SMSC – a guide for the classroom


More information can be found in two related posts about SMSC here and here.


SMSC provision isn’t a new bolt on that needs to be added to lessons, it is already embedded in the curriculum. This document will hopefully help you identify what you are already doing that contributes to SMSC outcomes.


Enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self- confidence


Probably doing Possible opportunities
Teachers should be acting as role models of the values desired in pupils Where pupils already have religious or non religious beliefs, support and encourage these beliefs in ways which are personal and relevant to the pupils
Value pupils’ questions and give them space for their own thoughts, ideas, and concerns Encourage pupils to explore and critically analyse what interests and inspires themselves and others
Ensure an environment is created where every child may reach their potential
Help pupils to be aware of their potential and support them to achieve it
Encourage pupils to reflect and learn from reflection
Encourage individual endeavour and celebrate achievement and success
Encourage pupils to work and cooperate as part of a team
Provide opportunities for pupils to develop leadership skills and challenge, and develop self-reliance




Enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the law



Probably doing Possible opportunities
Provide a clear framework of values and behaviours which is promoted consistently, with teachers as role models; Teach pupils how today’s legal system has evolved and why it is important, and help them understand the law and the importance of abiding by it;
Reward good insight and behaviour Give pupils opportunities to explore and develop moral concepts and values
Address discrimination and promote equality Teach pupils about citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen
Discuss in an informed and balanced way breaches of agreed moral codes where they arise, and their impact on society and themselves
Provide models of virtue through literature, humanities, sciences, arts, assemblies, relevant role models, and acts of worship;
Reinforce the importance of a cohesive, harmonious, law abiding society though images, posters, classroom displays , exhibitions, etc;




Encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute to community life



Probably doing Possible opportunities 
Foster a sense of community, with common and inclusive values which ensure that everyone can flourish School linking or partnership work to give pupils the chance to mix with pupils from different areas/cultures/faith
  • Encourage pupils to work co-operatively


Help pupils to develop personal qualities which are valued in society, for example, thoughtfulness, honesty, respect for difference and sound moral principles
Provide positive group activities Provide opportunities for participating in different communities
  • Encourage pupils to take responsibility for their actions


Ensure opportunities are provided for pupils to demonstrate initiative, develop their interests and organise activities for themselves and others.
Provide opportunities for pupils to exercise leadership and responsibility

Provide pupils with a broad general knowledge of public institutions and services in England



Probably doing Possible opportunities
  • Ensure that all pupils have a voice that is listened to


Teach pupils about democracy and citizenship, and the importance of being a good citizen
Provide positive and effective links with the world of work and the wider community Ensure that pupils are aware of their rights and the rights of others as human beings
Teach pupils about what public institutions and services are available
Provide opportunities for pupils to learn about and engage in local and national democratic processes



Assist pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures in a way that promotes tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions



Probably doing Possible opportunities 
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to explore their own cultural assumptions and values


Provide opportunities for pupils to participate in cultural events and encourage pupils to reflect on their significance
Provide opportunities for pupils to mix with children from other cultures
Give pupils the opportunity to explore different values, beliefs, and cultures
Present authentic accounts of the attitudes, values and traditions of diverse cultures
Develop partnerships with outside agencies and individuals to extend pupils’ cultural awareness




Bett 2013

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I arrived at bett 2013 on the packed DLR surrounded by hundreds of colleagues ready to be wowed by the hundreds of exhibitors and speakers. My plan for the day is to visit as many stands as possible and hope to learn something new about what is on offer to our school community.

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ExCeL is big. Very big! I’m going to dive in and make a note of those I speak to. I have listed those I spoke to in order, with the exception of my chat with showbie. This app has made me very excited!!

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For a long time I have been trying to figure out an effective workflow for the iPads in school. I had a long chat with Colin Bramm, the Canadian President of Showbie, and he took the time to show me all of its features. He was also kind enough to give me a promo code – enter “steve” into the promo code box when you sign up you will be given double the usual 100 assignments that you get.

I think this could be the solution. Teachers can share work with a class – files can also be uploaded and shared. Students can then submit work for assessment. This appears in a really smart interface for teachers who can then add comments. It is also possible to give audio feedback. I will write a longer blog post on this showing off its features in the near future.

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Display note offers the ability to share content to a wide range of devices. Students can then make their own notes and annotations which can then be saved to their own devices. £465 for a class license that allows up to 40 users.

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Sporting Nation is solution for managing teams and allows staff and students to manage teams as well as their own individual performance. Works with Frog OS to allow a single sign on.

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IPTV solutions great signage solution that may give a more professional look to our screens around the school. A box has to be purchased for each screen. I will wait for the email about the costs…

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One for the Head ofChemistry!

