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SMSC at Brickhouse 


What is SMSC?


SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. All schools in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC.


Spiritual: Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.


Moral: Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views and have an appreciation of British Values.


Social: Investigate and moral issues; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the fundamental values of British democracy.


Cultural: Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.


British Values


Schools are now required to teach children about the fundamental British values. 

Here at Brickhouse, we teach our children British values through our SMSc lessons and curriculum. 


But what are 'British values' - according to Ofsted, 'fundamental British values' are:


  • democracy
  • the rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.


What must be taught?


The advice here is basically the same for maintained schools ('state' schools) and independent schools (private schools, academies and free schools):


  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely
  • enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures
  • encourage respect for other people, and
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.


Family SMSC

What is the purpose of Family SMSC?

For parents/carers and school to work together to help children achieve their potential and be happy.

The Government asked children and parents what was important to them.

The answer they received was that children and parents/carers wanted five outcomes for children:


  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well-being

Brickhouse is committed to helping our children achieve these outcomes. 

New Beginnings (Autumn 1)



  • How to make my child feel good about him or her self

Key Ideas

• children need to feel safe and loved
• children need to feel as if they can make a contribution;
• children respond positively to praise;
• children respond when we focus on what we want them to do.

What are the benefits about feeling good about yourself?

You are more likely to be:


  • happy
  • successful
  • confident
  • able to take risks (there are a lot of risks to take in learning)
  • able to make wise choices
  • be in positive relationships and friendships

People who do not feel good about themselves are in danger of becoming so focused on the negative side of their lives that they can no longer see the positive.

Five things school do to make children feel safe, valued and welcome.


  1. Hi’s and Bye’s (feeling welcome)

  2. Take an interest in children’s likes and interests (feeling valued)

  3. Give children jobs to do (contribution and responsibility)

  4. Increase the number of times we say positive things (6 positive comments to 1 negative comment).

  5. Let children know they have done something well (Praise).


Things to try at home


  • Say lots of positive things and spot when your child is being good
  • Give them a special job to do at home.
  • Try out your Hi’s and Bye’s.
  • Think about what you want your child to do (not what you don’t)


Getting on and falling out (Autumn 2)

Key Ideas

• It is important to understand the thoughts and feelings of other people
• It is important to recognise when your child is getting worked up
• It is important to try and keep calm when your child is getting worked up
• Listening to your child is important
• Children can be taught to solve their own problems peacefully.

Having disagreements with other’s is a part of life, especially when we are young. We have to learn how to get along with other people and to solve problems if we are to have strong friendships and relationships. One of the first steps is for children to recognise and understand people’s feelings and point of view. When children are able to think about how the other person is thinking and feeling it becomes easier to resolve conflicts - this is empathy.

Being able to resolve conflicts is one of the most important life skills.

To understand another person’s point of view we have to:



  • Recognise our own feelings
  • Recognise how the other person is feeling by looking for clues in facial expressions, body language and tone of voice, and the situation
  • Show care and understanding children have to learn that their own feelings may be different from other people’s feelings in the same situation and that other people have different points of view from themselves.


When we are angry we often lose touch with the thinking side of the brain and just act on impulse. It takes SIX seconds to override the emotional side of the brain. This does not mean that we do not feel angry anymore but that we are more likely to be able to think clearly about what we should do. Encourage children to practise ways of calming down and regaining control. (6 second rule)


• Take 6 deep belly breaths
• Think about a favourite memory or a place
• Count to 10 slowly
• Count backwards from 10 slowly
• Think about one thing you like about the other person
• Close your eyes and say to yourself “ I can stay calm, I can stay calm”

Once calm we ask the children to think about:

What is the problem (what is making me feel angry)?

It’s important for children to take it in turns to let each other know how the problem from their point of view. It helps if they say:

• How they are feeling
• What happened from their perspective
• What they would like to happen

Then its time to try out the ideas.

Things to try at home:

• Use your good listening skills
• Help your child to practise their calming down techniques
• Practise peaceful problem solving with your child


Going for Goals (Spring 1)




  • To help my child to feel successful
  • To help my child pay attention and concentrate
  • To encourage and motivate my child

Key Ideas

• Self motivation and why children need it
• Giving praise and feedback
• Aiming high for all children
• Thinking and explaining learning
• Attention and concentration

It’s hard to encourage children to complete things they are not interested in, or feel they will fail at. This is when we use external motivators, which makes us feel
good inside: could be praise, reward charts, stickers, certificates, attention etc.
Once they get used to the feeling on the inside (internal motivator) then they’re more likely to start doing things without needing physical rewards and external motivation.

At school we try to:



  • make sure children feel safe enough to learn and feel safe enough to try. We try to create an atmosphere where they wont be put on the spot and made to feel inadequate or silly;
  • give feedback or specific praise rather than general praise. It encourages self-motivation if you say “I love the colour’s you have used in the picture” rather than saying “That’s a good picture” etc
  • encourage the children to believe in themselves. “You can do it if you try.”
  • set high but realistic expectations by working with the children to set their own goals and targets
  • tell them when they have achieved something and make sure that they feel it is ok to feel proud about it
  • talk about what they have learnt, not just what they have done
  • point out why the things we are learning are important

Parent Learning

As we get older we get better at attention skills and concentrating, and better at ignoring distractions. A good concentration or attention span for an adult is 45 minutes. How long can your child concentrate for? Being able to concentrate and pay attention are things we need to learn, and we do this from an early age by playing games and doing jigsaws with adults. As we get older and go to school the attention we receive from adults tend to get shared amongst a number of other children – i.e. 2 adults to 30 children. A good way to help children to improve their concentration and attention skills is through games: for example, I Spy,
Consequences, Simon says, Action rhymes. Games which involve looking at each other and doing actions together help children attention skills.


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