SMSC at Earlsfield is about the whole child, their wellbeing and their impact in their own community. As a Level 2 Rights Respecting School, we aim to develop every child as a well-rounded, respectful individual who cares for themselves and those around them. We aim to place the needs of the child at the centre of learning, nurturing their creativity, developing independence and resilience, in order to equip them with life skills to take their place in modern Britain.
As society and the challenges affecting young people today
continue to change, it has never been more important to put wellbeing at the forefront of a school’s curriculum. That’s why, at Earlsfield, we aim to promote mental health as part of everyday school life and improve the emotional wellbeing of our whole community.
Our school values encourage children to become global citizens and continually underpin our SMSC curriculum.
I Care by being considerate, helpful and thoughtful.
I Inspire others by being a positive role model to my peers.
I Challenge myself by aiming high, overcoming obstacles and never giving up.
I Achieve by having self-belief and determination to be successful.
I Respect my community by treating everyone equally.
I Enjoy learning because I make the most of all the exciting opportunities.
How is SMSC implemented?
At the very core of SMSC at Earlsfield Primary School is our commitment to our six school values as listed above. We use these values alongside the ‘Rights Respecting Schools’ articles to form the basis of our assembly themes and ‘Thought for the Week’ questions. Each term a different theme is chosen as a focus, also linked to one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as set out by the United Nations.
We think about the whole child as we create the assembly planner, making each assembly relatable, week by week. Our assembly planners are communicated to all members of our school community through our weekly newsletter, our website and in our weekly homework task sheets set by the teachers. We feel it is important to get all stakeholders involved in this essential part of their children’s learning.
2. Our teaching approach
Our ‘Thought for the Week’ questions are integral to our teaching approaches. The OFSTED PSHE framework states: “This new framework emphasises the need for high quality provision through a broad and rich curriculum, and aims to support the future success of all individuals, with a focus on supporting those from disadvantaged backgrounds.” PSHE Association 2019
With this in mind, we implement a diverse PSHE curriculum for all pupils, using key questions linked to our assembly themes. Teachers plan a range of active and written tasks for children on a weekly basis, ensuring full engagement and opportunities for productive discussion. Teachers also think carefully about how their PSHE objectives link to their current topics, making lessons meaningful for the children. At Earlsfield, PSHE lessons are taught each week. We believe PSHE should be valued as highly as other core subjects and therefore ensure that lessons are taught to engage confident, independent and resilient learners.
Within the subject of PSHE, we also celebrate world events and raise money for charities including, Comic Relief, Children in Need and The Anti-Bullying Alliance. Children at Earlsfield show care and respect when learning about these events and have a deep understanding of why it is important to recognise them. Remembrance Day is something else that is marked at our school. Each year, parents and the wider community are invited to attend an outdoor assembly in the playground where all year groups from Nursery to Year 6, contribute a piece of work linking to this special day.
The DFE guidance issued in 2019 states: “To embrace the challenges of creating a happy and successful adult life, pupils need knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy.” DFE 2019
As a school we strongly believe that a child’s wellbeing, health and relationships alongside resilience should be at the forefront of their education as they prepare themselves to face the challenges of modern life. We ensure children from all faiths and cultures have access to their RSE and that teaching it effectively means taking into account the diversity of our school. RSE should be sensitive to the range of different values and beliefs within a school community.
At Earlsfield we follow ‘The Christopher Winter Project’ which has been quality assured by the PSHE Association. With a strong focus on safeguarding and keeping children safe, it provides teachers with clear objectives linking to the statutory framework and up to date resources appropriate for each age group. We think it is important that children as young as Reception are included in RSE, especially with the fast, modern world around them encouraging them to ask more questions and want more answers. It encourages children to develop their listening skills and ways to show empathy by talking about feelings and relationships with people they trust. Vocabulary is also a key element of progression in this scheme and we believe it is essential for all children to be using age appropriate, scientific vocabulary that they understand when learning about RSE.
