Young Children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development

Dr Tony Eaude has been involved with Values-based Education for many years, was previously headteacher of a first school and is now based at the Department of Education, University of Oxford, having completed a doctorate on how teachers of young children understand spiritual development. He has researched and written widely on young children’s spiritual and moral development and has a wide experience of schools serving diverse cultural backgrounds. He argues that SMSC is profoundly important and should permeate provision throughout the whole school/setting, with a strong emphasis on children’s search for meaning and identity, relationships, environment for learning and adult example. Tony’s book Children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development-Primary and Early Years (Learning Matters, Exeter 2008) provides a good, simple overview of the issues involved and his articles address issues such as the link with happiness and well-being and the type of space which encourages SMSC development. Tony has recently spoken and led sessions at national conferences on the Fundamental British Values agenda. He is available to speak at conferences or seminars and to lead staff meetings or offer consultancy to schools or other groups, whether associated with organised religion or not. His approach is interactive, practical and accessible.


RSA Report on SMSC - School's With Soul

The RSA have produced a comprehensive review into the workings and impact of SMSC on schools.

The report points the spotlight on education of the whole child. Their belief is that the core component of education should embody more than just conventional academic attainment. It should also help children to develop their Social Capacity; their capacity to engage with others in a way that will provide them with fulfilment in life, and in a way that makes a positive contribution to the society on which their fulfilment depends.

Education should provide a framework and the means by which children can develop their attitudes, relational skills, emotional intelligence, resilience and ethical compass in ways that are productive to their lives and to society.

The RSA report on SMSC provides a compelling case for how the current educational framework can be adapted to achieve these fundamental objectives for the future wellbeing of our students and of society.

This report stands out in the discussions about the potential gains that might accrue to our children and for society if we raise the status in education of Social Capacity. The persuasive report advocates a more structured and elevated approach to SMSC.

There are dozens of fantastic initiatives that exist to help schools deliver the report's vision for SMSC, by helping children to develop different aspects of their Social Capacity. They include Philosophy for Children (P4C), MindUp, Restorative Justice and UNICEF's Rights Respecting program for schools. They provide schools with easy access to some of the most compelling research and practices to deliver many aspects covered in principles SMSC espouses.

From our perspective, the concepts in the report extol perfectly why Values-based Education is such a valuable component of education. One of the core principles behind VbE is its modelling of universal positive values that allow children to experience successful social behaviours, and to develop an ethical vocabulary with which to explore and become aware of the impact of their behaviour on themselves and on others. One of the case studies that supports the report's findings is Eardisley CE Primary School, which has an IVET Quality Mark award for values-based excellence



From My Heart
Neil Hawkes

This is a book that guides readers on how to bring values into their consciousness, thereby improving their well being and that of their family, community and working environment.