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SMSC and Modern British Values

SMSC and Modern British Values at The Priory Witham Academy


We make every effort to ensure that, upon leaving us, our students will be respectful and tolerant of others; have an understanding that actions have consequences, both negative and positive; and that they are honest and display integrity in a way that assists them to work with peers and the wider community.

As school leaders and Governors, we take responsibility for ensuring that this ethos is reflected and implemented effectively throughout our Academy policy and practice.

In order to achieve best practice we follow closely Department for Education advice, for example, Improving the SMSC development of pupils: supplementary information November 2014 and Promoting fundamental British Values as part of SMSC in schools November 2014.

This strategy document was developed in response to National guidance – OFSTED Promoting and evaluating pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development 2004, the Education Reform Act 1988, the Education (Schools) Act 1992 and the School Inspections Act 1996.

  • It also refers specifically to the most recent guidance from the Ofsted school inspection handbook, taking into consideration the critical role SMSC has to play in ensuring our young people know how to be safe in an ever challenging world.

    It should be read in conjunction with other Academy policies on Equal Opportunities, SEND, Safeguarding and Child Protection, Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) Policy, Collective Worship, Religious Education, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and PSHMRE.

  • The statutory requirement that schools should encourage pupils’ SMSC development was first included in the Education Reform Act 1988.

    ‘The curriculum (must be) a balanced and broadly based curriculum which —

    (a) promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society; and

    (b) prepares such pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.’

    This was followed by the Education (Schools) Act 1992 which stated that:

    ‘The Chief Inspector for England shall have the general duty of keeping the Secretary of State informed about the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils at those schools.’

    All of the above guidance emphasises the need to establish the values schools should impart to pupils. It clearly recognises that there is more to life than achieving high standards in academic subjects. The task was described as: ‘…the training of good human beings, purposeful and wise, themselves with a vision of what it is to be human and the kind of society that makes that possible’.


  • The Academy has a designated team to lead SMSC and British Values. This team alongside the teachers for PSHMRE will provide guidance and support for ensuring the below actions take place, working closely with the Assistant Headteacher.

    In order to realise the above aims we do the following:

  • Provide a coherent assembly, tutorial and PSHMRE programme which enables aspects to be delivered at different and appropriate times.  See appropriate policies for more details.
  • Provide opportunities for regular assemblies
  • Offer a range of enrichment activities that promote SMSC and British Values. Those with responsibility for running clubs, societies, trips and other events develop their awareness of the SMSC and British Values their activities have, and maximise the benefits they bring.
  • Curriculum Leaders and Year Directors will regularly audit with their teams the opportunities for covering relevant SMSC and British Values criteria in their Schemes of Work as part of ensuring a broad and rich curriculum and pastoral offer
  • Promote student voice and the power of democracy via the Academy Student Council and the SMSC and British Values newspaper.
  • Those with responsibility for publicising the Academy or liaising with other schools / academies and organisations should consider the SMSC and British Values aspects of their public relations. In addition to being representatives of the Academy, they should report SMSC and British Values matters arising from their links to the Academy at appropriate occasions.
  • The pastoral team in secondary and class teachers in primary will regularly discuss SMSC and British Values issues and appropriate thought will be given about how aspects of these issues may be best communicated to members of staff, to pupils and parents, and to other interested individuals.
  • The CPD Co-ordinators will, with the Assistant Headteacher responsible for overall delivery ensure that individual and whole staff SMSC and British Values needs are met in the CPD Development Plan. This will be cross referenced to the SMSC and British Values action plan developed by the designated team responsible for leading SMSC and British Values.
  • All Members of Staff (including associate staff) should be aware of the importance of SMSC and British Values development and the enhancement it brings to the life of the Academy. They should feel free to voice related concerns and interests within the normal pattern of departmental, tutorial and staff meetings.

    As part of the SMSC and British Values Programme, we:

  • Provide a broad, balanced curriculum which prepares our students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in Modern Britain.
  • Actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance.
  • Promote tolerance of and respect for people from all faiths, cultures and lifestyles.
  • Enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self -confidence.
  • Encourage our students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in our locality.
  • Encourage respect for democracy, and support for participation, in the democratic process, including having a respectful attitude towards the basis on which the law is made and applied within the United Kingdom.

     At the Priory Witham Academy, Modern British Values are broken down into:

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

    Ofsted inspection judgement 2016:

    Leaders ensure that the school provides well for pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, both through the curriculum and through a variety of additional activities and experiences. Pupils in the sixth form, for example, have conducted their own presidential election campaigns and pupils in key stage 4 have explored newspapers to consider the impact of biased reporting. Younger pupils shared with inspectors their experiences of charity fundraising and all pupils study a range of different faiths. This range of experiences means that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

    At our Academy, students encounter these principles within their everyday school lives.  Listed below are examples of how we promote these values in our school community:


    Our student voice plays an integral part of life at the Academy, and is a significant input into what and how the students learn.

    Additionally, the Academy Council plays an important role in the Academy, having a great deal of involvement in the everyday running. The Academy Council are keen to develop the Academy along with the 6th form Leadership Team who chair the Academy Council Meetings.

     The rule of law

    Ofsted 2016 inspection judgement:

    Incidents of bullying are rare and pupils feel confident in their ability to deal with bullying, should it arise.

