Last academic year, Kettering Buccleuch Academy became the first school in the country to receive the Gold Quality Mark for its high-level provision of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) teaching. Since then, the school has continued to strengthen this work to ensure pupils are receiving an Education with Character, becoming well-rounded and confident individuals during their time at KBA.
SMSC development, which is a key focus of Ofsted’s school inspection framework, seeks to instil in pupils the range of skills and knowledge that they will need to lead successful and fulfilling lives in modern day Britain. Pupils are taught to respect different faiths, feelings and values, to recognise the difference between right and wrong, to give back to their school and local community, and to understand and celebrate cultural diversity.
At KBA, this is lived out in the school’s commitment to delivering an Education with Character, helping develop character, compassion and service. These values are at the heart of everything the school does, both in terms of curriculum coverage and in wider school life. Pupils have access to a range of opportunities and experiences that help to develop their integrity, understanding and resilience, including through University Challenge style quizzes, House Cup competitions and the creation of school displays that celebrate British values and diversity.
This academic year, KBA staff chose ‘Respect’ – a central tenet of SMSC learning – as a continuous theme for pupils to focus on. As part of this, last term a group of primary pupils from Years 2 to 6 made weekly visits to a local care home, where they got the chance to share intergenerational stories and improve their literacy skills by reading books to the residents. They will continue to focus on this theme throughout the year by taking part in activities and workshops to celebrate diverse occasions like Australia Day, Chinese New Year and International Women’s Day.
Year 6 pupil, Cameron, said:
“In SMSC, we cover a range of important topics such as understanding different religions, how society is impacted by different things and traditional events around the world. My favourite part of SMSC is being given a voice which has allowed me to take part in real elections for our school council.”
Year 6 pupil, Charley, said:
“I was invited to visit a local care home and share my current reading book with two elderly ladies called Mabel and Dorris. We had great conversations about life, families and everything. I loved being able to make them smile and learn all about their mischievous dog! I’m looking forward to visiting again.”
Year 3 pupil, Maisie- May, said:
“I love my SMSC lessons because they are always fun and teach us lots of things about our world. I really like it when we get to dress up and cook different foods from other cultures. For anti-bullying week, the whole of primary went onto the playground to spell out ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ and show how much it means to us.”
Abbie Underwood, a teacher at KBA and SMSC Lead, said:
“SMSC is a way of life for us at KBA and is part of our commitment to delivering an Education with Character for all our pupils. Receiving our SMSC Gold QM was a fantastic achievement for us, demonstrating that what we do, day in and day out, towards promoting these values really is at the core of our school.
“Pupils have thrown themselves into our work around ‘Respect’ this year already and thoroughly enjoyed participating in our community partnerships work. We are looking forward to continuing to develop these links in the New Year.”