PSHE at Upton Westlea

How our PSHE curriculum, SCARF, addresses SMSC, British Values and Prevent

At Upton Westlea, we believe that SCARF is an acronym that underpins core spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.






There is a clear link between children's mental and physical wellbeing, and their attainment. A whole-school approach to mental wellbeing, involving teachers, pupils and parents/carers working together and impacts strongly on pupils' wellbeing, behaviour and learning. 

"Such an approach moves beyond learning and teaching to pervade all aspects of the life of a school, and had been found to be effective in bringing about and sustaining health benefits." Promoting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing, Public Health England



SCARF provides a strong foundation for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) and development; it is at the heart of the SCARF curriculum.

SCARF resources have been carefully planned to a structured series of lessons that follow a spiral curriculum. Children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development are a core part of this.  SMSC themes threads throughout the lesson plans and assemblies, providing a strong foundation for SMSC education.


SCARF and British Values

SCARF provides a robust framework for promoting a positive ethos and values cross the school community, contributing significantly to British Values education, both explicitly and implicitly. The focus across the three themes of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World foster and develop children’s responsibility for their own actions; respect for the actions and beliefs of others; an understanding of how each individual is protected by the rule of law; and how everyone can make a positive contribution to society through the democratic process.


Many SCARF lessons relate directly to one or all of the British Values’ themes of:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty and
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

These can be taught, if required by the needs of the class, as independent lessons or through links made across a very wide range of the SCARF lessons and supporting materials including SCARF Assemblies.


SCARF and Prevent

The PSHE Association guidance on radicalisation states that:

“Schools can build pupils’ resilience to extremism and radicalisation by supporting inclusion and a sense of belonging in the community and by providing a safe environment for debating emotive issues. As part of this whole school approach, PSHE education lessons can develop knowledge and understanding of the factors that lead to extremism, and skills such as critically evaluating the media, as well as developing attributes such as resilience, empathy and respect for others. These lessons are not designed to be taught in isolation, but should always form part of a planned, developmental PSHE education programme.”


SCARF lessons provide a carefully sequenced, age-appropriate series of lesson plans and resources. These don’t refer specifically to extremism and radicalisation, but there are broad, protective factors threaded throughout their content; these lay the foundations for preventing the radicalisation that can lead to extremist beliefs.


The SCARF lesson plans specifically support and promote children’s knowledge, skills and confidence in relation to this by helping children to:

-clarify values and beliefs, develop an individual identity and respect the freedom of others to express their identity

-develop empathy

-develop listening and discussion/debating skills

-identify, evaluate and manage risk

-developing critical thinking skills

-assess and evaluate arguments; understanding and challenging concepts such as ‘certainty’

-be able to separate fact from opinion

-understand influence, persuasion, manipulation – particularly in relation to the influence of social media.


SCARF provides a curriculum, and a framework for a whole-school ethos of tolerance and respect. It provides the foundations and building blocks – beginning in the early years, and progressing in a sequential, age-appropriate way – to develop these essential skills.

The lesson plan content encourages teachers to adopt teaching and learning approaches which develop and promote critical thinking, curiosity and enquiry. Lessons provide open questions and suggest teaching strategies to help embed this positive, enabling pedagogical approach. Within topical half-termly units, the Valuing Difference units and Rights and Responsibilities are a particularly rich source of lesson plans that promote and develop the protective learning factors in relation to this issue.

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