SMSC - Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural

We recognise that the personal development of our pupils spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part in their ability to learn and achieve. We therefore aim to provide an education that provides pupils with opportunities to explore and develop their own values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour, a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures.

All curriculum areas have a contribution to make to the child's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and opportunities for this will be planned in each area of the curriculum. The integrity and spirituality of pupils from other faith backgrounds will be respected and explored. The diversity of spiritual traditions will be recognised, and pupils will be given access to alternative views. Within our whole school and phase assemblies, we like to celebrate and take into consideration all faiths, cultures and British Values.  

All adults will model and promote expected behaviour, treating all people as unique and valuable individuals and showing respect for pupils and their families.

The school community will be a place where pupils can find acceptance for themselves as unique individuals, and where forgiveness and the opportunity to start again is fundamental to the ethos of the school.  Pupils should learn to differentiate between right and wrong, in as far as how their actions affect other people. They will be encouraged to value themselves and others.  Pupils should understand the need for rules and the need to abide by rules for the good of everyone.

School and classroom rules should reflect, reiterate, promote and reward acceptable behaviour and provide opportunities to celebrate pupils' work and achievements.

All curriculum areas should seek to use illustrations and examples drawn from as wide a range of cultural contexts as possible.

SMSC Policy


P4C – Philosophy for children


This year at Boarshaw Primary, we are introducing P4C sessions.

We have applied to be part of a research project that looks into the benefits of P4C within English schools. There have been many studies in America, but none in the UK. Here are the benefits that the studies have shown –


P4C Benefits for Students

• Higher order thinking and reasoning

• More confident speaking and listening

• Literacy and numeracy gains

• More challenging questioning

• Increased resilience

• A way to open up children’s learning through enquiry and the exploration ofideas.

• Children realise that there is not always a right answer and all ideas are valued.

• To build confidence to ask questions and learn through discussion.

• A chance to speak and be heard without fear of getting an answer wrong.

• Intelligence and respect for others grows.

• Gives all children a voice and a chance to flourish.

• Gives all children a chance to ‘think outside the box’ and to celebrate others’ inspiring ideas.

• Raises children’s self-esteem and social responsibility.


P4C Benefits for Schools

• Motivational CPD for teachers

• Dialogic teaching skills

• Improved student engagement

• More respectful relationships

• Improved educational outcomes


What is Philosophy for Children?

Philosophy for Children (P4C) was created by Professor Lipman in the late 1960’s, and its aim was to encourage children to be more reasonable, reflective and considerate.

P4C is essentially about developing thinking and reasoning skills, through talking and posing challenging questions.

These questions cover a whole range of subjects and experiences. The questions can be generated from a range of stimuli, including books, films and newspaper areticles. P4C is designed to get everybody thinking…

Not all questions can be answered but all answers can be questioned.


Why P4C?

P4C develops the skills, attitudes and dispositions for higher level thinking:

• the ability to work with others

• builds communication skills

• raises self esteem

• develops social responsibility

• promotes respect and understanding

• develops reasoning skills

• promotes logical, critical and reflective thinking


P4C develops different types of thinking, the 4 C’s -

1. Collaborative - thinking with others

2. Caring - thinking of others

3. Critical - making reasoned judgements

4. Creative - creating new ideas


What does a P4C lesson look like?

Starting Point

The children sit in a circle to aid good listening and equal involvement. They think about the rules and guidelines for a successful enquiry and possibly focus on particular skills needed. The session usually starts with a game that helps build these skills.

1. Getting Set- Warm Up

2. Presentation of the Stimulus

3. Thinking Time

4. Question Making

5. Question Airing

6. Question Choosing-Voting

7. First Thoughts (Enquiry)

8. Building (Enquiry)

9. Last Thought (Enquiry)

10. Review


The Starting Stimulus

The children can share a story, look at a picture, a poem, listen to a piece of music, or any starting point that will stimulate thoughts and discussion.


Generating a philosophical question:

After the children have had time to investigate the stimulus individually, with a partner and as a class, they then have to generate a question. The children are encouraged to develop their skills at developing a philosophical question. They learn to understand which type of questions generate a good enquiry and which provide a very closed line of enquiry. The children learn to group their questions into 4 categories;

1. look in the book

2. ask an expert

3. imagination question

4. philosophical question


Questions based on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. For example:

1. What colour is Goldilocks' dress?

(Look in the book)

2. How long do bears live for? (Ask an expert)

3. What colour do bears like best? (Imagination)

4. Can it ever be right to break into somebody's house? (Philosophical)


Deciding on a line of enquiry

After generating their questions they then have to choose which question they want to discuss. The children vote for the line of enquiry they wish to develop. The learn to vote in different ways.



Using the skills of enquiry the children then discuss the question. They listen to each other, share ideas, agree or disagree, build upon each other’s ideas and all have the chance to contribute. The discussion that the children have is not limited. The enquiry follows its own path guided by the children’s thoughts and ideas. Children can agree and disagree but always should give a reason for their point of view.


Completing the enquiry

After a set period of time the enquiry will be brought to a close and the facilitator (the

teacher) will recap on the ideas covered and discussed. These ideas and the concepts covered will be drawn together by the facilitator. Depending on the events of the enquiry, their thoughts might be picked up in the next P4C lesson.


Rights Respecting Schools


We are currently working towards the Level 1 award of 'Rights Respecting Schools' led by Unicef UK.


Click below to see our action plan and on the web link to find out more about what it is involved in being a 'Rights Respecting School'.

Boarshaw - Level 1 Rights Respecting Schools Action Plan

Unicef 'Rights Respecting Schools' website



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