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Children's Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (Achieving QTS Cross-Curricular Strand)

Children's Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (Achieving QTS Cross-Curricular Strand)


This book is designed to introduce you to one of the most fascinating aspects of teaching young children - spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, usually shortened to SMSC. You may be unsure quite what this means, let alone how to teach it. By the end of this book. I hope that you will have gained new insights into what SMSC is all about and feel more confident about how to make provision for it. 

I decided to teach in primary schools because I wanted to work with children at a formative stage of their lives and to teach the 'whole child', not just one subject. Even after 30 years - as a class teacher, subject co-ordinator, deputy head and (for nine years) a headteacher - this remains a source of both continuing challenge and great personal fulfilment. I have tried to draw on this experience, and my recent work as a researcher, to help you recognise and meet the challenges and share this fulfilment. 

As a teacher, you can help to enrich and transform children's lives. Teaching them to be confident and competent readers, writers and mathematicians is part of this. However, SMSC deals with much more elusive aspects of personal development: how to make sense of the world and other people; how to interact with other people; the sort of person one is and may become (which runs through every subject area and every aspect of school life). Your values and beliefs are crucial in how well you make provision for SMSC. This may strike you as rather daunting, but as a teacher you are not just a deliverer of information. There is no point being an expert in the techniques of teaching but being dissatisfied that you are not getting to the heart of what matters most. Teachers help to shape the values, attitudes and character of the next generation. 

You will reach a greater understanding of what SMSC means and how it links with the rest of children's learning if you:

  • recognise how SMSC fits into wider contexts of the law and the curriculum;
  • think about and develop a new understanding of the distinctive features of 'spiritual'. 'moral, 'social' and 'cultural' as facets of personal development; 
  • see the common themes and the wider implications for childten's learning 

Chapter 1 addresses the first point, Chapters 2 to 5 the second and Chapter 6 the third. 
The second half of the book turns more to the practical implications of making good provi-sion for SMSC, with Chapter 7 exploring learning environments, Chapter 8 teaching approaches and Chapter 9 showing how SMSC can be integrated across the whole curri-culum and the implications for planning. In Chapter 10, I discuss the link between your own personal and professional development and how you can enhance children's SMSC.