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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC)

SMSC is an integral part of the curriculum at Thomas Clarkson Academy. We strive to incorporate spiritual, moral, social and cultural in all lessons and across the whole school environment. We are aiming to promote an inclusive community of individuals with skills beyond that of core academia and SMSC is always at the forefront of our thinking.

TCA in addition offers a well-structured vertical tutor programme, enrichment days, involvement in charity events, extra-curricular activities (Session 6) and assemblies;  all contributing significantly to students SMSC development. 

We believe that SMSC education is inextricably linked to the core British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for, and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. 

The DfE have recently reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values were reiterated by the Prime Minister last year (2014).

We believe British values are those values expected of anyone living in Britain, regardless of their nationality, culture or religious beliefs. 

Our academy ethos reflects these values. We place great emphasis on building positive relationships in school, amongst the students themselves and between staff and students. We strongly believe students should not merely be taught such values but that they are embedded into our academy community.  

SMSC at Thomas Clarkson Academy

To see examples of how SMSC has been incorporated in all areas of the curriculum at TCA visit the TCA Gridmaker page - log in using the password: tca-guest

What is SMSC?

Spiritual Development

Spiritual development is the development of the non-material element of a human-being which animates and sustains us and, depending on our point of view, either ends or continues in some form when we die. It is about the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose. It is about the development of a pupil’s ‘spirit’. Some people may call it the development of a pupil’s ‘soul’; others as the development of ‘personality’ or ‘character’.

Moral Development

Moral development is about the building, by pupils, of a framework of moral values which regulates their personal behaviour. It is also about the development of pupils’ understanding of society’s shared and agreed values. It is about understanding that there are issues where there is disagreement and it is also about understanding that society’s values change. Moral development is about gaining an understanding of the range of views and the reasons for the range. It is also about developing an opinion about the different views.

Social Development

Social development is about young people working effectively with each other and participating successfully in the community as a whole. It is about the development of the skills and personal qualities necessary for living and working together. It is about functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society. It involves growth in knowledge and understanding of society in all its aspects.  This includes understanding people as well as understanding society’s institutions, structures and characteristics, economic and political principles and organisations, roles and responsibilities and life as a citizen, parent or worker in a community. It also involves the development of the inter-personal skills necessary for successful relationships.

Cultural Development

Cultural development is about pupils’ understanding their own culture and other cultures in their town, region and in the country as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world. It is about understanding and feeling comfortable in a variety of cultures and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences provided by television, travel and the Internet. It is about understanding that cultures are always changing and coping with change.  Promoting pupils’ cultural development is intimately linked with schools’ attempts to value cultural diversity and prevent racism.


Year 8 students recently discussed caring for older people in PSHE class. The classes were presented with the case study of an 86-year-old widow and asked to discuss the statement "Your parents looked after you when you were young. It is now your duty to look after them." Students' comments in discussion in one class included:

  • "I don't think it's our job to look after older people but we should do it out of the kindness of our own hearts. It's taking responsibility."
  • "I think it's a fair deal. Your parents look after you when you are young so you look after them when they are older."

Deep learning days for Key Stage 4

Students will be offered a range of deep learning days, where they will have the opportunity to work with external agencies to find out about and develop their understanding of health, safety and sex.

Students will take part in tailor-made activities to engage them and will be forming links with companies such as Mind, Student Support and the Police force.

Topics will include drugs, alcohol, smoking, healthy eating, Internet safety and sexual health.

Students will be experiencing their SMSC in an interactive non-classroom environment delivered by specialists.

Key Stage 3

This year career and finance will be added to the Key Stage 3 curriculum, to support students with decision making and prepare them for their options.