Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development at St Teresa’s
Growing and learning together, as part of God’s family, to be the best that we can be.
SMSC development is embedded throughout our school and is one of our school strengths, as reported by Ofsted (May 2014), “Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is evident in all the school does...Strong links with the church support good spiritual development. Pupils from different background and cultures get on well together and every culture is celebrated.”
At St Teresa’s our pupils are given regular opportunities to reflect on our Catholic faith and learn about the values and beliefs of other faiths. These opportunities are provided in Religious Education (RE) lessons, assemblies, visits to places of worship and through participation in our local Inter Faith week. Prayer and worship play a key part in our pupils’ Catholic education. Our pupils enjoy learning about themselves, others and the world around them. This happens in Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons, Geography lessons and through school celebrations such as International Day, Remembrance Day. Our pupils are given the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, and how they impact on people. This underpins our Behaviour Policy and our expectations for how our children care, respect and value each other. Our pupils continually use their imagination and creativity in their learning in all subjects and are given regular opportunities to reflect on their experiences e.g. sharing learning highlights with the head teacher at afternoon tea sessions.
At St Teresa’s our pupils have a good understanding of recognising the difference between right and wrong. This is reinforced through our Behaviour Policy which promotes positive behaviour. Class rules are agreed with pupils at the start of each school year and the school has six Golden Rules which every pupil is expected to follow. These are displayed throughout the school. Golden leaves, golden crosses, class points and team points are all given to reward good behaviour and learning. Our pupils understand the consequences of their behaviour and their actions. Circle time is used to develop our pupils’ moral values and concepts. This includes discussions on: personal rights and responsibilities, truth, justice, equality of opportunity and right and wrong. Additional support is given to children who need it to further develop positive behaviour skills e.g. participation in Bright Stars group or working with teachers from The Park (Education Support Centre).
At St Teresa’s our pupils develop their social skills and are given opportunities to experience roles of responsibility, including being: school council reps, sports council reps, house team captains, Y6 citizens (helping teachers before the start of the school day) and playground buddies. Some of these are elected responsibilities and others are voluntary. We also have a buddy system whereby once a month, buddy classes spend time together completing learning activities. The older buddies also take responsibility for looking after their younger buddy at playtime.
Our pupils also take part in PE and sports activities in teams with pupils from other year groups e.g. sports day, school games day, swimming galas, athletics tournaments, football training and matches, Arsenal Double Club and our free multi sports holiday clubs. We participate in local schools’ learning projects such as: the annual art exhibition, the performing arts show, the Y2 music festival and Words in the Woods projects. Y5 pupils learn about financial planning and budgeting with workshops provided by Metrobank. Y6 pupils have a week residential where they experience team work and co-operation. They also enjoy working together as they prepare for their end of year show. Our pupils have also participated in local community events, including: supporting our local food bank appeal (with our school council volunteering at the food bank) and our choir singing Christmas carols to the elderly, patients in a local hospital and to members of the local Alzheimer’s Society.
Our Catholic ethos and our positive behaviour policy ensure that our pupils are able to resolve conflicts effectively. Every class takes part in special learning activities during anti-bullying week and regular reminders are given to all children about how to respond to any type of bullying behaviour including cyber bullying. We have introduced an Orchard Club, which is run in our nurture room, to help some of our pupils to further develop the social skills needed to be a good learner.
At St Teresa’s we promote British values. Details of how we do this are on our website under Pupils’ Learning.
At St Teresa’s our pupils understand and appreciate the cultural diversity that is represented within our school community. International Day is a highlight of our school calendar with every child coming dressed to school in either their national costume or that of another country. During the day the children complete learning activities finding out more about the home traditions of their classmates. Parents are invited to come into their child’s class to share stories, music, dancing or art from their country of origin. In the evening, the school community comes together to share food, music and dancing as a celebration of our diversity.
Our KS2 pupils learnt to sing Silent Night in German and Polish, for their Christmas carol concert. Our pupils also recently took part in a drama presentation called Destination Democracy, when they learnt about our democratic parliamentary system. Our pupils are given many opportunities to participate in artistic, sporting and cultural activities. Trips to museums, galleries and theatres support learning and promote cultural development.
Remembrance day assembly
St Teresa's School Council at Borehamwood Food Bank
Golden Cross display
St Teresa's choir singing at Stanmore Hospital