Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) education is an integral part of our school ethos and curriculum. Holbrook School for Autism strongly values the importance of SMSC in preparing students for life beyond school, equipping them with the necessary skills to be understanding and accepting of other beliefs and cultures, to respect the law, to make informed decisions and to participate fully as social citizens in the wider community. Read on to find out what SMSC looks like at Holbrook School for Autism.
SMSC is defined in the Ofsted School inspection handbook November 2019:
The spiritual development of students is shown by their;
Students are encouraged to share their voice in school through regular student surveys and via our student councils on both sites. Students following the Ocean pathway will frequently discuss their own views and the views of others via their learning and as part of their British Values sessions in SMSC.
Respect for others is an integral part of teaching across the school; turn-taking, positive communication and frequent opportunities for group learning encourage students to develop respect for those around them.
Curriculum themes encourage students to learn about themselves (‘Marvellous Me’, ‘Getting to Know You’, ‘Where We Live’) and their locality in addition to the wider world (‘Different Places, Different Faces’, ‘Planet Earth’, ‘Wonders of the World’). Students’ creativity and imagination is fostered through role-play, stories, Art/Design, access to Forest School and via engagement with external companies such as RockSteady which promotes creativity by giving students the opportunity to perform in a band. Students on all pathways have engaged with dance and music workshops and some students may participate in individual dance therapy sessions.
The moral development of students is shown by their:
Understanding right and wrong is an invaluable skill that prepares students for a fulfilling life beyond school. The concept of right vs. wrong can be a difficult one for some of our students and teaching staff meet this challenge by employing a range of methods such as: social stories, positive behaviour support (including individualised and class reward charts), self-reflection and frequent opportunities to explore feelings/emotions following an event or activity.
Holbrook School for Autism promotes good choices and positive behaviour by recognising student achievements; class assemblies celebrate students with a ‘star of the week’ award, students are rewarded for good attendance and each month students have the opportunity to be nominated as ‘Student of the Month’ and receive a prize. On a daily basis, students receive positive praise for good behaviour, reinforced by individualised and class reward charts. At our Belper site, students can earn reward points to be exchanged weekly at the ‘Rewards Shop’ for a range of prizes.
The social development of students is shown by their;
Social skills are a vital part of students’ development at Holbrook School for Autism, featuring prominently on student ‘My Plans’ as part of their ‘My Communication’ targets.
Students following the Stream and River pathways are supported to communicate with others through the use of Makaton and the Pictoral Exchange Communication System (PECS) and, as aforementioned, via frequent opportunities to practice turn-taking and to work/play as part of a small group. Students following the Ocean pathway learn to appreciate the views of others and develop conversation skills through frequent discussion including reflecting on the daily news, participation in student council and via unstructured play.
All students are given the opportunity to participate weekly in the local community and thus to cooperate with others in the community e.g. by buying something in a shop, saying thank you for a service or asking questions in a workplace. Community visits incorporate an understanding of and appreciation for other cultures and beliefs e.g. through visits to religious buildings/sites.
The school calendar also designates theme days to reinforce the importance of diversity e.g. ‘Discrimination Day’, ‘Diversity Day’ and ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’. The school also encourages celebration of other cultures e.g. Chinese New Year.
The cultural development of students is shown by their;
Holbrook School for Autism is dedicated to widening students’ experience of the world though participation in the local community, via frequent external visitors to school and through our diverse curriculum which recognises the importance of appreciating diversity and uniqueness.
Ocean pathway students discuss diversity as a concept and its importance via British Values sessions. Students across the school are taught to respect others, to listen to others and to engage in multi-cultural opportunities as outlined in curriculum them days, assemblies and through community participation.