Priory Park Community School has a strong commitment to the personal and social development of all pupils. The school vision and values, put together by all the staff, supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural characteristics in all pupils.
What is SMSC – Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development?
Here is a summary to explain SMSC – it is personalised for all our students at PPCS.
Spiritual development is when we:
Explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral development is when we:
Recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social development is when we:
Use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the ‘British values’ of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.
Cultural development is when we:
Appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain’s parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
In our school pupil’s SMSC development is seen for example in:
- Taking part in a range of activities regarding social skills
- Developing an awareness and respect for diversity
- Developing and appreciation of theatre
- Developing an understanding of right and wrong.
- Developing the communication skills to make choices about likes/dislikes in school then in wider community visits.
- Taking part in sporting opportunities.
- Taking part in cultural opportunities.
- Taking part in artistic opportunities.
SMSC is embedded throughout the curriculum at PPCS. This integrated approach ensures that aspects of SMSC is considered in all subject areas. The senior leadership team audits SMSC and Governors monitor it across school.
Beyond the Curriculum
We are also committed as a school to developing SMSC beyond the curriculum. This is done through:
- Arts, Music and Cultural Specialists visits to school over the year
- Assemblies give pupils an opportunity to explore aspects of SMSC
- An Arts Specialist Teacher in school has links to Arts Connect West Midlands, Telford and Wrekin Music Hub and Telford Vultire Zone
- We are currently registered to achieve the Unicef Award.This will be a specific focus of work over the next 2 years. More information on this can be found on
In order to reflect further on the impact of all our work on SMSC:
- We engage governors, families and community
- Hear our student voice
- Observe staff and pupil interactions
- Support Social Behaviour
- Complete learning walks reflecting on resources and practices.
Mentors in Violence Prevention Programme
We are working in close partnership with West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit to fully embed the Mentors in Violence Prevention programme into the Priory Park Curriculum.
In 2015 the West Midlands Violence Reduction Unit (WMVRU) adopted the MVP model which was being delivered as part of a violence reduction strategic plan for Glasgow, then known as the knife capital of Britain. After ten years of strategic and coordinated approach a significant reduction in knife crime has been achieved.
The WM approach uses a wide definition of violence, the gender lens and active bystander approach of Katz’s original work. The model uses an adult training the trainers approach, trainers then recruit train and support pupils to deliver within the classroom as part of, or complementary to the PSHE curriculum. A number of pilot and flagship schools were identified. Mentors were recruited from year 9 or 10, delivering to year 7s.
From 2020 the WM model aims to build upon learning from implementation within the West Midland context, capitalise on new statutory requirements for relationship and sex education and health education.
The WM MVP model is evolving, developing for delivery in a variety of educational and community settings such as colleges, mosques, cadets and youth services. A key feature of the WM model is partnership work, delivered with, and through the voluntary sector, youth service and sports sector.
WM MVP brings together Public Health, Police, Education, Youth specialists and academics to support and advise on evolving and developing effective practice. Place and community setting are an important aspect of the work. Contextual safeguarding is rooted in understanding safety and risk in local neighbourhoods. MVP engages with this from a young people perspective as part of local community, supporting the development of cultural capital. To date schools has been the predominate context for MVP delivery.
Within a school delivery model, MVP is commonly (although not always) delivered with PSHE lessons. The Literature Review evaluating the impact of PSHE on students’ Health, Wellbeing and Academic Attainment highlighted the body of literature on the relationship between behaviour and academic outcomes.
Beelmann & L’Osel looked at social skills training focusing on crime prevention, especially anti-social behaviour and social competence. Their results show significant reduction in anti-social behaviour due to intervention. Wilson’s Meta– analysis focused on universal school-based intervention for aggressive and disruptive behaviour finding that ‘the format and execution of the intervention is key to overall success.’
‘The role of school-based health education in adolescent spiritual, moral, social and cultural development’ drawing upon the 2014 World Health Organisation Health Behaviour in School aged Children (HBSC) study for England concluded that ‘positive perceptions of PSHE were significantly associated with increased spirituality among young people, reduced engagement in both fighting and bullying perpetration and increased general self – efficacy.’