In line with the National Curriculum 2014, all schools must provide a curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils. Under section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010, a PSHE curriculum:
• Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
• Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
The National Curriculum advises schools to make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice. At St Mary’s, PSHE is considered across the curriculum and is a fundamental part of the children’s school experience.
Children are taught the importance of a growth mindset which supports their self-belief, resilience and perseverance and supports success across the wider curriculum and in social contexts. Pupils learn the significance of their local area they also have access to positive role models from the community and this supports their learning in many areas, including religious education and learning about local heritage.
In addition, the emphasis on PSHE across the work of the school, Personal, Social, Health Education is taught explicitly as part of the whole-school approach. We believe that successful PSHE supports children’s learning capacity, and this aspect of the school’s work is held in high regard as we believe that it promotes wellbeing and underpins children’s development as people.
To support our aims, we follow The Barnet PSHE and Wellbeing programme of study. This scheme offers a comprehensive, carefully thought-through Scheme of Work which brings consistency and progression to our children’s learning in this vital curriculum area. Our approach also supports the “Personal Development” and “Behaviour and Attitude” aspects required under the Ofsted Inspection Framework, as well as significantly contributing to the school’s Safeguarding and Equality Duties, the Government’s British Values agenda and the SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural) development opportunities provided for our children.
We aim to ensure that all children:
• Develop confidence and responsibility and to make the most of their abilities
• Prepare to play an active role as citizens in Britain
• Develop a healthy, safer lifestyle
• Develop good relationships and to understand and celebrate the differences between people.
The Barnet PSHE and Wellbeing scheme covers all areas of PSHE for the primary phase including statutory Relationships and Health Education. However for this important area of work St Mary’s in all year groups follows the diocesan approved and excellent resource from ‘Ten Ten’ called Live Life to the Full.
At St Mary’s, PSHE lessons are taught every week. This ensures that we are able to teach the PSHE knowledge and skills in a developmental and age-appropriate way. These explicit lessons are reinforced and enhanced in many ways which include:
• Assemblies, which explore the aspects of each term’s specific themes in greater depth, supporting children to make links to their own lives within and beyond school
• