SPESCH - Spiritual, Personal, Emotional, Social, Citizenship and Health education
including Sex and Relationships
At Hillcrest Primary School we work hard to ensure we are addressing our pupils' Spiritual, Personal, Social and Citizenship and Health (SPESCH) Education in all we do and our four elements: Resilience, Partnership, Innovation and Excellence are intrinsic to Hillcrest life and the pupils’ SPESCH education.
We carry out Jigsaw SPESCH lessons weekly, we have inspirational quotes displayed
around the school and, in every single lesson we teach, we incorporate SPESCH
elements in addition to the main Learning Objectives.
At Hillcrest we embrace cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
The provision we make to support the cultural development of our children is extensive. The children’s understanding of their own culture is explored through local area topic work, local art and literature. Our History curriculum develops pupils’ comprehension and appreciation of the origins and reasons behind elements of contemporary culture and society.
Through our study of other faiths, cultural focus days and ‘Black History week,’ we aim to ensure that our children appreciate and are fully aware of Britain as a multicultural society.
The pupils at Hillcrest Primary School also learn French as a Modern Foreign Language. Through their language learning, the children have the opportunity to increase their own intercultural understanding of different Francophone nations.
The school has links with Epico Jahns Academy, a primary school in Kenya, which broadens intercultural understanding and increases the children’s awareness of themselves and others.
In Years 3 to 6, the children take part in assemblies and workshops, including those from the Parliament’s Education Service, supporting our children in democratic learning.
At Hillcrest we explore beliefs and experience; respect faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination, creativity and reflection.
Our Science curriculum espouses pupils’ spiritual development by encouraging wonder and awe in the natural world.
Our Art curriculum affords pupils the chance to explore spirituality, reflect on their feelings and motivations and respond visually to these.
Children have the opportunity to reach out and connect with the local community through the celebration of festivals, fundraising days and regional celebrations. The school uses our Rights Respecting Ambassadors to hear our pupil voice in order to decide which charities we will support on fundraising days. Recently, the charities chosen have been NSPCC, Shelter Box, The Matthew Tree Project and Children in Need.
The achievements of our pupils at Hillcrest are recognised through weekly celebration assemblies, when Achievement Awards, Golden Tickets, out of school achievements, Attendance and Class of the Week are all celebrated.
We have close links with our local church, Totterdown Baptist Church, and the minister, Laurie Burns, leads termly assemblies in school. The children also have the opportunity to visit other religious establishments within Bristol, such as the local Mosque, a Sikh Temple and a Synagogue.
Hillcrest uses Carol Dweck’s philosophy on Growth Mindset to improve thinking and reflection across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, helping children to feel valued and become confident learners.
At Hillcrest we recognise right and wrong; respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views.
The Literacy curriculum gives pupils opportunities to consider moral codes and rules through units of work on, for examples, fables and other morality tales.
Teachers use a variety of questions to promote reflection and moral thinking, eg. ‘What would happen if..?’ ‘How would you feel if..?’ ‘How does that feel?’
The children have a clearly defined code of right and wrong presented to them through the school vision, behaviour chart and school rules. The school has clear Behaviour Policy which outlines the school’s expectations of pupils.
The roles of House Captains, the Rights Respecting Ambassadors, the Green Team and Yr 6 Buddies afford children a personal investment in the moral codes of the school and support their moral development.
Whole-school and class assemblies are often vehicles for the promotion of moral values and ethics (for example, anti-bullying assemblies, recycling, sterotypes).
Year 6 pupils visit a local care home to talk and play games with the elderly residents and entertain them with music, encouraging moral understanding and valuing all members of society.
In addition, they are guided towards a consideration of wider moral issues through topic work and classroom circle time and discussion. The teaching of PSHE within the school curriculum develops understanding of different personal identities, positive relationships and cultural diversity and promotes healthy lifestyles.
Moral and ethical issues are debated in class such as ‘is fox hunting right?’ and our children know that their views will be heard rather than judged.
At Hillcrest we empower children to use a range of social skills; participate in the local community; appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict and engage with the 'British values' of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance.
We enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence and to distinguish right from wrong. We encourage our children to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working locally and to society more widely.
At Hillcrest we promote tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling our children to acquire an appreciation and respect for their own and other cultures. This is supported by RE days throughout the year, through displays eg. ‘Our Global Community’ and debates led by key religious members of our community.
We encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which law is made and applied in England. We do this through discrete lessons and also through democratic processes such as electing House Captains and Rights Respecting Ambassadors.
We have a school newspaper which is written by a team of Year 5 and 6 pupils who utilise and develop their social skills to work collaboratively.
Educational visits, and in particular residential visits (which are run for all year groups within Key Stage 2) involve the development of many social skills for pupils.
All curriculum subjects use and develop social skills during group work and peer assessment.
Our Year 6 children volunteer to be playground Buddies for the younger children to help them make friends and play games at playtime.
Our older children also visit Rosedale Residential Home twice a term and get to know the residents.
Working with parents, carers, governors and members of the community
It is important that parents and carers support what we are doing in school regarding the spiritual, cultural, moral and social skills of pupils. We encourage parents’ involvement through our ‘Open Door’ policy, newsletters, web site, celebration assemblies (when parents are invited to see their child’s school and extra-curricular achievements celebrated), and close home/school liaison.
We invite parents and carers to a meeting before children go on residential visits to help them to gain a fuller understanding of the social and cultural elements within such visits.
In addition to our day to day experience we endeavour to offer a wide range of enrichment opportunities to ensure our pupils have really outstanding SMSC provision. Recent opportunities include:
Parliamentary workshops for Yr5/6
Karin Smyth MP visit
Road Safety Day