Lime Tree Primary Academy has been awarded the SMSC gold quality mark award for demonstrating excellence in Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC), the over-arching umbrella that encompasses personal development across the whole curriculum.
Strong evidence shows that promoting SMSC in schools can contribute to raising academic standards and improving children’s life chances.
To qualify for this national quality mark, Lime Tree embarked on a self-review of its current provision followed by SMSC verification. SMSC Quality Mark Verifier, Meg Marshall, commented: “I am impressed that SMSC and British values are ‘threads woven into the curriculum’. Whilst the innovative building is currently under renovation, it offers rich opportunities for outdoor learning. The children are encouraged to debate and express their views; they know that their school is a great place to learn.”
She continued: “It was a privilege to meet with Millie, Kara, Alice, Ram, Angel, Zacharay, Yahya, Ibraheem, Ava and Harper. The children are very proud of their school. ‘We have things that other schools don’t.’ They appreciate every member of the team. ‘Mr Morgan fixes everything,’ and ‘We’re so grateful for Mike. He has a very hard job.’ ‘All the teaching assistants help us learn step-by-step’. They especially appreciate their headteacher, whom they describe as: ‘always smiling, enthusiastic, optimistic and always having time for us, even when her schedule is very busy’.”
Head of School, Clare Larkin, enthused: “We are all thrilled to receive this award. We have always focused on our school vision, threads and British values which has meant that SMSC is inherently threaded through our curriculum. Over the years our approach has positively changed to reflect the diversity both within our school and within our community and our SMSC Lead, Karen Liu has played a pivotal role in this.
“Our aim when choosing to use the toolkit was to identify any gaps in our approach and to look at how we could further develop what we do. For the verification visit we had involvement from across the school community and it has been wonderful to hear all of the positive feedback from our students, parents and colleagues about SMSC and the impact it has on them on a daily basis. We are committed to ensuring that this continues to be the case.”
A number of SMSC-related strengths were highlighted to LTPA during the verification visit including:
In terms of building on this success, LTPA have some innovative ideas to implement before re-verification in 2025 – watch this space!