Monday, 06 February 2012

The Inspection of SMSC within the revised Ofsted Framework

In the revised Ofsted framework, in place from January 2012, there is a renewed emphasis on the inspection of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC) which impacts on many of the other judgements, including a school’s capacity to improve.

But just what are inspectors looking for when they judge this area of development?

Ofsted states that all schools should be promoting pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and suitably preparing pupils for life.

Inspectors will consider the climate and ethos of the school and what effect this has on enabling all pupils to grow and flourish, become confident individuals, and appreciate their own worth and that of others.

In considering how well the school promotes pupils’ SMSC, inspectors will take into account the impact of the range of opportunities provided for young people to develop their resilience and confidence.

In the classroom this could manifest itself in the following ways:

  • Teaching that encourages participation, creativity, reflection and independence
  • Assessment and feedback that values pupils’ work and effort
  • Activities that develop teamwork, leadership skills and self-reliance (if you wish to develop this aspect of your work more fully, our Core Learning Skills curriculum can help you)

Defining Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

  • Pupils’ spiritual development is demonstrated by their:
  • Beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for other people’s feelings and values
  • Sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • Use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • Willingness to reflect on their experiences

Pupils’ moral development is shown by their:

  • Ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
  • Understanding the consequences of their actions
  • Interest in investigating, and offering reasoned views about, moral and ethical issues

Pupils’ social development is shown by their:

  • Use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds
  • Willingness to participate in a variety of social settings, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • Interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and societies function

Pupils’ cultural development is indicated by their:

  • Understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • Willingness to participate in, and respond to artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • Interest in exploring and showing respect for cultural diversity as demonstrated by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

Megan Stockley - EdisonLearning Education Advisor (Ofsted Inspector)

If you would like to find out more about EdisonLearning, please contact us on 01376 562953.



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