Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development (SMSC)

Learning is about much more than a transfer of information, computer-fashion, from teacher to student. This has always been central to the ethos of The City of Leicester College. We aim to help students develop as whole, rounded individuals who can, “Be Happy, Be Ambitious, Make a Difference”.

In November 2011 Ofsted stated of the college: “Students are also well prepared for life beyond college; not only are their academic standards above average, but they also develop as confident, articulate individuals. Students of different ethnic heritages work harmoniously and are highly productive.”

In order to build upon our excellent practice in this area, we have recently appointed a Co-ordinator of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) Development. This reflects one of the six key judgments for schools described in the new Ofsted Framework. But what does SMSC really mean? You could say that it is about what makes us human – those aspects of learning that enable us to think and act as reflective, ethical, creative people in society. It concerns who we are as individuals but also the, often intangible, dimensions of our identity that go beyond the self.

SMSC is about students’ wider growth and sense of purpose, meaning and value in all that they do. It is not a separate subject area to be taught discretely but a fundamental dimension of all school life. When our young people leave TCOLC we want them to be proud of their academic achievements and their personal achievements. We want them to leave with a strong sense of who they are and what positive contribution they can make to our local and global community; which is why we invest time in developing students’ spiritual, moral social and cultural awareness.

Through our curriculum, particularly in Personal, Social and Enterprise, Religious Studies and Drama lessons; through tutor time; through theme days; through extra-curricular and enrichment activities, we aim to develop students’ understanding of themselves and each other.


Students’ spiritual development is shown by their:

  • beliefs, religious or otherwise, which inform their view on life, their interest in and respect for others’ feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences.


Students’ moral development is shown by their:

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong and their readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives
  • understanding of the consequences of their actions
  • interest in investigating and discussing moral and ethical issues.


Students’ social development is shown by their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different situations, including working and socialising with students from different religious, ethnic and social backgrounds
  • willingness to participate in a variety of groups, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively
  • interest in, and understanding of, the way communities and groups of people can work together.


Students’ cultural development is shown by their:

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage
  • willingness to participate in, and respond to artistic, musical, sporting, mathematical, technological, scientific and cultural opportunities
  • understanding, acceptance, respect for and celebration of diversity, as shown by their attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and social groups in the local, national and global communities.

Please encourage your child to make the most of the wide range of opportunities available at TCOLC.