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Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural development

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) is about everything we do at Haywards Farm School, to help pupils build their own personal values, have positive relationships with others and become responsible young citizens in society. SMSC development supports pupils to be kind, thoughtful and caring and to be able to live and learn alongside people with different beliefs, cultures and lifestyles.

Our provision for pupils’ Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural and Emotional development (SMSC), builds on our values of our education. An important part of SMSC is to support our pupils to engage with British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and respect for different faiths and beliefs.

We want our pupils to be reflective about their own beliefs, but also show interest and respect for the beliefs and faiths of others. We encourage pupils to reflect, not just on their own behaviour and the choices they make, but also on the skills needed to remain calm and focused on their learning.

Spiritual Development

Some assume spiritual development is about religious exploration or faith, but this is not the case –the spiritual in SMSC is concerned with developing the non-material aspects of life, focusing on personal insight, values, meaning and purpose. Beliefs that help provide perspective on life may be rooted in a religion, but equally may not. Creativity and imagination is important, as is a sense of fascination, awe and wonder.

Moral Development

The moral element is largely about choices, behaviour and how you live your life. It also focusses on personal and societal values, understanding the reasons for them and acknowledging and understanding disagreements. Discussions in class or assemblies, might explore the consequences of decisions, other people’s needs, and ways of learning from experience. Moral development at Haywards Farm School enables pupils to build a framework of moral values, which regulates their personal behaviour. It is also about the development of understanding of society’s shared and agreed values.

Social Development

Social development shows pupils working together effectively, relating well to adults and participating in the local community. 

SMSC includes a significant area of personal growth, ranging from engagement with society’s institutions to the skills for successful personal relationships.

Cultural Development

Cultural development is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures. Valuing cultural diversity and challenging racism is important. Our creative curriculum allow the pupils the opportunity to learn all about different lifestyles, backgrounds and beliefs other young people have.

Votes for Schools at Haywards Farm School


What is Votes for Schools:

VotesforSchools exists to provide children and young people with a voice on the issues they care about. Whether in tutor time, or a designated PSHE session, we believe that there should always be time for young people to talk about the biggest issues facing the world today in an age-appropriate and relatable way. Through our VoteTopics, voters (and teachers) can participate in open, informed and balanced classroom discussions about live issues and the impact these may have on them and their communities. Then, they decide where they stand on each issue and their reasons why. Their vote results and comments are then passed on to figures and organisations of influence, who in turn provide feedback and insight on how their voices are making a difference to policy, attitudes, and awareness. This allows voters to feel empowered to speak out and that their voices are being heard.

Why we do it:

We know that being informed and curious about the world is key to having resilient, inquisitive, and proactive citizens of the future, who are equipped with the qualities of empathy and tolerance, and the skills of critical thinking and political literacy.


Votes for Schools is delivered in an impartial manner from the teacher that promotes discussion and student participation. Those delivering the sessions should not put their views onto the students and must remain impartial whilst promoting discussion. At Haywards Farm School we carry out a virtual Votes for Schools assembly where students interact with each other across classrooms.