Newbridge School

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British Values and SMSC

British Values and SMSC Statement

At ASTRUM Schools we promote British Values through our Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education which permeates through the school curriculums.  This is differentiated to meet the abilities of individual pupils by ensuring meaningful learning opportunities are well-planned and delivered to provide exposure to a range of themes.

British Values as defined by the Department for Education are as follows:

  • Democracy
  • Rule of Law
  • Individual Liberty
  • Mutual Respect
  • Tolerance of different Faiths and Beliefs

Democracy is promoted through maximising pupil voice and developing communication skills for all pupils at ASTRUM Schools, through the use of both visual and verbal communication.  Visual communication includes signing, use of objects, photographs, symbols, touch cues, eye pointing and body language.  As appropriate, ICT is used to support communication.  Pupils are empowered to communicate and make meaningful choices about day to day activities in school and wider aspects of school life through the school council.  All communication is respected and valued, and by listening and responding accordingly, staff demonstrate and promote democracy and liberty.

Rule of Law is promoted through equipping pupils with the tools to manage their own behaviour and feelings as independently as they can.  This is supported through developing emotional literacy and helping pupils to learn to recognise different feelings within themselves and begin to manage this.  Pupils across the schools are supported to manage their emotional responses using sensory integration strategies.  Visual supports are used to aid pupils in understanding behaviour expectations.  ASTRUM staff have high expectations of pupil behaviour and are committed to providing a consistent and predictable environment to enable pupils to develop their skills in regulating and managing their behaviour as appropriate.  There are clear boundaries in place and pupils are supported to understand the connection between their actions and the consequences of these.  The environment enables pupils to feel safe and secure; this in turn promotes the optimum conditions for learning to take place.

Individual Liberty is about becoming a good and valued citizen.  At ASTRUM Schools we do this by promoting pupil independence in as many aspects of school life as individuals can manage and developing understanding that all pupils have rights.  Staff work hard to demonstrate that all pupils have rights and this includes the right to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and for this to be respected and listened to.  Where appropriate pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for particular roles and to develop understanding that with certain rights comes a level of responsibility.  We promote supporting others through participating in a range of charity events including Jeans for Genes, Red Nose Day, Children in Need and MacMillan Coffee mornings.  Through promoting pupil independence with as much of this as possible, it contributes to developing self-esteem and positive well-being.

Mutual Respect is promoted through the inclusive environment at ASTRUM Schools.  Learning environments and activities are planned to enable maximum access for all pupils and personalisation of learning is at the centre of this.  Within school, pupils work with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted, with staff working alongside pupils to facilitate communications with peers and adults in different contexts.  Different view points are acknowledged and respected.  ASTRUM pupils are part of the local community and make use of facilities including local libraries, supermarkets and parks which contributes towards community cohesion.

Tolerance of different Faiths and Beliefs is promoted through learning about different cultures and significant faith events, delivered in ways which capture pupil’s interest and encourage respect and value for other’s beliefs.  Cultural appreciation and development activities are part of the school curriculums, and emphasis is placed on providing encounters and participation in events and celebrations to broaden all pupil’s experiences and awareness of others.  All pupils are valued members of the school community where they are respected for who they are without regard to ability, gender, faith, heritage or race.

Whole school events and assemblies help all pupils to find out about themselves and others, linking their lives to the communities to which they belong.  Themes covered include friendships, helping others and celebrations from a range of faiths and world events.  Pupils are encouraged to experience British Culture through the curriculum themes.  They visit different places in the local community.  ASTRUM schools take part in local and regional sporting activities which fosters a great sense of fun, team spirit and achievement.  All pupils will have the opportunity to engage in a wide range of SMSC activities which aim to promote the fundamental British Values as above.

Relationships between pupils and staff are key at ASTRUM schools.  Staff know pupils well and are quickly able to notice and act on changes in behaviour and well-being which could indicate that pupils may be experiencing anxiety of some kind.  Some pupils find it hard to articulate their feelings and concerns and staff are well attuned to recognise this.  Safeguarding practices and the duty of care are well-embedded across the schools and concerns of this nature are managed following the school Safeguarding policy to promote the welfare of pupils.  The ‘Prevent’ agenda is also part of our safeguarding approach.

The ASTRUM schools believe in a total communication approach using low and high tech Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) systems.  Staff are trained to communicate with pupils using appropriate communication strategies and techniques in whatever way works best for the individual pupil.  This is how we lay the foundation to support our pupils developing awareness of the world around them.

Within school, pupils engage with a range of people and interactions with others are always positively promoted.  This may include working with pupils from other schools.  Pupils are free to have different opinions to others in and out of their friendship groups and the school community.  The curriculum is personalised and planned for pupils and may include transitioning within the range of resources and places on the site and going into the

community to meet with a range of people in a variety of situations.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development

Spiritual development includes exploring different beliefs, respecting faiths, feelings and values.  Pupils are encouraged to learn about themselves, their peers and the world around them, using imagination, creativity and reflection.

