Personal Development

Personal Development

Curriculum Map


Curriculum Map

SMSC / Subjects

Curriculum Map

Protected Characteristics

Curriculum Map

Our Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural Curriculum and how we promote Fundamental British Values

At Yarlside Academy, we value SMSC. We are inclusive and diverse. We not only actively promote the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at our school – they sit at the very heart of everything we do! 

The SMSC curriculum can be described as the “hidden curriculum”. It is all the things that we do at Yarlside to build up children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural understanding, thoughts and experiences.  It is not taught as a discrete lesson, rather it may be part of RE, PE, PSHE/RSE and part of the ethos of the school which children experience daily. It is woven into our behaviour expectations and our attitudes in school.

We want to create confident, responsible, and well-rounded adults who have an aspiration for self-improvement and can compete equally with their peers in a world beyond school life in modern day Britain.

We want our children to remember their SMSC lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with. Bringing SMSC alive is important at Yarlside Academy providing the children with real-life experiences, celebrations and visits.


Our pupils are encouraged to celebrate nationally recognised themed days. For example, in the Spring term, pupils and staff donned their odd socks, in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day.  The whole school came together to raise awareness and improve our pupil’s understanding of the condition. Mrs Pierce led an assembly and our children listened to experiences of people across the world who have Down Syndrome. 

We enrich our pupils’ time in our school with memorable, unforgettable experiences and provide opportunities which are normally out of reach – these piques their interests and passions. For example, earlier this year some of our Year 4 and 5 children pupils visited St Paul’s CE Church to take part in an Interactive Life Talks Workshop, on its first visit to BarrowAlso, our pupils were given the opportunity to apply to become Mini Police.  Working alongside our local PCSO’s they have monitored traffic speed around school and even got to use a speed gun!  They have also worked with our local community delivering hand-made leaflets on keeping safe on Bonfire Night.  It is about the added value we offer to really inspire our children.

Imran sharing religious artifacts with pupils
Year 6 Experiencing City Life

The stunning geographical location of our town and County lends itself to numerous opportunities for children to explore the stunning Lake District National Park, the extensive coastline and our world-renowned industrial heritage.  However, due the nature of our location we often need to travel further afield or bring visitors into school to provide the children with real life experiences and opportunities that cannot be accessed on our doorstop. For example, Imran has been visiting our school for several years to share his life living as a Muslim.  The children get to handle religious artifacts, learn about Imran’s daily prayer routine and discuss difference and we how should try and accept differences and learn about them. Children are also taken to Liverpool, Manchester, London and York to experience wider cultures and diversity.

Other examples include children from Year 4 visiting The Manjushri Buddhist Centre.  Here the children apply their learning of Buddhism and get the opportunity to mediate with a Buddhist Monk.

 We are currently in the process of introducing a new themed approach to whole school assemblies which will support our Picture News Topical News debates. It is our intention that each half-term our children will be introduced to a Protected Characteristic, through thought-provoking stories we will discuss tolerance and difference to prepare our children for life in modern Britain.

Latest SMSC Activities

Check out just some of the memorable experiences our pupils participate in as part of our SMSC curriculum. Please visit our Social Media feeds for more fantastic examples.

Children’s Mental Health Day
Cooking Hampers being presented to our chosen Harvest Charity Drop Zone Youth Project

Promoting Fundamental British Values as part of SMSC

At Yarlside Academy, our vision is to prepare our learners for life in modern Britain and equip them fully for life in the 21st century. Cultural capital gives our students the vital background knowledge required to be informed and thoughtful members of our community who understand and believe in British values. We recognise the multi-cultural and multi-faith nature of the United Kingdom and understand the crucial role our school plays in promoting these values.  We encourage admissions from all those entitled to education under British law regardless of faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, political or financial status. We are a school for all.  This statement outlines the key British values we actively promote. 

The Department for Education states that there is a need:

“to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs”.

The Department for Education defines British Values as follows:

  • Respect for democracy and support or participation in the democratic process
  • Respect for the basis on which the law is made and applies in England
  • Support for equality of opportunity for all
  • Support and respect for the liberties of all within the law
  • Respect for and tolerance of different faiths and religious and other beliefs

All of our curriculum areas provide a vehicle for furthering understanding of these concepts and, in particular, RE and PSHE provide opportunities to deepen and develop understanding. We encourage our children to be creative, unique, open-minded and independent individuals, respectful of themselves and of others in our school, our local community and the wider world. We aim to nurture our children on their journey through life so they can grow into safe, caring, democratic, responsible and tolerant adults who make a positive difference to British Society and to the world.

