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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education
At Harris Academy Rainham we enable students to become 'profoundly human' by helping them to engage with the greatest that has been thought and said.
To do this we place Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural eduction (SMSC) at the heart of the academy. Every Monday afternoon, students attend Learning Guidance sessions from 3:30pm to 4:30pm in which they are taught Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) and reflect on issues related to SMSC. This session is closely related to the academy assembly programme which takes place during this time. Each subject area at the school also contributes to PHSE and SMSC through the curriculum they provide and the enrichment activities they offer outside of formal lessons.
The heart of our academy is our ethos of Belong, Believe, Become. From the beginning of Year 7 until the end of Year 11, all our students strive to live according to the academy’s values. It is important that every member of the Harris Academy Rainham community - staff and students alike - see these beliefs as their own. They are not just the values we hold deep in our academy, they are also an extension of the values of the UK (see British Values below). We hold that our Academy should provide students with a deep sense of belonging to a caring community, the belief in themselves and their unbounded potential and the opportunities to become more than they thought was possible.
What do we mean by SMSC?
SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Education and covers:
- Spiritual: explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
- Moral: recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
- Social: use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
- Cultural: appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
How we teach SMSC
At Harris Aacedmy Rainham we deliver our SMSC education and Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) content in a variety of ways. These include curriculum lessons, assemblies, learning guidance sessions on a monday period 4 and through drop down days.
Full details can be found in the document SMSC Provision 2018-19, which can be downloaded from our Teaching and Learning page.
The academy recognises the importance of instilling British values in our pupils. We believe there are five essential strands to what it means to be British:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Challenging discrimination
- Mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.
These British values are incorporated into our school values of Believe, Belong, Become. In order to believe, we feel that you need to respect others faiths and beliefs and agree with the principals of the democratic process. To belong, it is important to be tolerant of others faiths and beliefs and respect the rule of law in society. Finally, to become, we feel you should respect and value peoples individual liberty for the benefit of all.
Rule of Law
Download our curruculum map for British values, as well as some examples of presentations given to students on topics such as democracy, from the bottom of this page.
We have our own Student Council made of up of democratically elected students. We also have a Student Leadership Group as well as a Head Boy and Head Girl selected by an interview process. Students are taught about democracy in a variety of ways including during PHSE sessions, assemblies, extracurricular clubs, and in subject-specific content about the importance of democracy.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether those that govern the class, the academy or the country, is consistently reinforced throughout all aspects of academy life. Students and parents are taught the value and reasons behind the school rules that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. We also have talks from the Community Police Office team on the rule of law.
Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, by providing a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) programme, participation in extra-curricular clubs and in all aspects of school life.
Mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Harris Academy Rainham is situated in a culturally diverse area and we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity within the student and staff body. Our lessons, assemblies and form sessions reinforce this. Members of different faiths or religions are free to express themselves and encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes.
A cross-curricular approach
We deliver a cross-curricular approach to the delivery of SMSC, including British values.
Assemblies. Regular sessions throughout the year focus on themes that link to British values, for example, human rights and freedom.
Learning guidance sessions. These are tutorial activities that encourage the exploration and application of British values which we feel are not covered in sufficient depth within lessons and require additional coverage. These are spread across the year and cover:
- Democracy (Autumn 1)
- The Rule of Law (Autumn 2)
- The UK tripartite system (Spring 1)
- Freedom of faith in the UK (Spring 2)
- Religious beliefs and practice (Summer1)
- Challenging discrimination (Summer 2)
We have mapped how other subjects deliver knowledge and understanding of key concepts that link to British values. See our curriculum map downloadable below.