Moral development is learning about recognising right and wrong, respecting the law, understanding consequences, developing awareness of ethical and moral issues, and learning about reasoned views as appropriate to the pupil’s abilities.


Social development involves participating in the local community, using a range of communication skills in different contexts, being aware of different viewpoints, volunteer and participate, understand about resolving conflicts and engage with the British Values of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.

Cultural development is when we develop understanding of pupil’s own and others cultural background and beliefs.  We celebrate diversity by participating in a range of learning activities and whole school events based on different religious celebrations and other cultural events that pupils may not normally be exposed to, as well as local and regional events including sporting and musical events.

ASTRUM Schools believe it is important to facilitate opportunities for pupils to be part of the community as they, their families and the schools staff have much to offer in the development of community cohesion. Central to implementation of exposures/awareness, and where appropriate developing an understanding of SMSC and British values, ensuring the school year is reflective of the school and wider community and may include the following activities:

Spiritual Development

  • Remembrance Day
  • Multi-faith themed assemblies/celebrations, e.g. Harvest Festival, Easter/Passover
  • Countries/Languages and Customs, Rules/Resolutions, Eid/Diwali/Christmas/Hanukah
  • Celebrations of Life events – to remember friends we have lost
  • Wellbeing events

Moral Development

  • Charity events such as Jeans for Genes Day, Children in Need, Christmas Jumper Day, Save the Children, Sports Relief, Red Nose Day, Wear it Pink Day.
  • Recycling

Such events will promote the fundamental British Value of mutual respect and tolerance by encouraging pupils to engage in wider community activities.

Social Development

  • Community visits
  • Summer Fun Day
  • Opportunities for turn taking, e.g. PE, in lessons, lunchtime, morning circle time, sharing playground equipment
  • Opportunities for collaborating, e.g. Assemblies, PE, Arts projects
  • Opportunities to negotiate, e.g. behaviour plan, ‘give and take’
  • Engaging in managing care needs and behaviour needs 

Cultural Development

  • Many opportunities to form relationships with staff/pupils from diverse cultures and faiths – different pupils/staff each year and communal times
  • Ensuring diverse school community including volunteers/work experience placements
  • Different faiths and cultures represented in curriculum resources
  • Arts, Music and Cultural Specialists visits to school over the year
  • Theatre group performances to represent different cultures
  • Access to a wide range of children’s literature including wizard stories, sensory stories, traditional tales, stories from other cultures

Central to our approach to SMSC education and the promotion of British Values will be developing pupils’ self-esteem.  We will do this through variety of activities including:

  • Birthday celebrations with friends in school
  • Corridor displays of pupil’s work and engaging in work activities
  • Praise/rewards to recognise and celebrate pupil achievement – verbal and other
  • Positive reinforcement, e.g. verbal praise and reward, reward charts
  • Developing independence skills, e.g. visual schedules, physiotherapy, OT, attention autism, rebound therapy
  • Advocacy which will promote the British Value of individual liberty through the development of pupils’ self-confidence, self-awareness, and self-esteem and focus on what pupils are able to do
  • Engagement of all pupils through a differentiated and well-planned enabling environment and individualised
  • objectives/targets, so that all individuals have equal access to learning
  • Opportunities for choice making such as lunch, leisure activities, tuck shop, support staff, lesson choices
  • Sharing pupils’ work during class
  • Support/encourage independence/responsibility
  • Parents’/carers’ joining school events such as Christmas and Summer shows
  • Give pupils responsibility/independence

We will encourage the development of pupil voice through the following activities that promote British Values especially that of individual liberty:

  • Verbal/Makaton signing/symbols/photo/PECS/tablet/gesture
  • AAC/communication system which supports independent communication skills
  • Developing communication skills/AAC, such as use of PECS, tablets, Objects of Reference, Makaton, vocalisation and gestures.

These activities will also promote the British Value of the rule of law by encouraging pupils to manage their own feelings and behaviour:

  • Intensive interaction
  • Staff ‘listening’ culture
  • Individualised and accessible communication development for all pupils to support with communicating their mood/feelings.

In order to reflect further we will review the impact of our work on SMSC and British Values by ensuring:

  • We engage governors, families and community in conversations and events
  • Hear our pupil voice and respond accordingly
  • Observe staff and pupil interactions
  • Observe our pupil’s interactions with each other
  • Hear our family’s voices
  • Hear our staff voices
  • Support Social Behaviour
  • Complete learning walks reflecting on resources, practice and Environment


British Values Policy

Astrum SMSC Policy