Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (SMSC) is a dimension of the whole school experience which makes the curriculum relevant, stimulating, creative and fun. It enriches each subject and Bentley West it is an essential ingredient of school success.

Ofsted (2022) have defined the SMSC development of pupils as the following:


Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs (religious or otherwise) and perspective on life

  • knowledge of, and respect for, different people’s faiths, feelings and values

  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them

  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning

  • willingness to reflect on their experiences


Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and to readily apply this understanding in their own lives, and to recognise legal boundaries and, in doing so, respect the civil and criminal law of England

  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions

  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues and ability to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues


Pupils’ social development is shown by their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, for example working and socialising with other pupils, including those from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds

  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively

  • acceptance of and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. They will develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain


Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others

  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures in the school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain

  • ability to recognise, and value, the things we share in common across cultural, religious, ethnic and socio-economic communities

  • knowledge of Britain’s democratic Parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain

  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, musical, sporting and cultural opportunities

  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity. This is shown by their respect and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

At Bentley West, we recognise that the personal development of SMSC plays a significant part in children’s ability to learn and achieve. By integrating SMSC into the life of our school, we aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop:

- their own values and beliefs;
- spiritual awareness;
- high standards of personal behaviour;
- a
positive, caring attitude towards other people;
- an understanding of and
respect for social and cultural traditions of others;
- an appreciation of the
diversity and richness of the cultures;
creativity and imagination in their learning;
- a sense of society, tolerance and
teamwork that develops the courage to tackle prejudice and promote equality.

If you would like any further information on our PSHE, RE, SMSC or British values curriculum, please contact the school and ask to speak to Mrs L Taylor, our RE subject leader or Mrs A Martin, our PSHE, SMSC and British values subject leader.