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At Picknalls First School we believe that Citizenship plays a vital role in equipping young children with the skills and knowledge to make safe and informed decisions. Citizenship should build, where age and stage appropriate, on the statutory content of the National Curriculum, our own Connected Curriculum and on statutory guidance on drug taking, financial education, citizenship, personal safety, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.  Citizenship at Picknalls First School is woven with strands of ‘Fundamental British Values’ (FBV), ‘Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural’ (SMSC) and ‘Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education’ (PSHEe). It is delivered throughout our Connected Curriculum topics and whole school assemblies.

What is SMSC?

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and is about developing the 'whole person'.  At Picknalls we take an holistic approach to this and all aspects are embedded throughout school life.

As we have stated on our homepage welcome we want all of our pupils to be 'responsible citizens who can make a positive contribution to society'.  We aim, therefore, to prepare our youngsters for the future by giving them opportunities in which they can try and test their SMSC development in a secure environment, with people they trust ensuring they have time to discuss and reflect.

Ofsted defines the areas of SMSC as:

Spiritual Development

This is shown by pupil's:

  • 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.

Moral Development

This is shown by pupil's:

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

Social Development

This is shown by pupil's:

  • 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 communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • acceptance and engagement 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; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Cultural Development

This is shown by pupil's:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain
  • knowledge of Britain's democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • 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, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

British Fundamental Values

These are defined in the Governors Handbook (September 2014) as being:

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

Schools should be 'actively promoting' these and encouraging students to respect other people with particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.  'Actively promotes' means that schools need to be able to demonstrate what they are doing to secure these values and that everyone within the school community is challenging those who are expressing opinions to the contrary.

There are nine protected characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation

The Following are examples of what schools could do to secure the British Values:


  • Encourage pupils to express their opinions
  • Hold elections each year for pupils to represent the school council
  • Encourage pupils to be involved in decision making processes in the classroom and wider school
  • Conduct debates about issues introduced through the curriculum
  • Introduce pupils to the democratic processes in this country and an understanding of pubic services and what elected officials do for us
  • Visit the local council and Houses of Parliament
  • Write to local MP's/Councillors

Rule of Law

  • Discus and establish class and school rules - ensuring an understanding of how these are just and fair
  • Instill in pupils an understanding of 'right' and 'wrong'
  • Talk about how conflicts in and out of school could be resolved - encourage pupils to think about how wrongs could be put right
  • Help pupils understand the importance of laws - and the difference between criminal/civil laws and religious/moral laws
  • Plan for the police to visit school regularly as part of the curriculum
  • Organise visits from magistrates and solicitors to talk about their jobs and the ciminal processes

Individual Liberty

  • Encourage the development of self confidence and self-esteem in pupils
  • Promote positive attitudes to learning
  • Discuss with pupils what 'freedoms' individuals should be allowed
  • Help pupils understand the need for responsibilities as well as rights
  • Become a 'Rights Respecting School' (UNICEF)

Respect and Tolerance

  • Discuss similarities and differences between people
  • Help pupils to understand their own culture and introduce them to different cultures and ways of life
  • Ensure a strong anti-bullying culture is in place in school
  • Challenge stereotypes as well as any discriminatory behaviour
  • Develop links with local faith communities
  • Visit different places of worship
  • Invite visits from people of different cultures

Key Questions for Governors

  • Do you understand what is meant by British Values?
  • Can you say what your school is doing to promote British Values?
  • What is your role in this as a Governor?
  • Are you receiving regular reports about how the school is tackling issues raised?

Entrust will be holding a series of briefings this term with regard to British Values where both implications and opportunities for schools will be explored.  Information will be emailed to Chairs of Governors and Headteachers once dates have been finalised.