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Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development (SMSC) is core to Tidemill’s curriculum, ensuring our pupil’s personal development helps them to thrive in a supportive and highly cohesive learning community. 


Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their curiosity and respect for the beliefs, faiths and values of their friends, their community and the wider world around them. Tidemill’s religious makeup provides rich and varied opportunities for learning and reflection. Experiences include school visits by community leaders as well as high quality religious education. From role play areas to classroom museums, our pupils are fascinated by the world and approach learning about themselves and others with great enthusiasm. Pupils experience other places and ways of life through Spanish language and cultural lessons, trips and residential visits including our school journeys to Hindleap Warren and the north coast of Devon.


Pupils’ moral development is shown by their understanding of children’s rights and responsibilities. These are expressed in class charters agreed at the start of the year. Pupils regularly investigate and offer reasoned views about moral and ethical issues during circle time, debating and philosophical enquiry. Experiences such as these are embedded throughout the curriculum. Core texts in English and current affairs provide a rich stimulus for meaningful, memorable discussion and knowledge acquisition.


Pupils’ social development is encouraged by the teaching of Tidemill’s attitudes and skills. Skills such as communication and self-management help to emphasise the need to work both individually and as a community. Learning about real world issues increases pupils’ engagement and their desire to share their learning with a wider audience. Social skills are further enhanced by residential visits, fundraising initiatives and political activism. Pupils have raised funds for Street Trees for Living, lobbied councillors for the refurbishment of our local swimming centre and campaigned for safety and wellbeing in our local square. Tidemill’s School Council helps pupils by demonstrating British values such as democracy, rule of law and individual liberty; all pupils are involved through pupil voice and pupil leadership roles across the school. Pupils' opinions and ideas are not only heard but responded to quickly, making it easier for them to describe the positive contribution they are making.


Pupils’ cultural development is enhanced by specialist Teachers and volunteers who champion creativity and sporting prowess. Pupils have performed Shakespeare on stage at a theatre, opened their own Art exhibitions, recorded and performed their own songs, hosted cultural events in another language and represented their class, school and borough in sporting events from golf to athletics. In doing so, pupils learn to appreciate a wide range of cultural influences, history and values.

The Department for Education published guidance on promoting British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. The table below shows some of the ways these values are embedded and made meaningful to our pupils.



Children’s understanding

Examples of the values in practice


Everybody has the right to have their voice heard, be able to make their opinions known and be listened to. Pupils can influence decision making through the democratic process.

  • A democratically elected school council
  • Pupil surveys where every voice is valued
  • Recruitment of Year 6 Pupil Advocates to lead activities and support the running of the school
  • Debating encouraged throughout the curriculum

The Rule of Law

Rules and laws are important whether they be those that govern the school community or the country. They protect us and ensure that we stay safe. Thus, there are consequences when we break rules and laws.

  • A whole school behaviour system with termly passport trip
  • Pupils appointed as Digital Leaders raise the awareness of e-safety including      e-safety scenarios for pupils to discuss with their class
  • Visits from the emergency services take place during the year and are built into topic and English work
  • Organisations such as the NSPCC, For Jimmy and Growing Against Violence have worked in partnership with the school to protect pupils from harm

Individual Liberty

All children are actively encouraged to make independent choices knowing they are in a safe and supportive environment.


  • Safer School Week teaches children how to keep themselves and others safe
  • An extensive timetable of provision during break times gives children greater choice and improves learning experiences outside the classroom
  • A range of after school clubs are tailored to children’s talents and interests
  • Art therapist and Time To Talk lunchtime drop-ins to support emotional wellbeing

Mutual Respect

Everyone within the school community; adults and children learn they must respect the rights of others. We appreciate other people from alternative backgrounds who may hold different opinions and have different cultures.

  • Pupils rehearse and revisit behaviours on their Class Charters
  • Regular Circle Time
  • Buddy classes are encouraged. Older children collaborate with younger children in the school on special projects e.g. sharing stories
  • Philosophy for Children helps children to respect differences in belief as well as the beliefs we share
  • Teacher led reflection time improves behaviour

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs

We ensure that children are aware of their place in a culturally diverse society and give them plenty of opportunities to experience different aspects of diversity.

  • The celebration of Black History Month
  • The teaching of all six major world religions
  • Spanish Teaching in years 3-6
  • ‘Good Morning Project’ where each week children answer the register in a different language