counselling, while the PPSW, Children’s Centre Leader and Family Support Worker work with a range of vulnerable families on short and long term intervention projects in and out of school. These strategies are discussed and overseen by a Pastoral Support Team to ensure full communication between the various professionals involved.
The School Safeguarding Team (HT, PPSW & Children’s Centre Leader), who are all trained to Designated Lead level, ensure the implementation of the school’s safeguarding policy and procedures in order to promote children’s well-being and safety both within school and beyond, wherever possible.
Behaviour Management (See Behaviour Policy)
All children are encouraged to be courteous, polite and well behaved at all times. Each class develops a clear, consistent set of rules with rewards and staged consequences for following or not following the rules. If children have made a decision or behaved in a way that results in them receiving a serious consequence, they will be listened to, but in return they are expected to be honest, take responsibility for their actions, repair any damage caused and then learn from the situation. The few children who require more support for their behaviour will receive a range of provision through the school’s pastoral support team or, if necessary, outside agencies.
Inclusion (See SEND Policy)
We aim to create a totally inclusive atmosphere at Marvels Lane in which all children and adults are respected and enabled to be the best that they can be. Children’s special needs, learning or otherwise, are met through quality teaching and a range of staged additional provision. Barriers to learning and participation are removed or overcome wherever possible.
The diversity of our children is celebrated wherever possible – all children are encouraged to be proud of who they are and respect and celebrate the differences (language, ethnicity, culture, faith) of the children around them. Any incident of discrimination or bullying is treated extremely seriously with details of investigation and action being recorded for monitoring and to ensure future learning.
We also welcome new children to our school at all times during the school year and, through a positive attitude and a range of procedures, enable them to settle in and achieve as quickly as possible, whether they are with us for a month, a year or to the end of Yr 6.
We aim for racial harmony, equality and tolerance to be stand out features of the Marvels Lane Community.
Children are encouraged to see themselves as part of their school, local and wider communities. They are given a range of opportunities to understand the needs or difficulties of others and are also encouraged to help others less fortunate through supporting charities such as Bags for School, Comic Relief, Children in Need, Macmillan.
Parents / Carers are also encouraged to engage in the school community through key events such as Winter Wonderland, International Evening, Music Extravaganza, Summer Fair, as well as support their child’s and others’ learning through attending workshops, parents’ evening and volunteering to hear children read or go on trips.
In summary, through a positive attitude and the wide range of procedures and opportunities described above, we aim to create an ethos and wide-ranging provision which promotes British values, the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and the physical well-being of all pupils so that they can thrive and Be The Best That They Can Be.
Click here to download our SMSC Policy.