Parents and carers are given opportunities to meet with subject leaders, SLT and class teachers about their child’s learning in RSE. We hold an information meeting in May before RSE lessons start in Summer 2. Teachers send a note home in Homework books to inform parents when lessons are going to take place as we want families to be prepared to answer questions or raise discussion about their child’s learning, just like in any other subject. Information is provided on the school website for all parents who cannot make the meetings and teachers are willing to discuss any further queries about RSE either on the phone or in person. Once all information has been shared with parents, letters are sent out for them to state whether they wish to withdraw their child from RSE non-compulsory lessons that do not link to the Science curriculum.
4. British Values
These are linked to our school values and are promoted through so much of what we do. As a Level 2 Rights Respecting School, we place the voice of the child at the heart of the school and aim to encourage our children to be caring, tolerant and respectful citizens of their local and global community.
Below are some of the ways in which we promote these fundamental British Values at Earlsfield Primary School.
Rule of Law
Mutual Respect & Tolerance
At Earlsfield Primary School, we are committed to supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of our whole school community: our pupils, staff, governors, parents and carers.
Everyone experiences life challenges that can make us vulnerable and at times, anyone may need additional emotional support. We take the view that positive mental health is everybody’s business and that we all have a role to play.
Earlsfield is a school where all stakeholders are committed to promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing for all students, their families, members of staff and governors.
At Earlsfield, we are always trying to think of new ways to support children’s mental health and the worries they may have, whether it be using our Peer Listeners, ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant), nurture groups, Place2B, early help assessments (EHAs), liaising with parents/carers or simply providing time out for a child to speak to our Learning Mentor or a member of staff.
In February 2020, Earlsfield Primary School was awarded the Wellbeing Award for Schools, confirming the effort and dedication of the whole school community in working together to promote positive wellbeing for all.
What is the impact of SMSC?
- “Pupils say that their learning about British values inspires them to challenge unkind behaviour and treat everyone fairly. They were able to give clear examples of when they had done this, both inside and outside school” – Ofsted, 2017
- “The school does as much as possible to meet children’s, parent/carer and staff needs in order for everyone to feel like they can develop and thrive here” – Wellbeing Award for Schools, 2020
- PSHE class portfolios and ‘Voice of the Child’ collected show a consistent approach across the whole with all year groups exploring the same issues but tailored to the needs and ideas of each year group.
- Earlsfield children enjoy and engage with their PSHE lessons, taking pride in their class portfolios. Children can discuss themes and issues that affect not only their community but the wider world.
- Children are taught and are able to speak about their own rights as well as their responsibilities.
- Thanks to School Council, Wellbeing Champions and other pupil groups, children are given the chance to voice their opinions and lead change in their school and wider community.
Where would you see SMSC in action?
- Values embedded and celebrated through use of house points and referenced within learning
- Child led class charters on display with pupil voice and Rights Respecting Articles that the children have discussed and chosen to promote a safe and collaborative environment
- PSHE portfolios on display in book corners highlighting the breadth and diversity of learning linked to our engaging curriculum
- Inclusive use of talk partners and group work to promote respectful speaking and listening skills between all members of the class
- Opportunities for child to voice their ideas, emotions or worries through the use of ‘Talk to the Teacher’ boxes
- Celebration of children’s achievements through interactive and engaging displays
What do pupil tell us about SMSC?
What do you learn about in your PSHE lessons?
Year 1 child: “We learn about looking after ourselves, the planet and how we can help each other”
Year 2 child: “I like how the lesson is about something different each week as I like learning about new things”
Year 5 child: “We learn about important issues in the world but also in our own community and school, like bullying and climate change”
How does the school support you as you develop?
Year 3: Our teachers can tell when we are worried or sad as they know our personalities and they can tell if we are not ourselves.
Year 4: We are listened to and our ideas are thought about and pupils always come up with ways to make the school better.
Year 6: “They help us learn about important issues around the world and show us how we could also make a difference, even here in Earlsfield”