SMSC is central to our teaching, learning and nurturing here at St John’s. In every learning opportunity is a chance to develop spirituality, moral awareness, social skills and cultural appreciation. Each term we carefully think about how we can provide these opportunities and nurture each child as a whole person.
As a Church of England School we believe that developing the spirituality of a child is vital. However, we don’t focus purely on the Christian idea of spirituality. We nurture awe and wonder in our children and encourage them to marvel aloud at things that astound them. Having worked with local expert Ronni Lamont, we have a whole school approach for developing children’s spirituality and are continuing to develop approaches to celebrate these.
At St John’s we use the Restorative Approach (link) to teach the children the importance of discussing their behaviour and the effect it has on others. As a result, the children have a good moral compass and are able to discuss moral issues maturely with their peers. As a Church of England primary school, our moral basis is taken from the teachings of Jesus Christ and our 5 Living Values reflect this; Honesty, Truth, Respect, Love, Peace. We enjoy discussing the concepts of right and wrong with the children and they are able to talk about their own opinions in these areas as well as linking their understanding of right and wrong to their own behaviour and the behaviour of those around them.
The development of the children’s social skills is moved on at every opportunity. The children are very involved in community of our school as well as the wider community; working with local and global charities and organisations to raise money and awareness of a variety of needs. Within social development we teach and use the process of democracy, voting for representatives on the Junior Leadership Team as well as giving their opinions for future topics and curriculum changes.
At St John’s we love celebrating and learning about different cultures, faiths and beliefs! Every term we have at least one school-wide celebration of a special day/festival/celebration linked to a community we have ties with. The children (and staff) greatly enjoy these days, which are vibrant, hands on and full of rich learning opportunities. From September, we are planning to have a language of the term, encouraging the children to learn from each other and appreciate the culture of others around us.