British Values in Practice


Pupils know that they have a voice in the school that is heard, are able to make democratic decisions and point to improvements that they feel need to be made to enhance provision for them in school.

We have a School Council with elected representatives from each class in the school, all children are able to put themselves forward to their classmates and a ballot is held and pupils are voted for. Meetings are guided by an agenda, chaired by a member of staff and pupils ensure that they make decisions based on their discussions. Understanding of Parliament and democratic decision. In addition to School Council, pupils can become Active Playground Leaders, Library Monitors and Y6 are encouraged to take on a number of responsibilities around school. Staff support them with development of appropriate leadership skills, understanding of timekeeping and the impact their role has on others.

Library Monitors leading a whole school assembly
Library Monitors
Student Council sharing their ideas with Mrs Pierce for new extra-curricular activities.

All children are encouraged to debate topics of interest, express their views and make a meaningful contribution to the running of the school on matters that directly involve pupils. They also have a voice via the classroom SERIS box where they can raise concerns and share ideas. Pupils also have the opportunity to have their voices heard through pupil questionnaires.

Pupils are also actively involved in the selection processes of new staff.

The Rule of Law

Pupils are helped to respect the law. They are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. They are helped to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals. Visits from the Police, the Fire Service etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Our Behaviour and Anti-Bullying procedures encourage the restorative justice process to resolve conflict. The school has zero-tolerance for any form of aggression, abuse or violence, which extends to pupils, staff and parents/carers. This understanding is reflected through the Behaviour Expectations devised by the children that is displayed in every classroom.

We are committed to praising children’s efforts. Children are rewarded not only for achievement in curriculum areas, but also for behaviour. Rewards are given in the form of stickers, class points and certificates. Children’s achievements are also recognised during Work of the Month Assemblies, where parents and grandparents come into school to join us for the celebration.

The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our system for behaviour is aligned to an agreed code and pupils are helped to distinguish right from wrong.

Year 6 visiting Barrow Fire Station to work with the emergency services as part of the Junior Young Citizen Scheme

Individual Liberty

Within school, pupils are actively encouraged, and given the freedom to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. For example, by signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choosing the level of challenge in some lessons and becoming increasingly more involved in child-led learning. A further example is where foundation stage children have the opportunity to choose their extended learning through adult guided child-initiated play.

As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment, a planned curriculum and an empowering education. Pupils are supported to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence and are encouraged to take responsibility for their behaviour, for example through our Forest Schools provision, or through online safety.

NSPCC Speak Out Workshop

Vulnerable pupils are protected, stereotypes challenged and a strong anti-bullying culture is embedded throughout the school.

Pupils have key roles and responsibilities in school e.g. Library Monitors, Anti-Bullying Playground Leaders, Office Monitors.

We also encourage a level of financial responsibility with our children. They are able to bring a small amount of money to spend on a snack each morning playtime as well as taking money on educational visits and planning their own fundraising and enterprise events, for example through the Bright Stars Project they work alongside a local business to create a product to sell for profit. Library monitors are responsible for managing a budget to purchase resources for their area of responsibility. School councillors have responsibility for prioritising actions for fund-raising.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance of Those with Different Faiths and Beliefs

Respect is one of the core values of our school. This can be seen and felt in our ethos in school. Pupils know and understand that it is expected and imperative that respect is shown to everyone, whatever differences we may have and to everything, however big or small.

The school strongly promotes respect for individual differences and pupils are helped to acquire an understanding of, and respect for, their own and other cultures and ways of life. Staff and pupils are encouraged to challenge prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour.

Actively promoting our values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental values, including ‘extremist’ views.

Links and visits are promoted with local faith communities, visitors to school and places of worship. Through PSHE and RE, pupils are encouraged to discuss and respect differences between people, such as differences of faith, ethnicity, disability, gender or sexuality and differences of family situations, such as looked after children or young carers. 

Assemblies and discussions focused around themed Protective Characteristics and prejudiced-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE.

We offer a culturally rich and diverse curriculum in which all major religions are studied and respected and global dimension work embedded in many of our topics.