In the revised Ofsted Framework, in place from January 2012, there is a renewed emphasis on the inspection of Spiritual. Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development which impacts on many of the other judgements, including a school’s capacity to improve.
The following slides will make reference to extracts taken from official public guidance issued to all inspectors to support Section 5 inspection under the new Framework. I make no apology for including reference to RE here - in some schools it may be seen as an endangered subject but the reality is that in terms of the law nothing has changed – and we are reliably informed by government that the law will not change in the future.
So just what are inspectors looking for when they judge how well a school promotes pupils’ SMSC development?
The inspectors will be considering the ways in which the curriculum promotes and affords opportunities for SMSC development.
Does your school have a policy statement for SMSC, setting out your aims for, and the ways in which, SMSC will be promoted in your school or setting through the opportunities it provides for young people?
We will be sharing a range of policies for SMSC to offer an ‘Aunt Sally’ but clearly you need to define your own principles and ways of promoting and providing opportunities to develop SMSC, no matter what your whole school curriculum model.
We know that inspections take place over two days and in reality only a day and a half is spent seeking the evidence, therefore you need to have your policy for SMSC, together with a statement about where the evidence may be found alongside every other document ready to present. What they don’t see they will assume it isn’t happening.
It is not essential to provide a detailed lesson plan for the inspectors: “ Inspectors should not expect to see a detailed written lesson plan for every lesson they observe, although they will look at lesson plans when they are offered by teachers. Inspectors should focus on the quality of the school’s planning process and link that to teaching and learning in lessons”. Subsidiary Guidance Section 40 However if you want to show explicitly where the opportunities for SMSC occur – make sure it is evident to the inspector!
Also in Section 40 of the Subsidiary Guidance, inspectors are told that observation includes “tracking of a class/group of pupils to assess pupils’ experience of a school day or part of a school day”. Remember that inspectors will be spending a proportion of their time talking with pupils.
What kinds of things are we offering? Schools linking project, participation in Interfaith Week etc … WORK WITH PARTNERS TO MAKE LIST
Note the word ‘ promote ’ Make it active promotion!
Inspectors are told….
See also South Gloucester Strategy..
OK for assemblies – Olympic themed video in the free resources section.
SMSC across the curriculum Spiritual Moral, Social & Cultural
Subsidiary Guidance issued to Inspectors January 2012Extracts refer to Evaluating the curriculum ‘Where a school does not provide the National Curriculum and RE, inspectors will need to fully explore the school’s reasons.’ The curriculum and pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development includes clear reference to RE. The place and definition of spiritual, moral, social and cultural development within the inspection process.
THE QUALITY OFLEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT OF THE SCHOOL Evaluating the curriculum
When considering whether the curriculum has sufficientbreadth and balance and the extent to which it meets theneeds, aptitudes and interests of pupils, inspectors shouldnote the following:A curriculum with breadth and balance inmaintained schools is likely to consist of theNational Curriculum subjects, religious education(RE) and a variety of other courses andprogrammes, including extra-curricular andenhancement activities put on by the school andits partners. Where a school does not provide theNational Curriculum and RE, inspectors will needto fully explore the school’s reasons. Inspectorsare not expected to seek details of individualsubject programmes of study.
Evaluating the curriculumMany secondary schools will be providing courses, orplanning to provide courses, so that pupils can gain theEnglish Baccalaureate (EBacc). Inspectors should note thatprovision of the EBacc is not compulsory.Initial evidence will be found in school prospectuses,curriculum plans and, where relevant, in options booklets.Inspectors will want to discuss the breadth, balance andwhere relevant, choice and personalisation, of thecurriculum with pupils and staff.Inspectors will want to discuss with pupils their knowledgeof courses and qualifications and the various progressionroutes available to them.
Evaluating the curriculumHowever, the increasing diversity andautonomy of schools and the decisions theymake about the curriculum may presentsome contradictions. Inspectors will needto make a professional judgement aboutthe appropriateness of the curriculum withrespect to the specific circumstances of theschool.
The curriculum and pupils’ spiritual,moral, social and cultural developmentInspectors should gather evidence ofthe impact of the curriculum ondeveloping aspects of the pupils’SMSC development.This may be through…
lesson observations where subjectspromote aspects of SMSC provision; RE,art and music are obvious examples butdiscussion with pupils and staff willprovide an important insight as to howSMSC is planned as part of thecurriculum in other subjects.
observation of other activities that indicate the extent to which there is a coherent approach to promoting SMSC set out by the school and implemented through activities such as tutorials, citizenship programmes and discussions with pupils about their work.
evaluation of opportunities created by the school for pupils to take part in a range of artistic, cultural, sporting, dramatic, musical, mathematical, scientific, technological and, where appropriate, international events and activities that promote aspects of pupils’ SMSC development.
OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS An important aspect of the ‘overall effectiveness’ judgement is a consideration of how well the school contributes to the promotion of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development All schools should be promoting pupils’ SMSC development and suitably preparing pupils for life. However, there is no need to present a detailed analysis in the report of the school’s promotion of each of the four components of pupils’ SMSC development.
Inspectors should consider the climate and ethos of theschool and what effect this has on enabling pupils to growand flourish, become confident individuals, and appreciatetheir own worth and that of others.In considering how well the school promotes pupils’ SMSC,inspectors should take into account the impact of therange of opportunities provided for young people todevelop their self esteem and confidence, which mightoccur both within the classroom, in terms of:teaching that encourages participation, creativity,reflection and independenceassessment and feedback that values pupils’ work and/oreffort, andactivities that develop teamwork, leadership skills andself-reliance.
DEFINING SMSC DEVELOPMENT Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their: beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible use of imagination and creativity in their learning willingness to reflect on their experiences.
DEFINING SMSC DEVELOPMENT Pupils’ moral development is shown by their: ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives understanding of the consequences of their actions interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues.
DEFINING SMSC DEVELOPMENT Pupils’ social development is shown by their: use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function at a variety of levels.
DEFINING SMSC DEVELOPMENT Pupils’ cultural development is shown by their: understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage willingness to participate in, and respond to, e.g. artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific & cultural opportunities interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio- economic groups in the local, national and global communities.
Capacity to improve71.Capacity to improve will be reflected across all levels of leadership and management: headteacher and senior leaders, middle leaders and the governing body.Inspectors must consider: the school’s self-evaluation and how it responds to this evaluation through successful implementation of improvement plans the intrinsic capacity of all leaders to steer improvement and promote effective monitoring and robust evaluation to gauge impact any track record of improvements in important areas (achievement, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety and promotion of pupils’ SMSC development) sustained over time.
Putting SMSC provision into practiceValues and visionEffective SMSC development takes place in schools and settings where there are shared values SMSC development is inclusive and acceptable to all the voice of every learner is listened to Governors and SLT have a clear vision of how to develop SMSC provision supported by an effective development plan with whole staff commitment visitors and visits are a regular feature in the calendar and the school has a positive relationship with the local community the existing and potential contribution which SMSC development makes to the school or setting is identified.
Questions to considerStrategic leadership Who is involved in making decisions about SMSC? How would developing SMSC support for learners enhance school values and ethos? How can we audit opportunities to promote SMSC? How will we evaluate the impact of SMSC? How do we support staff to develop and implement provision for SMSC?Resources and management What resources do we have for SMSC? Are there new resources that would be helpful for SMSC?