SMSC Development

What does Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development look like?

Leading SMSC Development: From Class to Whole School – Autumn Dates

Click here to read what delegates had to say about SLN’s SMSC Development CPD.

Definitions of SMSC and extracts from Ofsted Subsidiary Guidance issued to inspectors in September 2012, with pictures and resource ideas compiled by SLN.


Ofsted - Pupils’ spiritual development is shown by their:

  • beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their perspective on life & their interest in & respect for different people’s feelings & values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them, including the intangible
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences

Examples of SLN Resources to support spiritual development:  Reflective Practice before and after a linking visit; People Equal poetry, Curiosity Questions – What makes a good curiosity question?; Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover; Visible and Invisible Differences; Team building activities; SLN-MUN


Ofsted – 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 of the consequences of their actions
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues

Examples of SLN Resources to support moral development: Something Else; We are All Born Free; Silence Seeker; Sharing Common Goals; SLN-MUN


Ofsted - 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 at a variety of levels

Examples of SLN Resources to support social development:  SLN programmes for real or virtual meetings at primary, secondary, special or SLN-MUN are designed to provide social development at their  core; shared co-operative tasks within a class; Voices in the Park; games such as Visible & Invisible


Ofsted - Pupils’ cultural development is shown 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, for example, artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, understanding of, and respect for cultural diversity and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities

Examples of SLN resources to support cultural development:  Geoscapes of Me; The SLN Identity Pack; Britishness video.

Useful Links

Assembly & SMSC

Excellent SMSC

Exploring SMSC Definitions (download)

SMSC Development and Ofsted (download)