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If I had a bottomless pit of money I would give our school to in July and say see you after the summer holidays! Inspiring ideas.

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Unwanted ICT equipment? Not sure there can be a better place to send it than computers 4 Africa.

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Our PTFA has just funded a new radio station for our school. The equipment arrives next week…

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I don’t know too much about data loggers, but Globisen’s device looked amazing. Built in GPS and sensors allow for a very wide range of experiments that are all linked to the curriculum. $500 and the app female viagra is free.

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Gary Futcher and Jason Quiterio are brilliant colleagues from Notre Dame.  Here is Gary presenting about Big Campus. Not for us right now, but their presentations were brilliant!

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Opportunities for students to work through lessons on java and C++. Cost of €30 per student. This may fit in with in with our new KS3 curriculum and coding club.


The first step into app coding – I will be investigating this one further.

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Wow. On the wish list… Not a totally unreasonable price having had a long discussion with schools network Garry their MD. I can see so many cross curricular links with this sort of professional kit. I would love to invest in our students with something like this.

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I will be receiving the link to the You Tube channel with the Google presentations later on. I’m always looking for ways to enhance our Google Apps suite.

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We are already looking at ways of sharing mark books in Google with parents. Hapara appears to be the next step. I’m not sure we are ready for this just yet, but staff and students are increasingly using Google Apps so this is one for me to remember.

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Can go4schools do things that our resident SIMS/Excel genius can not already do? It’s a question I would like the answer to!

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Another opportunity for our young coders? There are four different books that contain a series of lessons with resources. I really like it, but the cost of £600 makes me think twice. I picked up a sample module, so we will see.

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Syncing and charging 32 ipads at a time for £2,500. My network technician would love me!

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A talk about Showbie – could this be the answer to my iPad workflow? I really hope so. Demonstration using notability for marking on PDFs.

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Another sync and charge option. For 16 iPads the sync option costs £900 and £1,400 with the case.

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I ended the day with a chat with Anne Duffy on the Frog stand. Surrounded by lots of people clamouring for the Frog hopper stress balls we discussed the impending release of FrogOS.

As I got to Paddington I met with my Head, Kieran Earley, who was arriving to take part in an old boys reunion. His first question was: how much had I spent? I replied none. The then asked: how much had I mentally spent? I will need the train journey back to Torquay to calculate that one. He’s supported every idea to date. I will need sometime to think about what I have seen, but I am convinced that I have found things today that will enhance teaching and learning at DHSB.

It’s been a long and exhausting day, but my mind is bubbling with ideas.



Presenting at the Frog National Conference

On Tuesday I presented at the Frog National Conference at the ICC Birmingham. This is a copy of my speech.  I will upload my presentation over the weekend

Picture: @pcmarriott

In this talk I will describe how Devonport High School for Boys (DHSB) has undertaken a project with its students to develop an app for use on ipods, iphones, ipads and Android devices.  The app, which is now available in the iTunes store, provides students and parents with a wealth of information about their learning including rewards, sanctions, revision materials, attendance and a homework organiser.

Our Frog VLE updates every day and each night students and parents are able to access updated information about that day’s rewards, sanctions and attendance which enable conversations about learning and school to take place at home (see screenshot below).  This supports our belief in the key tripartite relationship of school, students and parents.


It is also a central source for all curriculum materials for each subject and year group.  We have found that providing access to all course materials has enabled parents to better support their sons and students can better engage with their learning outside of the classroom.


I was delighted with the impact our vle was having: Ofsted commented that “The use of the ‘virtual learning environment’ is well-established, extends students’ choices and promotes learning autonomy”.  I still felt that the vle should be used more by students, parents and teachers.


In investigating ways of making the information more readily accessible to parents and students.  I conducted some research with both groups to find out how we could make it easier to access the information: the resounding answer was a mobile friendly site.


Following my research a Year 10 student, James, came to speak to me because he wanted to get involved in developing a mobile vle for the school.  He had some previous programming experience, but he hadn’t worked on a mobile site or an Apple app.  Another student, Ben (Year 11) who enjoyed graphic design, approached James about helping with the design of the site.


Together, using the feedback from the vle’s users, we planned what the new mobile site should contain.  James and Ben felt that an app that could be distributed on the Apple Store would be a brilliant solution for many of our users – the only problem was nobody had any coding experience on Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS)!


James was determined to look further into how to program apps and within a couple of weeks he had mastered the basics and produced an app with limited features that linked to some pages on the school’s vle.  James had achieved this learning independently with the support of online materials, videos and forums.  Ben then went to work designing graphics to give the site a professional look.


