PSHE at Plymouth Grove Primary School
Our PSHE Leader is Mrs Malone.
Article 29 of the UNCRC: a child or young person's education should help their mind, body and talents be the best they can
Global Goal 4: Quality Education
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education is a crucial part of a child’s education. It gives children access to critical information about themselves and the many facets of the diverse world around them. At Plymouth Grove Primary School we provide a specifically tailored curriculum that is both broad and balanced, and meets the unique context of our school. We give pupils access to big ideas and conversations, alongside practical experiences. At the heart of this, we encourage respect and understanding of the universal rights of the child, as articulated in the UNCRC.
At Plymouth Grove, we aim to promote children’s knowledge, self esteem, emotional wellbeing and resilience, and to help them to form and maintain worthwhile and positive relationships. Children will be taught to have respect for themselves, and for others, within our local, national and global communities.
We aim to develop key character skills, including decision making, informed risk taking, good communication, and self-regulation strategies. We encourage the exploration of, and respect for, values held by different cultures and groups within our local community, and promote the development of positive attitudes. We encourage honesty and respect in all relationships, and nurture sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others.
We aim to enable children to develop a deepening knowledge of their health and wellbeing, including their mental and physical health. We aim to equip children and young people with information, skills and values to understand and to be able to cope with the physical and emotional changes that happen during puberty. The information provided will be relevant and appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils.
At Plymouth Grove we aim to prepare pupils adequately for adult life: its decisions, responsibilities, experiences and opportunities, and to allow pupils to develop fully as emotional mature human beings.
PSHE is taught by class teachers in Years 1-6. Some PSHE topics are taught within other subjects, especially Computing, Maths and Science, for example the teaching of e-safety within Computing lessons. These specific topics may be taught by teachers other than the class teacher. The curriculum is based on the frameworks of the National Curriculum, Manchester Healthy Schools, and the PSHE Association, with more detailed long and medium-term planning developed by the subject leadership team. Plymouth Grove’s curriculum has also been developed to meet the specific needs of our diverse learners and their communities, and support the many aspects of their personal development.
The subject leaders’ own PSHE knowledge is an important part of providing high quality teaching within the school, and supporting non-specialist teachers to do the same. CPD from Manchester Healthy Schools and the PSHE Association can be accessed regularly by members of staff, alongside Educare modules. Additional support for teachers is provided by the subject leadership team, school SMT, CFT and school nurse. The PSHE leadership team may also seek the support of other organisations, such as the Proud Trust, as the need and opportunity arises.
The PSHE curriculum is split into the three key themes of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. These three themes have equal weighting and importance within teaching, and topics are taught on a rolling, spiral basis. Topics are revisited across year groups, and understanding is deepened. This allows for progression and retention of key skills and knowledge, and also the introduction of some concepts at an age-appropriate point. This progression is detailed in the PSHE curriculum map.
These topics are now ‘fixed’ so that teachers in recent years have been able to become more expert at teaching their year-group in PSHE, develop their resources, and develop effective curriculum links. Year groups are encouraged to develop their own toolkit of resources specific to their topics, but whole-school resources, particularly those related to rights respecting, are held by the subject leadership team.
PSHE education will be provided to all children within our school. Children with SEND will be supported to access health, relationships and sex education through high-quality, teacher-led quality first teaching, following the guidance of the SEND code of practice. Teaching will be differentiated and personalised to suit their individual context.
PSHE education will be taught on a weekly discrete basis, with some content also being taught through other subject areas, and within other contexts, such as assemblies, ‘circle time’ or ‘class meetings’. A taught session may look very different in one year group to the next - class teachers have discretion to plan and deliver teaching that suits the individual needs of their class, whilst ensuring that all curriculum content is covered effectively. There is no expectation that children complete formal written recording of teaching, although some form of recording is encouraged. Each class has a floor book, a space to capture their learning and understanding around each ‘big question’. These are a vital tool in capturing the implementation of the curriculum, and the learning journey of the children. They are also a highly effective tool as part of the quality first PSHE teach, as floor books can be used to support retrieval practice over the course of a year. Additionally, classes may be encouraged to make an artistic response, or complete a more traditional written task. Some lessons may be talk based and have no written outcome at all.
Assessment is essential to the effective teaching of PSHE. The learning we wish to assess will relate to the pupils’ attributes and skills, as well as their knowledge and understanding related to the topic. Pupils’ existing knowledge and understanding is often the easiest learning to assess but whilst gauging pupils’ existing skills, strategies, attitudes, beliefs and attributes can never be an exact science, there are activities that provide an insight into their starting point. Assessment may be carried out through baseline and endline assessments at the start and end of lessons, and also at the start and end of units. Pupils’ thoughts and feedback are valued, and they are encouraged to use their voices to inform the plan-teach-assess cycle. All children have a right to be heard.
Although PSHE outcomes can be considered very subjective, they can be compared within year-groups, and also across different year groups and phases. Long-term monitoring is also being carried out: sample groups of pupils in each year group will be chosen and their thoughts and ideas recorded. This gives the subject leadership team an insight into pupils’ journeys through school, observing progression and development of skills and understanding. Leaders will also hold regular conversations with staff, providing an open forum for sharing ideas, questions or concerns. These conversations are used to inform the subject leaders if statutory curriculum content has been covered, how pupils feel about their own learning, and what areas need to be developed or prioritised in future.
Plymouth Grove Primary School works closely with parents and carers, and we believe strongly in the central role of strong, positive home-school communication. PSHE education should not be left to chance and is a responsibility shared with parents / carers and families. Parents will be informed and supported by staff through written communication from teaching staff, outlining the structure and content of the curriculum. This is included below on the school website. This communication will be standardised across the school. Parents have the right to withdraw their child from sex education, but not from health or relationships education. In the situation where children are withdrawn from sex education, the school will find alternative internal provision for that child. Parents wishing to withdraw their child from all or part of sex education should contact the headteacher at the first instance.
The impact of a good PSHE education cannot be understated. Quite simply, it forms the preparation for adult life, enabling a child to understand and face the challenges, complexities and questions that arise in a diverse world.
Impact can be measured in a variety of ways. At Plymouth Grove, we recognise and celebrate the importance of the child’s voice, and their individual experience of PSHE education. Pupil voice, and lessons captured via floor books, will form the heart of how we measure the impact of our teaching.
The skills that children at Plymouth Grove will develop will include, but are not limited to:
- An understanding of their inherent, indivisible, inalienable unconditional and universal rights, and how these rights can and should be protected
- An understanding of our diverse and complex world, and an empathy and respect for the rights of all individuals
- Positive and constructive communication, with highly developed oracy skills
- Resilience and self-regulation, and a keen understanding of their own health and wellbeing, especially supporting their mental and emotional development
- Risk management and balanced decision making, within the context of a changing and challenging world
These skills are transferable to all other areas of the curriculum, and will help children to understand these areas in new ways.
Additionally, these ‘soft skills’ form the basis of a child’s wider development and experience. The ability to recognise and develop good relationships, the reinforcement of positive mental and physical health, understanding how their body will change and grow, the development of respect and tolerance for all, an understanding of society and the role of the individual in a community – these are the skills that will equip our children for life.
Our PSHE Curriculum is supported by the PSHE reading spine. Here is our selection of texts - these are present in all classrooms, and shared widely to allow issues such as identity, families, feelings and the changing world around us, to be sensitively explored in a wide variety of ways.