Character Education and SMSC

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural

Attitudes towards respect underpin our approach and ethos, in an atmosphere of spirituality and self discovery. Developing these attitudes across the school community enables us to live out our school vision of ‘We live life in all its fullness’. We recognise the diversity within our society and ensure that British Values are embedded within our curriculum.

We believe in an environment which encourages children and builds self esteem, spiritual development and awareness so that children become confident, mature and active members of society. For children to become positive members of society – they need to learn how to conduct themselves positively and respectfully in different situations.

The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is recognised as being of fundamental importance for the education of all children by Governors, staff and parents of our school. It supports all areas of learning and can contribute to a child’s motivation to learn. The curriculum and worship contribute planned opportunities for development and enrichment. It is recognised that such development will be most successful when the values and attitudes promoted by the staff provide a model of behaviour for the children. In later years it can enrich the individual’s appreciation of life’s experiences and their relationships with others.

Character Education at Torre

At Torre, Character Education is viewed as equally as important as the more traditional curriculum. As a school community, we have identified the aspects of our children’s characters that we believe we need to prioritise on developing. They are:

  • Resilience

  • Service and volunteering

  • Gratitude

  • Compassion

  • Self-discipline

  • Creativity

We do this through discrete teaching as well as by talking to the children about how they are developing as great people.

Each phase team in the school focuses on a particular area of relevance. Every two years, a piece of active service or volunteering in the community takes place linked to the phase team’s area of focus. The current areas of focus are:

Early Years: Animal welfare

Key Stage 1: Caring for our world and the environment (with a focus on plastic reduction)

Years 3 and 4: Understanding the challenges of living with dementia

Years 5 and 6: Understand the plight of the homeless.

As part of the learning, pupils find out how these issues affect us locally, nationally and globally.


British Values

We promote British Values in the following ways (Please note that this list is not exhaustive):

Democracy

  • Nominating School Council Representatives – Promotes the democratic process from hustings and manifesto writing, to taking part in a secret ballot using official voting booths.

  • Active School Council – Meeting weekly to put forward the views of their class members, raising issues and working towards solutions.

  • Marking policy – Encourages children to reflect and respond to marking comments.

  • Class contracts – At the beginning of every school year, each class prepares a class contract which everyone signs up to.

  • Surveys – Pupils, parents and staff take part in a variety throughout the year. The results of these inform aspects of the school improvement plan.

The Rule of Law

  • Ethos and behaviour policy – Clear expectations and sanctions are used consistently across the school.

  • Class contract – Created by each class together enabling children to be empowered to make inform decisions/ choices about how to behave.

  • School assemblies – Cover a wide range of subjects such as anti-bullying, empowerment, helping others. This also includes visits from outside professionals to discuss their role in society e.g. MP, emergency services.

  • Parliament week – Children work in cross-phase groups to develop their understanding in this area.

Individual Liberty and Freedom of Speech

  • Debating – Through our curriculum children are taught to debate a wide range of issues, using supporting arguments for their views.

  • Safety – Children are taught about staying safe in wide range of situations e.g. internet safety, road safety, looking after our environment.

  • Roles and responsibilities – Children have many opportunities to take on roles within the school e.g. school council, peer mentors, playground buddies, worship group leaders.

  • Anti-bullying – There is an anti-bullying week every year in the autumn term, which is underpinned throughout the year with a wide range of activities including Life Education, personal choices and transition.

Mutual Respect for People from own and other Faiths and Beliefs

  • Celebrations – These happen throughout the year to mark significant cultural and religious festivals from across the world.

  • Curriculum – This is broad and balanced to give children an education in all religions of the world.

  • Respect – Through the ethos of our school every member of our school community is expected to show respect to all people. Staff role model behaviour we wish children to show.

  • Diversity – Children work collaboratively with children of their own age and across the school in family groupings.

In addition to the above during the weekly class assembly a current news issue is shared with the children and discussed. This is always linked to British values.