Particular areas of the curriculum, such as RE, PSHE and Citizenship, English and Humanities contribute strongly to the development of SMSC. However, they are not the only ones; all subjects have a part to play that is rooted in their curriculum content.
Let’s look at PE. PE helps to develop social skills and moral understanding of the importance of rules and fair play. It’s also essential to learn how to function as part of a team, to experience winning and losing and have opportunities to develop resilience.
Music and Art help to develop cultural understanding and provide social opportunities. Through them, we encourage appreciation of a wide range of influences: those that have shaped our own heritage and those that have shaped the heritage of others.
Or consider Drama. Taking on other roles, if only for a short time, helps us to recognise, and value, the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities. We can build appreciation and understanding by seeking to walk in another person’s shoes.
Then there’s Science. Perfect for increasing our understanding of moral dilemmas, Science also presents the importance of an evidence-based approach to decision making. Alongside this, it creates genuine situations, through practicals, that require the social skills of collaboration and team work.
A whole school approach to SMSC doesn’t involve re-inventing the curriculum, but a great first step does involve recognising the opportunities built within it.
Erica Field and Meg Henry
The Linking Network is funded by Culham St Gabriel’s Trust @Culham and the Pears Foundation to research and develop training and resources for schools to support them to lead the SMSC development of their pupils. Our next Leading SMSC course for middle and senior leaders will be held in Bradford on Tuesday 24th March 1-4pm. To book a place or for more information contact us or download info here