Primary Academy in West Yorkshire receives a National SMSC Quality Mark

Birstall Primary Academy receives Spiritual Moral Social Cultural Development (SMSC) Award

Batley based Birstall Primary Academy has received the Silver SMSC Quality Mark for their work that focuses on recognising and developing its pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.

A national accreditation, the award was given in recognition of the schools quality of relationships, its caring and passionate ethos, as well as its use of alternative sessions such as therapeutic learning which is aimed at encouraging the children to be the best they can be.

SMSC is an important part of the curriculum outlined by Ofsted which is awarded to schools that go above and beyond its requirements, being assessed on its effectiveness of leadership management; the overall teaching, learning and curriculum implemented across the school; the provision for extracurricular activities; and, the whole schools approach.

Other initiatives in place at Birstall Primary Academy include the implementation of Junior Leadership teams and Welcome Monitors in classrooms that give the children the chance to express themselves in various ways and feel part of an inclusive environment.

Principal Nadia Sweryt-Hannam commented: “Birstall is a small school that sits right at the heart of our local community, and we place a huge amount of importance on equipping our learners for the world around them.

“We pride ourselves on our caring ethos and are incredibly proud to have received this award in recognition of our commitment to ensuring our children have a huge offering to suit them as individuals, and to encourage them to develop and grow.”

Christopher Green, a teacher at the school who led on the application for the SMSC Quality Mark, said: “This is the first time we have put the school forward for the award and we originally expected to be awarded the bronze recognition, so this is a real achievement for everyone involved.

“Although the audit was daunting with its 90 pages followed by a verification visit, the pupils, staff and governors were able to showcase the school in all its fullness. We are now working to make sure we can be on track to receive the Gold award in due course.

“The work we have covered is vital for our children and their parents in the coming weeks and months and will continue to ensure our pupils receive this development through the activities we are sharing with parents which are both paper-based and online throughout Covid-19.

“This ensures that all of our families get the support that they need, including those who may not have internet or computer devices.”

Birstall Primary Academy operates as part of Focus Trust – a charitable multi-academy trust which is based in the North West of England with a vision of providing an engaging and challenging learning environment where the children are happy.

Find out more about the National SMSC Quality Mark at