Spritual, Moral, Social & Cultural Development

The DfE has recently stressed the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” These principles are promoted through everyday life at Rockcliffe and through our RE and SMSC curriculum. All schools in England must show how well their pupils develop in SMSC. 

Embedding the principles of a Growth Mindset through our Rockcliffe Learning Superpowers for staff and pupils, means that the link between character education and academic performance is an explicit part of everything we do. Our school drivers: community cohesion, sustainability, creativity and well-being, which underpin our curriculum planning, also serve to ensure that children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is considered and addressed through each Key Stage’s  termly topic. On this page, you can read more about how we address each of the aspects of SMSC.

Children are encouraged to explore beliefs and experience, show respect for different faiths, feelings and values, enjoy learning about themselves, others and the surrounding world, use imagination and creativity and reflect on their experiences.

At Rockcliffe, we follow North Tyneside’s Agreed Syllabus for RE. Our aim is that all pupils understand the nature of religion and acquire an understanding of the beliefs, practices and strengths of the world’s six main religions; Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. 

We have excellent links with local places of worship, such as the Cullercoats Methodist Fishermen’s Mission with whom we celebrate Harvest Festival and the Whitley Bay Baptist Church, who present a popular, weekly ‘Open the Book’ assembly. Children visit the Hindu Temple in Newcastle and benefit from a close relationship with members of our own local Muslim community.

Children’s moral development is shown by their ability to recognise right and wrong, respect the law, understand consequences, investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views.

At Rockcliffe, Children are taught that they have rights, but that with those rights come responsibilities. At the beginning of each new academic year, all pupils contribute to the formation of ‘Golden Rules’ that set out expectations for acceptable behaviour in all areas of school-life. One of our school mantras is ‘Every day is kindness day!’ and children are expected to consider and reflect upon their words and actions. Staff attitudes and interactions provide powerful role models for the ethos and values we want to promote. Our Anti-bullying Policy, written by the children, ensures that there are measures in place to deal with any form of bullying or discrimination. As an Eco-School,we encourage a collective and personal responsibility to care for our environment. A Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach to PSHE lessons encourages critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking on a range of moral and ethical issues.

Children are encouraged to investigate moral issues, appreciate diverse viewpoints, participate, volunteer and cooperate in a range of situations and be active in resolving conflict.  They should accept and engage with the fundamental values of British democracy and develop skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

At Rockcliffe, children are encouraged to expresses their views confidently as well as listen to and show respect for the views of others. They are expected to demonstrate respect and tolerance towards people different from themselves. There is a strong focus on community cohesion. Involvement with the Rockcliffe Community Association, Whitley Bay Big Local and close partnership work with organisations such as the YMCA and Age UK, give children fantastic opportunities for inter-generational and service learning. Participation in off-site activities, such as a residential visit for Year Four to Robinwood Activity Centre, develops team-building and leadership skills.

Children are taught to appreciate cultural influences, to gain some understanding of Britain's parliamentary system and participate in cultural opportunities. We help them to understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

At Rockcliffe, children learn about the democratic system through the election of a Pupil Council and consultation about key decisions in school. On Local and National election days, they participate in activities about democracy and the political system and older children visit the local polling station. Pupil Voice is very important, so on Children’s Takeover Day, the leadership of the school is handed over to the pupils, who carry out the roles of the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher with diligence and enthusiasm! Cultural diversity is promoted throughout the year following a calendar of festivals and celebrations, including Chinese New Year and Diwali. Our annual Leaver’s Feast has a strong multi-cultural theme, with food from different cultures served and gifts such as Rangoli Patterns given.