At Gloucester House, we believe that every child is unique and special and has a valuable contribution to make. It is our intention to promote Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development through every aspect of a child’s time at Gloucester House. The values that we uphold will be evident in:
- the decisions made in our community;
- developing children’s tolerance and respect for each other and other differences in society
- noticing and nurturing the children’s strengths
- the expectations placed on children from all backgrounds;
- our commitment to promoting equal opportunities sharing a common citizenship by working, learning and playing together successfully;
- our concern for developing responsibility, initiative and pride in the work of individuals;
- our aim to promote children’s social, emotional and personal development through a range of appropriate activities.
Spiritual development is difficult to define. Spirituality has different definitions for different people, dependent on individual experience, and it will be the same for children.
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’.
The development of an individual’s own personal spirituality is a journey or a
quest which seeks to know, develop and understand one’s own inner-self. Gloucester House seeks to provide learners, whether they are young or old, with learning experiences which are correctly pitched, appropriately paced, relevant for today and useful tomorrow.
We recognise the uniqueness of each and every individual and attempt to invest every member of the community with a sense of individual worth and purpose. The potential for spiritual development is open to all; children and adults alike. Spiritual development is not the imposition of a religious faith as it is well documented that such impositions often create a negative response to that faith or to religion in general. However, spiritual development may lead to the acceptance of a faith or it may not.
Spiritual development is not another name for Religious Education although there are close connections. RE may share some of its aims and outcomes with that of Spiritual Development.
At Gloucester House, we will encourage children’s spiritual development by:
- giving children the opportunity to explore values and beliefs including religious beliefs, and the way in which they impact on peoples’ lives;
- encouraging children to explore and develop what animates themselves and others;
- giving children the opportunity to understand human feelings and emotions, the way they impact on people and how an understanding of them can be helpful;
- developing a climate or ethos within which all children can grow and flourish, respect others and be respected;
- accommodating difference and respecting the integrity of individuals;
- promoting teaching styles which value children’s questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas and concerns;
- enabling children to make connections between aspects of their learning;
- encouraging children to relate their learning to a wider frame of reference, e.g. asking ‘why’, ‘how’, and ‘where’, as well as ‘what’ and ‘when’ and thereby being able to monitor in simple, pragmatic ways, the success of what is provided.
Moral development is about the building, by children, 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. 2
Gaining an understanding and developing an opinion enables children to then build their own personal code of values. It enables them to make and act upon informed choices, taking right and wrong into account, and helping them to recognise and resolve the moral issues and dilemmas implicit in a given context, especially when the interests of two or more people appear to be in conflict. It also involves developing the personal skills and qualities necessary to act on such a code in day to day situations, such as being able to:
- make decisions; through school council, community meetings and committees
- reflect on and change personal behaviour; through a variety of ways such as attending review meetings, class meetings, behaviour reflections, carrying out “I Times”, buddy systems, curriculum topics and our ethos and mission
- resist peer pressure; show respect, caring and concern for self and others, and the environment; through nurture sessions and class groups
- We enable children in our community to be able to grow in confidence and ability to take responsibility through challenging behaviour which does not reflect this code, such as dishonesty, injustice, discrimination and the misuse of power throughout the day at Gloucester House
At Gloucester House, we are committed to promoting the values of:
- an agreed sense of right and wrong with the confidence to stand up for what they believe in; consideration for others and an appreciation of their qualities
- “fair play” – winners and losers – in games, rules and life
- drug awareness and personal safety
- responsibility for self and others
Learning opportunities and experiences for promoting moral development are found within:
- relationships at Gloucester house including in the classroom and playground;
- our cross-curricular approach to the delivery of the curriculum including
PSHCE, health and relationships and sex education;
- the value that we place in all round achievement, not just in academic success;
- the discussions that take place with children self-evaluation in their progress at school.
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, multicultural 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 interpersonal skills necessary for successful relationships.
Protected characteristics from the Equality Act
For the purposes of this policy, discrimination means treating people less favourably than others on the grounds of their age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, race, ethnic origin, disability, religion or religious beliefs, whether this be direct or indirect by applying a provision, criterion or practice, which disadvantages such persons.