In order to allow James to create the required pages for the app I’ve had to give him administrator access to our vle.  This required a leap of faith on our behalf as James could have caused irreparable damage to our vle, but without access this project could not have continued.


Since the first version of the app James and Ben have spent countless hours developing it into one that contains numerous innovative features and is genuinely unique.  The app has been downloaded 1,000 times and reached 21st in Apple’s education charts.

They have shown a video, created by the students, to promote the app during an assembly.


Since the app’s release the boys have been receiving a great deal of interest from other schools who would like an app developed for their community.  This has prompted the boys to set up a limited company, PixelBit Apps.  To do this they have met and received support from local accountants Francis Clark: Martin Atkins, their Business Services Director, commented that “not only have these boys shown great technical expertise in creating this outstanding app, they have gained the skills and knowledge that will enable them to set up and run a limited company”.  James and Ben are now developing apps for other schools who are delighted with the results.


The impact of the app within school has been considerable.  Usage of the vle by students and parents has increased exponentially. Parents I speak to are now used to accessing the vle from a mobile device every evening to check on their son’s day.  Parents are able to access learning materials directly related to their son’s Year group empowering them to support their learning.


Students are used to accessing the vle throughout the day – often just to see their timetable!  They are very aware of their rewards and sanctions and we have seen an increase in the issuing of commendations.


We have also found that many students are using the links on our vle to support learning and this has helped to push me in a direction that I have been moving in for quite some time: trialling iPads in the classroom.


They are presently developing an app that will enhance teaching and learning with iPads in the classroom: Quesco.  This allows students to use their iPad as a whiteboard whilst allowing the teacher to view all of the students’ screens.  There are many other features, such as AfL feedback, saving screens and teacher screen share, that I am sure will make this app an invaluable part of the iPad classroom.  The model of the users of an app designing it is a very powerful one.


There has also been a great impact upon the students who have setup PixelBit Apps.  There has been a lot written in the education press in recent months about the advantage students with a private education have in terms of confidence and self-belief.  My experience of this project is that the boys involved have not only had a significant improvement in their computing skills and understanding of business, but their soft skills have also developed tremendously.  They have undertaken meetings with accountants, bank managers and school leaders with great confidence; witnessing this growth has given great pleasure.


When Rob Salkowitz stated in Young World Rising that three forces are reshaping the world of the 21st century: youth, ICT and entrepreneurship, I believe he had in mind students such as James and Ben developing themselves and their ideas in this fashion.  They have already equipped themselves for entering the jobs market in a post-globalisation era.  Their website,, has already led to them writing an app for the BBC’s Apprentice’s contestant, Leon Doyle, that allows iPhone users to save money on their phone calls to 0800, 0808 and 0500 numbers. Ben has developed his own graphic design site,, and he has undertaken work for clients from around the world – including a multi million dollar US firm.


This app exemplifies how our school is fostering a creative approach to learning and placing it into the hands of students.  DHSB has an Assistant Headteacher responsible for Enterprise; he works tirelessly to encourage enterprising and creative approaches to learning and problem solving.  Many other students have been supported to develop their own ideas and take responsibility for their learning, but doing it within the supportive framework of the school.


The challenge for the school is how we can further embed these principles into the learning across the school.  We believe we have taken great steps on that journey through our removal of teaching ICT at Key Stage 3 – a decision taken prior to Gove’s outburst!  It has been renamed enterprise and students will tackle programming, app design and editing Frog pages in addition to the ICT skills they require.


All of these activities fit within the school’s development plan that highlights the importance of enterprise and creativity; this applies equally to staff and students.



What next?  PixelBit have recently released a new app designed for the iPad to complement the iPhone and mobile apps.  They are presently advertising for orders that they can have ready for the new academic year.

As a school, we will continue to investigate how we can increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning through mobile technology.  A school-wide Wi-Fi network is being installed over the summer and the iPad pilot will continue.  I have had discussions with Steve Wheeler, University of Plymouth, to look at how we can study the impact iPads are having in the classroom.  We plan to get a formal study underway in September.  The PixelBit app and the vle are central to our future plans to make learning anytime and anywhere.


We are very fortunate to have students with the expertise of James and Ben who have been able to support the development of Frog and other areas of ICT use within the school, however I believe that there is a message that other schools can take from this.  I have extended the Frog Champions to include students and we have our own version of the Genius bar for Apple support.  Students are the greatest users of ICT so empowering them to affect its direction of travel is an option open to all.


Two key messages from me:

  1. The mobile app has revolutionised the way our vle is used.

Empowering students to play a leading role in developing our vle has enabled it to fly.