PSHE education lessons are vital within our curriculum framework despite only some aspects of the subject being statutory. The Relationships and Health aspects (RSHE) became statutory from September 2022. However, we teach all aspects of the PSHE curriculum which also includes economic wellbeing, careers & enterprise education, and personal safety (including assessing and managing risk). We work alongside our consultant John Rees, to ensure teaching and learning is of the highest standard.
It is important to refer back to two of our school aims for Children and Curriculum:
We want our children to:
- Be confident to be who they are; encouraged to be individuals who recognise their own talents and skills.
- Be inspired to have high expectations of themselves to achieve their full potential.
- Realise the importance of being well mannered, tolerant and understanding of others.
- Be resilient and have the necessary skills to be prepared for their future experiences.
The Curriculum – Creating diverse, rich and varied learning opportunities relevant to today‘s world.
We want a curriculum that:
- Is centred around their own personal experience starting in their local environment.
- Based on strong values encouraging high engagement and challenge.
- Teaches children the importance of being safe, healthy and promotes their sense of emotional wellbeing.
The PSHE curriculum underpins and lays at the very heart of our aims and values and the actual day to day experience of children in our school. Here at Fairburn we believe PSHE is vital in fundamentally preparing our children for how to live their lives safely and responsibly as well as understanding themselves and how to manage situations in the world around them.
We believe it is essential that we develop the whole child so that they have the knowledge and skills and know how to apply that knowledge to the wide variety of situations that they will face in 21st Century Britain.
Therefore our PSHE curriculum enables children to:
- Absorb the knowledge and be taught strategies to apply this knowledge into their own lives.
- Know how to keep themselves and others safe.
- Be active citizens and play their role responsibly in society.
- Identify and manage risk responsibly and safely, knowing where to get help when they need it.
- To be prepared for when things go wrong, being resilient and have knowledge of strategies to problem solve independently.
This is exemplified through the image below developed collaboratively with our PSHE consultant, as it shows the elements of the curriculum against the attributes it engenders.
What does teaching and learning look like?
Our curriculum has been designed taking into account not just the statutory and non-statutory elements of the curriculum but more importantly to us- what our children need to know in our context. We spend time asking them what they feel a young person of their age needs information about and support with through discussion and questionnaires. They are bombarded with situations they face on a daily basis as well as through social media, so it is vital that they have the knowledge and the skills to know how to apply this knowledge to the situations they face and will face in the future.
As our curriculum long term plan shows at the bottom of the page, we teach Managing Friendships, Managing Online Communications/Internet Safety and Staying Safe termly alongside other aspects because our children need ongoing support in these areas. We based our plan on the Thematic approach advocated by the PSHE Association and we use their recommended resources so that staff feel secure that the information being given to our children has fidelity. Weekly PSHE sessions are timetabled across the whole school but staff also address issues as they arise because as the image below is intended to show, PSHE is relevant to each area of the curriculum as well as other key areas of learning for all of our children.
Lessons are often practical and discussion based with plenty of opportunities for the children to ask their own questions. A set of rules for managing these sessions is in place across the school so that all children are happy to engage because they know it is a safe environment where they can explore ideas. Techniques staff employ include
- depersonalising discussions
- using role play to ‘act out’ scenarios
- appropriate films
- case studies with invented characters
- visits to/from outside agencies
Like other areas of our curriculum, teaching is also in context. Our programme of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) for all staff ensures that they feel confident managing tricky conversations and that they are using the appropriate terminology which is age appropriate for the class they are teaching. Every other week, all classes have an additional short lesson about an aspect of safety relevant to either our local area; an event happening such as bonfire Night or something that has arisen as an issue for children in the class. Staff dedicate one story session a week to a PSHE related theme as well, which again has relevance to the class or a child within the class. Staff know the children incredibly well because of the close relationships they foster with our families so they are able to work in partnership with them so we can offer the maximum amount of support to the children. Issues are always handled incredibly sensitively and children know that they have the choice to opt out of any conversation they are not comfortable having.
Information you may find useful as a parent.
Please also see the document listed below ’ Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s school: Primary’.
Our long term plan is also listed below as well as our policy.
Please come into school and have a chat with us about any questions or concerns you have about PSHE teaching and learning. We recognise that some of the areas of teaching and the issues involved are sensitive.