Willow Tree Primary School

Realise your potential, Realise your goal, Reach for the stars whilst Growing, Learning and Achieving Together

Q. What is SMSC?

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum. [Ofsted definition]


Q. What does SMSC look like at Willow Tree?


At Willow Tree Primary School our core belief is that children ‘Reach for the stars, whilst growing, learning and achieving together.’ Our core aims of G.A.I.N. for children to:


GROW physically, mentally and socially

ACHIEVE to best they can be

INSPIRE to aim high and are given

NURTURE to grow and develop

are promoted throughout all we do.


To ensure that the children are meeting their true potential and are able to access an outstanding curriculum we provide a curriculum that is rich in spiritual, moral and cultural development.


  • Spiritual development relates to the aspect of inner life through which children acquire insights into personal existence that are enduring worth. Spiritual is not synonymous with religious; all areas of the curriculum may contribute to pupils’ spiritual development. It is the development of a sense of identity, self-worth, personal insight, meaning and purpose.

  • Moral Development is about building a framework of moral values for our children, which regulates their personal behaviour. It is the development of our understanding of societies shared and agreed values; including an understanding that there are contentious issues where there is disagreement, and that societies values change.

  • Social development is about helping our young children to work effectively together and to participate successfully in the community. It is about the development of the skills and the personal qualities necessary for working and living together; and functioning effectively in a multi-racial, multi-cultural society.

  • Cultural Development is about our children understanding their own culture, other cultures in St Helens and Merseyside and in the UK as a whole. It is about understanding cultures represented in Europe and elsewhere in the world; about understanding and feeling comfortable around other cultures and being able to operate in the emerging world culture of shared experiences offered by travel, the media and the worldwide web.

A child at Willow Tree, during their primary education will:

  • Reflect on beliefs, values and more profound aspects of human experience and use their imagination and creativity, developing curiosity in their learning.

  • Develop and apply an understanding of right and wrong in their school life and outside school.

  • Take part in a range of activities requiring social skills, including extra- curricular clubs, collaborative learning, and forest school.

  • Develop an awareness of, and respect towards, diversity in relation to gender, race, religion and belief, culture and disability.

  • Gain a well-informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them as they move through the school and on to the next stages of their education.

  • Overcome any barriers to their learning.

  • Respond positively to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities, provided by the school including, developing an appreciation of theatre and performance, music and literature.

  • Develop the skills and attitudes to enable them to participate fully and positively in democratic, modern Britain; and understand and appreciate the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of the preparation of life.

For further information, including a table of how we encourage spiritual, moral, social and cultural development in each aspect of our school life, please see the below document:

 SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural).pdfDownload
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