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SMSC Newsletter - March 2014

RSA SMSCRSA Investigation: "Schools with Soul - A new approach to Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education (SMSC)"

Yesterday the RSA published the first is a series of investigations on key education issues. With a focus on SMSC this investigation is designed to "offer policymakers, practitioners and other stakeholders structured spaces to diagnose problems and generate solutions."

Download the report from

You may also find this blog by David Kerr interesting "Schools with Soul: defeating the data daleks"  (He's one of the co-authors of the  investigation).

We're pleased to see that David's has put the following recommendation at the top of the list:

"A mapping exercise outlining how schools can practically break down and conceptualise SMSC provision in their daily practices through the school culture, curriculum and links with the community"

If you didn't already know - this is the prime purpose of SMSC GridMaker

Opportunities for SMSC in March...

SMSC events in March
There are many events and special days in March which can be used to deliver SMSC values. Here’s a selection:

12th – No Smoking Day,
 14th – , National Science Week (to 23)
 15th – Purim (Jewish) ends Sunset on 16th
 17th – St Patrick’s Day (Christian, Ireland)
 17th -  Holi (Hindu)
 20th - World Story Telling Day
 21st – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, World Poetry Day
 22nd –World Day for Water, Emancipation Day (Puerto Rico)
 24th – World TB Day
 25th – Evangelismou (Greece)
 26th – Independence Day (Bangladesh),
 28th - Holy Mahalla (Sikh)
 30th - Mother’s Day, Deadline for Diana Anti-bullying awards

If you use any of these to deliver SMSC in your school, please let us know how you get on.

Exploring values in the curriculum
SMSC Book: Exploring Values in the Curriculum 

As you’re probably aware, SMSC has been around for a while. Over the years, there have been a few books published on the subject. One book which we’ve found to be very helpful for teachers and leaders (in particular SMSC Co-ordinators) is “Spiritual, Moral, Social, & Cultural Education: Exploring Values in the Curriculum” by Stephen Bigger. This book is very useful when discussing with teachers or HoDs where SMSC is currently being delivered in their subject. We have no affiliation with the author or publishing company behind the book, but you may want to take look at it. It’s available on Amazon here:

Upcoming SMSC Conferences
We'll be at the following conferences in the next few months - so come along and meet the SMSC team.

How to deliver outstanding SMSC provision - the best of UK practices. 28th March 2014 - London

This SMSC conference draws on the latest developments from leading SMSC experts, Ofsted and schools who have completed their journey to outstanding. Visit the Osiris website for more information.

Develop and Demonstrate Outstanding SMSC. 7th May - London

This SMSC conference provides practical and proven tools to effectively embed, evaluate and evidence spiritual, moral, social and cultural education across your school. Visit the Optimus website for more information

New photo feature in SMSC GridMaker

Activities in primary and secondary schools
In response to customer requests we have added a great new feature to the Grid which enables you to attach photographic evidence to a project/activity to support all the work you are doing in school.

As you know, you have always had the option to add evidence to your Grid in the form of Word documents, Powerpoint presentations etc. However when you use the new “Upload Photo” option - your photo will be displayed in your pdf reports and also in the Grid when you mouseover activities.

The option to “Add a photo” is shown on the “Add/Edit Project” form. You can add one photo per activity in the form of either a png or jpeg. You don’t have to worry about re-sizing as this is done automatically for you.

Please get in touch with Diane ( if you have any questions relating to the above or any other feature of the Grid.

Our NEW Website

We've recently updated our website which provides information about GridMaker, as well as a range of articles and resources relating to SMSC. If you’re considering purchasing GridMaker, you may be interested in the testimonials that we've received. (Many thanks to all the SMSC Co-ordinators, Teachers and Headteachers that have sent us their comments).

Calling all SMSC Co-ordinators!

We need your help… Are you an SMSC Co-ordinator with great ideas to share? Do you have a few hours each month to spare?

We are looking to work with SMSC Co-ordinators who can help us share best practice with the network of schools who use our SMSC tools. We want to send out a regular newsletter which include ideas, suggestions, teaching and CPD resources that other SMSC Co-ordinators and teachers will find useful. If you feel you could contribute to this newsletter (and be paid for your time of course!) please contact me ( for more information and to discuss what you can offer.