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SMSC and British Values at Coleridge Primary School

At Coleridge, we encourage our children will be able to discuss freely and openly about any issue linked to diversity and British Values without prejudice or hate. We want our children to feel like they have a voice in modern day Britain and that they are exposed to a wide range of Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural events that help shape their thinking.

National Curriculum aims for SMSC and British Values

Through their provision of SMSC, schools should:

  • 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 of 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. The list below describes the understanding and knowledge expected of pupils as a result of schools promoting fundamental British values.
  • An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process;
  • An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety;
  • An understanding that there is a separation of power between the executive and the judiciary, and that while some public bodies such as the police and the army can be held to account through Parliament, others such as the courts maintain independence;
  • An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law;
  • An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour; and
  • An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination. It is not necessary for schools or individuals to ‘promote’ teachings, beliefs or opinions that conflict with their own, but nor is it acceptable for schools to promote discrimination against people or groups on the basis of their belief, opinion or background.

British Values

Through their provision of British Values, schools should:

  • To ensure that all children are prepared learners for life in modern Britain by:
  • equipping them to be responsible, respectful, active citizens who contribute positively to society
  • developing their understanding of fundamental British values
  • developing their understanding and appreciation of diversity
  • celebrating what we have in common and promoting respect for the different protected characteristics as defined in law.

How we teach SMSC and British Values

At Coleridge, we ensure that the SMSC and British Values curriculum is embedded by the use of Picture News. We use Picture News weekly topical question as a driver within our learning. Every Monday, we introduce our ‘question of the week’ which is discussed in our talk assembly. After this, class teachers have two talktime sessions per week where children can elaborate on their own thinking and share their thoughts with the class. Each classroom captures all the children’s thoughts and feelings about these questions on SMSC/British Values boards.

We want to ensure that our children gave to opportunity to talk about these issues in and out of the classroom. Therefore, we have introduced talking benches in the playground and this is another area where children can go to discuss the question of the week. A chalk board is situated next to the bench and children can share their thoughts on the board. We also send out the Picture News newspaper each week for parents to read alongside their children and half-termly talk homework’s are set for parents to discuss issues with their children.

Key stage 1

During key stage 1 pupils learn about themselves as developing individuals and as members of their communities, building on their own experiences and on the early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development. They learn the basic rules and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well. They have opportunities to show they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment. They begin to learn about their own and other people’s feelings and become aware of the views, needs and rights of other children and older people. As members of a class and school community, they learn social skills such as how to share, take turns, play, help others, resolve simple arguments and resist bullying. They begin to take an active part in the life of their school and its neighbourhood.

Key stage 2

During key stage 2 pupils learn about themselves as growing and changing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of their communities. They become more mature, independent and self-confident. They learn about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. They develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour can affect local, national or global issues and political and social institutions. They learn how to take part more fully in school and community activities. As they begin to develop into young adults, they face the changes of puberty and transfer to secondary school with support and encouragement from their school. They learn how to make more confident and informed choices about their health and environment; to take more responsibility, individually and as a group, for their own learning; and to resist bullying.

Picture News

The main reason why we wanted to use Picture News as our stimulus was to ensure that children had a secure knowledge of what was happening in the world around them and how this purposefully links to SMSC and British Values. Some of the main benefits for using topical news events are:

  • Real life learning opportunities for something happening RIGHT NOW meaning potentially children can influence and bring about change – both locally and globally!
  • What’s going on in the news can directly link to nearly every area of the curriculum and allows children to use fresh and exciting content!
  • The news can bring the world closer to children’s everyday lives through making them more aware and understanding about the world they live in.

Picture News also provides a large quantity of resources to help staff across all phases to deliver age-appropriate talk time sessions. These sessions also build upon our Voice21 oracy strategies and ensure that these sessions are engaging and promoting a high-level of talk and focusing on turning taking and respecting others opinions.

