At Sundridge & Brasted Primary School, we understand that Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) forms a crucial part of all children’s education. This subject is fundamental in providing a broad and balanced curriculum, which equips children with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to flourish as informed, active, responsible citizens in a rapidly changing world. As well as this, it plays a vital role in their spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development, teaching them to celebrate, understand and respect themselves and others as unique individuals, and to form and sustain healthy relationships. It provides the opportunity for us to discuss each of our values in meaningful contexts, allowing the children to deepen their understanding of what they mean and how to live them out. PSHE empowers our children to recognize, understand and manage their emotions, allowing for positive interactions, well-being and harmony.
Lesson content is planned using the PSHE association’s: ‘Programme of study for PSHE education’ making use of associated resources and lesson plans as necessary. This is alongside our ‘Progression of Skills and Knowledge’ document (see below) to ensure coverage and progression throughout the school.
We cover the required content for relationships education and health education, as set out in statutory guidance. Although sex education is not compulsory for primary schools, we follow the Department for Education’s recommendation that, ‘all primary schools should have a sex education programmes tailored to the age and physical and emotional maturity of the pupils.’ The parental right to request to withdraw pupils remains in place for the aspects of sex education which are not part of the science curriculum.
PSHE is conducted weekly through specific lessons, planned to ensure that the subject is afforded enough curriculum time. It is largely taught by teachers, but may on occasion be taught by teaching assistants. If deemed appropriate or necessary, parts of the curriculum may be delivered by outside agencies or visitors such as the fire service speaking to the children about fire safety or year 6 taking part in the ‘safety in action’ event, which aims to educate them in how to keep themselves safe in a wide range of areas. In addition to this, the year 5 and 6 children will be offered the chance to take part in residential visits, which will also enhance the curriculum.
In addition to discrete lessons, PSHE falls within many other areas. For example; elements will be covered within ‘humans and living things’ units in science and e-safety forms an important part of the computing curriculum. Working in pairs, small groups or teams throughout the day, and participating in play times, provides ample opportunity for the children to practice collaboration, co-operation and communication, as well as learning how to relate to one another.
Elements of PSHE are also delivered through focusing on our school’s vision and values, collective worship, and in extra-curricular activities such a charity fundraisers and community action events, as well as in our daily interactions with the children and how we model respectful, healthy relationships with them. The inclusion of a ‘worry box’ within each classroom and outside the headteacher’s office, as well as in class ‘circle times’ provides children with the opportunity to discuss their feelings and share their concerns on a regular basis, and help them to find solutions.
Promoting British Values in our School
The DfE have reinforced the need “to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.” The government set out its definition of British values in the 2011 Prevent Strategy, and these values have been reiterated by the Prime Minister this year. At Sundridge & Brasted CEP School these values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:
Democracy is extensive within our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through discussion and open forums within their classes; through brainstorming their ideas about what they would like to learn about a given topic; through the House Meetings held every Thursday, through interviews and through Pupil questionnaires. Pupils are given leadership roles throughout the school (particularly in Year 6) and are encouraged and enabled to lead teaching activities, fund raising events and monitoring duties.
The Rule of Law
The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days, when dealing with behaviour and through school and house Collective Worship. Pupils are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. This is also the case when explaining the school rules. We strive to teach the children to observe the laws of the school, stressing that the motivation for this is not in order to avoid punishment, but because it is the right thing to do for the whole of the school.
Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through of provision of a safe environment and empowering education. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these appropriately. At Sundridge & Brasted we believe it important to give pupils the freedom to make choices as part of their education and preparation for life.
An important part of our school ethos and behaviour policy revolves around ‘Respect’. Indeed this is one of our seven values. Pupils have been involved in discussions and collective worship related to what this means and how it is shown. It is reflected in our classroom and learning rules, our daily conversations and expectations. We also carry out regular Respect weeks to remind the children about the meaning of this value.
Tolerance of those of Different Faiths and Beliefs
This is achieved through enhancing pupils understanding of their place in a culturally diverse society and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity. Collective worship and discussions involving prejudices and prejudice-based bullying have been followed and supported by learning in RE and PSHE. We have undertaken multi-faith days where the children are taught in their house groups about other religions. We have also used multi- cultural days to ensure the children have a good understanding of other cultures around the world. Whenever possible we also invite in people to talk about both these concepts in their own environments.
British Values and our Curriculum
At Sundridge & Brasted C.E. Primary School we value the diverse ethnic backgrounds of all pupils as well as tackling a range of curriculum topics which have strong links to British history. In KS2, pupils undertake a topic about World War Two and the impact that the military had in fighting for the British Empire. This is linked with the annual Remembrance Day celebrations where the whole school goes up to the War Memorial in St Mary’s Church and observes the two minute silence and last post. Children are also taught about the reasoning behind this.
In KS1, there is a strong focus on people who made a difference in shaping Britain as it is today with its values and traditions.
In English lessons across the school we study the works of English writers and poets and spend time discussing the impact of their work on British society as a whole as well as at a personal level.
In History lessons we focus on important moments throughout British history. The pupils learn about important figures throughout British history, for example leaders such as Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill; as well as key events which shaped British society, for example the age of exploration.
As a whole school, we have celebrated the Olympics, with Olympic themed sports days and our Queen’s Golden Jubilee. On a more general level, the school undertakes daily acts of collective worship which uphold traditional British Christian Values. These are also taught within formal PSHE and RE lessons and on an informal nature throughout the school days.
We have also undertaken Social Action Weeks and days which involve the children in inviting members of the community into the school and the local church. It has also involved jobs around the school to create a pleasant environment. In past years we have involved ourselves fully in the Go Givers Make a Difference Challenge run by the Cabinet Office. It presents an opportunity for children to take the lead in making a difference to their communities and provides an excellent context for meaningful SMSC learning, literacy, numeracy and personal development.
During the past 2 general elections Elm Class (Year 5 and 6) have presented a mock election: making manifestos, posters and policies to present to the rest of the school. The school has then had an election by secret ballot giving all the children a demonstration of democracy in action. In line with this we also had a visit from the Press and Educational Department of the House of Commons.