Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural Education

At Alfriston School we recognise that the personal development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally (SMSC) 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 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.

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

The school community is 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.

Children will learn to differentiate between what’s right and wrong in as far as their actions affect other people.  They will be encouraged to value themselves and others.

Children learn to understand the need for rules and the need to abide by rules for the good of everyone.  School and classroom rules reflect, reiterate, promote and reward acceptable behaviour and provide opportunities to celebrate children’s work and achievements.

All curriculum areas seek to use illustrations and examples drawn from as wide a range of cultural contexts as possible.  This will be reflected in teacher’s planning and purchasing decisions.


  • Collective worship daily includes opportunities to reflect in a period of calm and the gazebo area in the playground is a place for quiet time.
  • Through work and activities with other schools, RE lessons and visitors to the school, the pupils show a great respect for other religions and an interest in the faith of others.
  • The staff are putting more emphasis on encouraging the children to discuss and debate their ideas in all subject areas which allows them to tackle sensitive topics in RE with more confidence.
  • Despite not being a church school, the school has very good links with three local churches. Children take part in and lead services and events at St Andrew’s Church in Alfriston, and at Berwick Church, and the Seaford Baptist Church visits the school each month to lead an assembly.
  • We regularly have visitors to our school from all walks of life and with a variety of skills and experiences, and the children are exposed to awe inspiring musical and theatrical performances, and amazing achievements (eg. Music recitals, professional actors, practising scientists)
  • We ensure that our children experience the wonder of the natural world and amazing phenomena.

Moral development

  • From very early days in Reception throughout the school, moral development is planned for with care and opportunities for pupils to consider moral dilemmas and issues of importance to themselves are discussed in small groups, classes and assemblies.
  • Pupil behaviour towards others can be seen to reflect this strong moral code.
  • The use of Year 2 and Year 6 buddies assists new pupils in understanding the behaviour policy and in overcoming any issues with others.
  • This buddy idea is also used throughout the year when necessary to target specific children who are at a point in their school journey that they need additional support or a role model to guide them.

Social development

  • Pupils can be seen to display good manners and well developed social skills, which are modelled by the older pupils for the younger ones.
  • Staff are clear about expectations for social interactions and encourage mixing with all pupils in a class and the recognition of the importance of individual differences.
  • Adults in our community always report that the pupils’ behaviour and manners outside of school is excellent.
  • Pupils mix well with other schools in sports events and on curriculum visits.
  • Through the School Council and House Captains, all the pupils gain an understanding of how democracy works. For example, the children planned and held a ‘mock’ election to coincide with the General Election.
  • House competitions and talent shows which the children organise themselves contribute to pupils becoming more confident and secure.
  • There has been a significant rise in the number of school clubs, taking up almost every available location and time, in order for the children to access a variety of sociable activities, both physical and mental. 

Cultural development

  • Children learn about other cultures through our curriculum.  For example by choosing texts from around the world; sharing recipes, traditions and celebrations from around the world; learning dances from different places.
  • Children are taught to recognise and celebrate national events such as the Olympics and Remembrance Day.