    Pupil voice: pupil comments taken from discussion with external consultant July 2016:

    In a discussion about punishment she made the point that if someone stole something she now understands that a moral stance would be to say something; saying nothing would have an impact on her as a bystander.

    Students at The Priory Witham Academy are encouraged to understand the necessity for agreed expectations within both the school context and the wider community. We endeavour for them to understand that these expectations are set with good reason and therefore must be adhered to. The expectations of our Academy reflect and reward acceptable behaviour, as well as celebrating work and achievements.

    The understanding of the significance of expectations and laws is reinforced through weekly assemblies, and within the teaching of the National Curriculum. Throughout the year, we are visited by members from the wider community in order to reinforce these.  Each year the Academy has a focus week which in 2016 focused on ‘health and wellbeing of all’.

    Pupil voice: pupil comments taken from discussion with external consultant July 2016:

    A pupil was able to weigh up for me the pros and cons of euthanasia by mentioning the tension between what faiths believe and the difference between actions taken for a deadly disease and the prospect of early death to aid inheritance

    The Academy’s close relationship with our community PCSO, who is frequently on site, helps us to reinforce the importance of following the law.

    Individual Liberty

    Ofsted inspection judgement 2016:  

    The social behaviour of pupils is good. Their conduct around school is calm and orderly and they are courteous to adults and to each other. They demonstrate good manners, for example by holding doors open for others. Pupils interact with one another well at breaktimes and lunchtimes.

    A great deal of time is invested in creating a positive culture within the Academy so that students feel safe in their learning environment, and where choices and freedoms are encouraged.

    Within the curriculum, students are free to make choices through differentiated tasks and, as part of behavioural management, we always encourage students to make positive choices.

    In addition to regular choices offered within the Curriculum, a wide range of extra-curricular activities are offered, which give students the choice to pursue their own interests. Furthermore, our SMSC and British Values events and PSHMRE lessons offer students the freedom to express their opinions safely, on a multitude of issues.

    Mutual Respect.

    Ofsted inspection judgement 2016:

    Pupils are confident and their understanding of how to become reflective and successful learners is developing. They are constantly encouraged to try new things and to challenge themselves. Inspectors observed an assembly where Year 8 pupils were taking ‘the Revels Challenge’, which led into a discussion about being brave. This resulted in volunteers reading out poems that they had written and selected, in front of the year group.

    We pride ourselves in mutual respect here at The Priory Witham Academy, and students and staff are taught to respect one another. This is evident upon walking around the Academy and its classrooms and can also be seen during extra-curricular activities in which students help, encourage, and support their peers. 

    Tolerance of those of difference faiths and beliefs

    We offer a culturally diverse curriculum, in which all major religions are studied and respected. Through the teaching of The National Curriculum, PSHMRE, Without Prejudice Week, and our daily school life, we aim to demonstrate tolerance and to assist students in becoming knowledgeable, curious, and understanding citizens who can help to build a better Britain for the future.

    Pupil voice: pupil comments taken from discussion with external consultant July 2016:

    The pupil was able to explain how “the teacher kept writing zeros on the board after 0.   Once the board was full of zeros he add the number 1 to represent those Muslims who may be extremists”; with little prompting the pupil was also able to use the example of the KKK as a white Christian group representing the same type of extremism as Muslim extremists.

    The Priory Witham Academy, therefore, builds a framework of moral values which regulate our students’ personal behaviour, develops their understanding of society’s shared and agreed values, as well as issues in which there is disagreement, and how those values might change. From all of this, our students are able to develop respectable opinions and air their views appropriately.

    The Academy gained the UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award Part 1 in July 2016.

    Pupil voice: pupil comments taken from discussion with external consultant July 2016:

    When quizzed the pupil could tell me about how the EU referendum was explained in the PSHMRE program and how immigration was an issue in particular to Brexit supporters. She explained how the teaching had changed her attitudes and values to a point where she now felt “50:50 about the rights and wrongs of immigration now she knew more about it”

Monitoring and Evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation of the delivery and impact of SMSC and British Values takes place using the following strategies:

  1. Subject areas in Secondary and the Primary Curriculum and SMSC leads complete an audit of their schemes of work to show where aspects of SMSC and British Values are covered. These are submitted annually to the SMSC and British Values team. This has the aim of reminding all teachers of their role in delivering SMSC and British Values and keeping the Lead Teachers up to date with any significant updates in the subject curriculum. The coverage by subjects is added to a whole school audit sheet so an assessment can be made of the areas of strength and areas that need further coverage
  2. SMSC and British Values are also taught through the PSHMRE programme; the content is added to the whole school audit;
  3. Classroom teachers are asked to record SMSC and British Values discussions on posters designed for this purpose on classroom walls. This is embedding as a method to promote SMSC and British Values in every day learning.
  4. The Assistant Headteacher responsible for leading SMSC and British Values holds meetings with representatives of the pupil body and records their views on the quality and impact of the program a minimum of three times per year.
  5. The designated team responsible for leading SMSC and British Values develop an Action Plan from the monitoring and review arrangement findings which is reviewed with the Assistant Headteacher. The priorities are reviewed using the RAG system of quality assurance and a brief summary report is submitted to the Headteacher annually. The content of the report is shared with the Governing Body.


This strategy document is reviewed annually by the designated team responsible for leading SMSC and British Values and any changes to the document are shared with the Assistant Headteacher.