Sunshine Weeks

At Coleridge, we like to celebrate all areas of diversity. Therefore, we have introduced Sunshine weeks, where each half-term we focus on a different area of diversity. These will often replace the Picture News stimulus and we will look at producing written outcomes to celebrate the diverse community we live in. During these weeks, we also ask guess speakers to come into school and talk about their experiences linked to these areas of Diversity.

Visitors into School

Alongside the local Pastor, Rabbi and Imam that all come into school to talk about how SMSC links to their religions we also have a wide variety of cultural experiences that enhance our children’s knowledge of the world around them. Some of those visitor include: Sangreet Choir, Kick it out, Tchiyiwe Chihana, ROAR and REMA. These visits always enhance our children’s understanding of diversity, hate crime and accepting other religions and cultures.

At Coleridge we understand the importance of knowledge organisers and how they can support children’s understanding and learning.

They are also an excellent assessment tool which can help identify gaps in learning and inform planning, teaching and intervention. As we have developed our own curriculum, class teachers have also developed knowledge organisers to work alongside our curriculum. Children will be encouraged to refer to knowledge organisers throughout sessions to help support and enhance their learning.

Knowledge organisers can be a valuable tool for both children, staff and parents. Class teachers are the ones who write the knowledge organiser, to set out their expectations of what pupils should learn about a topic – and to clarify their own thinking around what is important.

School leaders, headteachers and subject leaders then may look at a series of knowledge organisers to check for progression and continuity both within and across curriculum subjects and to ensure standards and expectations for learning are being implemented, and if not, what CPD is required.

Pupils will review, revise and quiz themselves using their knowledge organisers. Knowledge organisers are a really clear and easy to understand way for parents to be more aware of what their children are learning and thus to support them.

Some of the benefits of knowledge organisers

  1. A knowledge organiser makes the teacher think hard about what will be taught.
  2. Knowledge organisers are an endless source of meaningful homework activities.
  3. Knowledge organisers are an excellent tool for inclusion.
  4. Knowledge organisers create opportunities for spaced retrieval practice.
  5. Ahead of a summative assessment at the end of a topic you can inform pupils that some of the questions will refer to previous learning; pupils can then refer to the knowledge organiser to access and practice those topics.
  6. Used appropriately, knowledge organisers can increase retention of facts

At Coleridge, we have several non-negiotiables that need to be included in a knowledge organiser, they are:

  • Key vocabulary (linked to Progression of language)
  • Key places and people
  • Useful diagrams (as required for the topic)
  • Key dates for a subject like history (e.g. when the two World Wars were)
  • Key themes
  • Important quotes
  • Stem sentences for a subject like Science or Maths

We use knowledge organisers throughout school, however, in EYFS they look different to other phases of school due to the away the curriculum is structure. In EYFS, we use a holistic approach to knowledge organisers and have a topic knowledge organiser, whereas, in KS1 and KS2 our knowledge organisers are subject specific.

If you would like any information about our knowledge organisers then please contact us at

SMSC coverage through Picture News

SMSC How? Focus weeks
Spiritual development Through Picture News sessions, children are given opportunity to be reflective about their own beliefs and show respect for the beliefs, faiths, feelings and values of others. Coverage is broad and includes current news stories about the environment, religion, politics and culture. It also includes social, ethical and moral issues. Opportunities are given for children to learn about themselves, others and the world around them.
Moral development News stories explore some issues which allow children to see the difference between right and wrong in the ‘real world’. Opportunities to look at the civil and criminal law of England are given. Children offer their views about moral and ethical issues and can listen and respond respectfully to the viewpoints of others.



Social development Each week, we focus on one of the British Values that links to the story. This allows children to accept and engage in British Values in a meaningful and relevant way. They also make links to personal, school and community values. Picture News stories inspire children to take action and have allowed opportunities to demonstrate children’s willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings.
Cultural development Children are given opportunities to explore a range of different cultures. It allows children to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity locally, nationally and globally. Picture News stories cover British politics giving children knowledge of Britain’s democratic parliamentary system.