We recognise the importance of fundamental British Values and students must be encouraged to actively regard people of all faiths, races, and cultures with respect and tolerance. These values include democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. As outlined in the government guidance for the promotion of British Values;
It is expected that students should understand that whole different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law. The school’s ethos and teaching, which schools should make parents aware of, should support the rule of English civil and criminal law and schools should teach anything that undermines it.
The school actively promotes these British Values through its SMSC strategy including; vision and ethos, policies and practices, PSHE programme, and extracurricular provision.
Social development should encourage children to relate positively to others, participate fully in the community and develop an understanding of citizenship. Social development is as much concerned with the skills and personal qualities needed to live and function effectively in society as with acquiring knowledge and understanding of how society works.
At Gloucester House, we attempt to develop in our children a growing understanding of the part that they play within the daily life – we aim to enable the children to:
- develop insight as well as knowledge;
- build the skills of relationships with each other, whether adults are present or not;
- practise the personal skills which enable them to use their knowledge in ways that enhance their personal lives;
- demonstrate a commitment to a moral code;
- explore attitudes and values;
- explore the consequences of their own and others’ actions.
In addition to academic success, the acquisition of these personal skills is a high priority;
- co-operation and sharing;
- tolerance and respect for each other, including beliefs and customs;
- self-esteem, self-discipline and self-confidence;
- a realisation of the role that they play in school/wider society; collaboration and interpersonal skills.
Cultural development is about children 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 children’s’ cultural development is intimately linked with Gloucester Houses’ attempts to value cultural diversity and address racism.
Cultural development at Gloucester House is about children understanding and appreciating their own culture and other cultures in their community and in the world. It is an exploration of how we are the same and how we are different; how we came to be the way we are and how we are changing. Cultural development is key to developing community cohesion, pride in oneself and others as well as curiosity and wonder at the world. It is intrinsic to the development of the whole child – mind, body and spirit.
In practice, cultural development means learning about the cultural traditions of different groups in our community and in the world; cultural traditions which involve beliefs, values, customs, knowledge and skills. Through the curriculum the children will develop the knowledge, skills, understanding, qualities and attitudes they need to understand, appreciate and contribute to culture in the form of music, art, drama, literature and faith.
Opportunities to nurture the cultural development of the child exist in all creative areas across the curriculum. We aim to:
- to provide children with the knowledge of and appreciation of the key features of their own cultural traditions and practices and of other major cultural groups within their own community and the wider world;
- to understand that these traditions and practices are evolving;
- to develop an understanding of, as well as celebrate and embrace, the diversity of cultural, spiritual, social and moral traditions and practices within their community and the wider world;
- to encourage a personal response to a range of cultural activities.
Gloucester House will promote cultural development through:
- exposing children to a wealth of stimuli from their own culture and those of others. This will be taught through the whole curriculum. Visits out of and visitors to the community will support this teaching;
- encouraging participation in and appreciation of the wealth of cultural traditions and the beliefs associated with different communities; through circle times and other activities.
- encouraging understanding and appreciation of the beliefs, values and customs of different cultures.
We believe that Gloucester House provides an environment in which children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is nurtured.
There is a drive for learning and respect for all. We ensure that:
- values projected by staff and children have a strong moral code;
- relationships between children and staff are thoughtful and caring;
- children and staff speak to each with respect and ;
- disputes and dissent are addressed respectively;
- our school is clean, tidy and appealing. Children’s work is displayed;
- we offer a range of activities both in and out of the classroom;
- we welcome visitors from the wider community;
- all adults in the community see themselves as role models and act accordingly.
Monitoring, evaluation and review
We will review this policy regularly and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the community. We acknowledge that it is difficult to judge children’s development of values and attitudes. Staff use anecdotal evidence based on observations and reported incidences of kindness, thoughtfulness, honesty, care and consideration for all in the community. We use evidence gained from visitors and parents to complement our evidence file.