The Springfields Academy

Reach South Academy Trust

Our central mission is for Reach South pupils to aspire to achieve beyond the expectations that others place on them.

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The Springfields Academy - Curriculum statement: Spiritual, moral, social, cultural development


The purpose of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development is to ensure that the school provides opportunities for pupils to develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.

At Springfields Academy our thoughtful and wide-ranging promotion of SMSC development, and within this, the promotion of fundamental British values, are at the heart of the school’s work and this helps our pupils to thrive.  At Springfields Academy we recognise that the interrelated elements of this process can be explored throughout a balanced and broadly based curriculum. All subjects/pathways must therefore contribute in the development of their personal values and beliefs, spiritual awareness, standards of emotional self-regulation, attitude towards other people, whilst encountering, accepting social and cultural differences. Additionally, the process is about preparing pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life, equipping them to be thoughtful, caring and safe citizens.

Our approach to SMSC is derived from ‘best autism practice’ related to an understanding of the main theories of autism.

Autistic individuals share a neurological type, which is qualitatively different to that of non-autistics, and which will necessarily impact, both positively and negatively, on aspects of their thinking and learning; sensory processing; social relational experiences and communicative style, abilities and preferences. An autistic persons experience of and ability to be successful in the world will be dependent on the closeness of compatibility, between their individual profile of skills and requirements and their physical and social environment. Levels of sensitivity to environmental factors vary between individuals, and within the same individual overtime, so that the presentation of autism is ever changing. A person’s neurological type, however, remains constant, and being autistic is a lifelong identity.

As a result, it is essential that as a school we support the specific individual barriers that a pupil needs in building a safe independent life. This methodology and approach to ‘autism’ is supported through an integrated SMSC and British values curriculum that is differentiated in relation to the primary presenting need of the child.


To build safe independent lives for autistic young people though support, understanding and enablement.

Spiritual development is when we:

Enable our learners with autism to develop the theory of mind skills to explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination, creativity and reflection.

As a school we have a specific focus on developing:

  • Self-knowledge – an awareness of oneself, an acceptance and understanding of individual identity and how the pupil presents within their local community.
  • Relationships – recognizing and accepting the worth of others and developing a sense of community (the ability to build relationships with others).
  • Feelings and emotions – develop an awareness of when it is important to control emotions and feelings, and how to channel such feelings positively.

Moral development is when we:

Enable our learners to recognize right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views.

As a school we have a specific focus on developing:

  • Acceptance and value – valuing ourselves, families, others, society and the environment.
  • Decision making – learning acceptable values and developing skills to inform decision making, self-control and consideration for others.

Social development is when we:

Support our pupils with social communication needs to develop and use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict; engage with the 'British values' of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.

As a school we have a specific focus on developing:

  • Functional participation – developing the personal skills and qualities necessary to live independently in a multi-cultural and multi-racial society.
  • Responsibility – encouraging pupils to take responsibility whilst in the community, experiences social rules and make personal adjustments to the environment.

Cultural development is when we:

Promote an appreciation of cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

As a school we have a specific focus on developing:

  • Life experiences – exposing pupils to experiences within their local communities, and then transferring the skills and knowledge gained into other environmental situations.


Pupils at Springfields Academy may find the abstract concepts of their SMSC development difficult to understand.

This coupled with potential difficulties with social communication, interaction, imagination and flexibility, sensory processing, emotional understanding and self- awareness means that:

  • The curriculum will be meaningful, relevant, practical, age and developmentally appropriate.
  • The focus on teaching and learning will be multi-sensory on a concrete basis.
  • Structure and support, through appropriate work systems and ‘good’ autism practice.

Due to the complex and diverse range of presenting needs, within the schools autistic population, it is essential that each cohort and key stage has a differentiated approach to SMSC development. This will be supported through a co-ordinated approach from the schools therapeutic, pastoral and care teams.


The SMSC curriculum is evaluated through the termly curriculum review which is informed by:

  • Progress Frameworks - autism, Life skills framework including PSHE, knowledge and skills bespoke to cohort pathway (KPI’s)
  • Progress towards EHCP outcomes 
  • Accreditation achieved 
  • Review of the SMSC development plan
  • Pupil progress and attainment cycle 
  • Pupil voice
  • Staff curriculum evaluation 
  • Parent voice 
  • Transition data