We believe that spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is about the values lived by all members of our Abbot’s Hall family. It is especially important that all adults within our school model these values to colleagues, parents and pupils. We want our pupils to grow and flourish, become confident individuals, and appreciate their own worth and that of others. Below are a few examples of the ways in which SMSC values are promoted, shared and lived.
High quality assessment for learning: is promoted through many reflective opportunities, such as think/pair/share, talking partners and maths mates, thinking time, reflection corners in classrooms, time for silences and discussions, mind mapping, written and verbal feedback from adults through marking. We believe that these strategies create space for spiritual learning.
Different Social Contexts: are facilitated for our pupils to enhance their social development. Examples of this include, cross generational projects such as , Welcome Wednesday and Friendly Friday when all family members are invited to participate in learning, visits to local Elderly Care homes to sing and dance with residents, and ‘family’ seating at lunchtime, when older pupils support younger pupils with cutting food and modelling good manners. Our new Foundation Stage pupils are paired up with a Year 4 buddy to act as a ‘parent’ during their settling in period in September. Our feeder pre-school’s are invited for a picnic and play session during the summer term.
We support a range of charity projects to open pupils’ eyes to the different lifestyles and problems shared by children all over the world. Recently we sent reading scheme books to the Melrose Paris Foundation in Sierra Leone. Our pupils were fortunate enough to have a new reading scheme but we wanted our old books to continue to be used by children eager to read. Melrose also visited our school to tell us about her project during a weekly visitor assembly. At Harvest time we collect food and household items to support the local food bank.We participate in Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Children in Need, always taking care to reinforce the message of celebrating differences and similarities within our local, national and global communities.
Immersion Weeks: We have enjoyed a wide range of special weeks, each promoting SMSC. Examples are ‘Hands Across the World’, where each classroom became a different country for the week. Pupils took their special passports, in mixed age classes, to learn more and celebrate a range of cultures. We wanted to give pupils an understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that may have shaped their own heritage. We included in our countries those which reflected our cultural mix within school. ‘Be Inspiring Be Unique’ saw a visit from a local disabled basketball player and pupil workshops throughout the week. During this week pupils were asked to consider what their future aspirations may be, and parents and staff contributed to a Reflection Book listing those who had inspired them. Pupils considered the values of perseverance, tolerance and celebrating diversity. Our ‘African Adventure Week’ saw a visiting dance, drama and music specialist teacher act as our catalyst for learning. Pupils experienced food, music, dance and celebrations from across Africa. We hope to inform pupil perspectives on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s feelings and values. ‘We were Wondering Week.....’ encouraged pupils to be reflective about their own experiences and to investigate a range of beliefs and customs. Each day began with a quiet time for contemplative thought, perhaps upon an artefact, photograph or piece of music. Pupils considered Buildings, Books, People and Places during the week. Each class asking and answering their own ‘Wondering’ questions.
All our Languages: The cultural diversity of Abbot’s Hall and the wider world is celebrated through our emphasis on languages. Pupils are encouraged to learn and share simple greetings in a range of languages. We ensure that our school community languages are all featured in the classrooms and daily routines Staff and pupils have learnt some simple Makaton sign language. Basic communication such as asking to go to the toilet or asking if you are ‘ok’ can be shared through signing. Our Abbot’s Hall family celebrate all birthday’s in our Friday assembly. We sing and sign the birthday song.
Pupil Enterprise: During our Christmas Celebrations, each class is given a £15 budget to produce items to sell at our Christmas Fair. Pupils must calculate the cost of their product and ensure a small profit is made. Pupils must learn skills of negotiation and conflict resolution, as well as understanding money in a real life context. Such activities develop teamwork and leadership skills.
Pupil Voice: Our school council and class council give pupils an insight in the way communities and societies function. Pupils vote for their class representatives through a democratic process. The council members hold regular meetings to discuss issues raised by pupils, for example ‘How to have 2 sittings at lunch time in a quicker time’. Sports Ambassadors also act as representatives for each class. They aim to be good role models and also bring ideas and questions from their peers to meetings with our P.E. specialist teacher.
Environmental: Pupils at Abbot’s Hall School have a respect and love for the outdoors promoted at every opportunity. The Forest Classroom and Forest School Project develops a sense of well-being and a fascination with the world around them. The outdoor space creates opportunities for a greater connection with Nature. A respect for Nature is developed through our Eco-School tradition. Pupils at Abbot’s Hall school are taught to recycle and reuse whenever possible. For example the school guinea-pigs use our shredded paper as a part of their bedding!The Eco- Club act as Ambassadors for these values and ethos and remind us through their posters to switch off unnecessary lights and running taps. The Gardening Club meet weekly to tend the vegetable plot and plant out seasonal vegetables. The produce is used by the school kitchen for healthy meals. Children in Year 3 and 4 visit the Suffolk Farm Fair to learn more about how food travels from 'farm to fork'. We offer a 'Walking Bus' to and from the centre of town for pupils wishing to walk to school rather than travel in a car. This also helps with car parking spaces at school.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Opportunities
We are very lucky to be visited by a variety of local people to share their knowledge, faith, interests and community projects. This opportunity allows our pupils to feel a sense of belonging to the local area and to broaden their understanding of the world around them.
The whole school came together to sing a song we had been learning in our house singing assembly.