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SMSC (Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural dimensions)

SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) is about developing the whole child. It can be delivered in a number of ways in schools; through the school climate or ethos, PSHE, Citizenship, RE and Healthy Schools. SMSC should also run through all curriculum areas.







The climate and ethos of the school underpins the provision of SMSC. This can be exemplified through areas such as the  Mission Statement, SMSC policy, Leadership and Management, School Rules, Student Council, Community Cohesion and Awards and Rewards.

PSHE will ‘provide concrete evidence of the school’s provision in promoting pupils’ behaviour and safety and their SMSC’ (PSHE Association).

This can be achieved through teaching children to develop and maintain relationships, lead healthy lifestyles, develop personal indentity, appreciate diversity and manage risk.

Key concepts and processes in Citizenship contribute to SMSC. These include the development of understanding in areas such as Rights and Responsibilities, Diversity, Democracy and Justice and also through children and young people taking responsible action, using critical thinking skills, enquiry and advocacy.

Healthy Schools makes a positive contribution to SMSC through its themes – PSHE, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Emotional Health and Wellbeing as well as through its aims to develop healthy behaviours, promote social inclusion, reduce health inequalities and improve outcomes.  


RE makes a significant contribution to all of the areas of SMSC by enabling children to question issues of human life and morality, develop a sense of identity and foster awareness and understanding of others beliefs and practices.


This table has been produced using ideas from a training resource published by Opeus.

In reporting, Ofsted Inspectors are required to consider the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of the pupils at a school; SMSC sits across the framework in the quality of teaching, leadership and management as well as in the overall effectiveness of the school.

The significance of PSHE, Citizenship and Healthy Schools as well as aspects of the school ethos has been recognised by the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Team and a section on the development and promotion of SMSC has been included in the Healthy Living and Learning Review.   

SMSC guidance


Tagged under: PSHE, spiritual, SMSC, Citizenship, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Key Stage 5

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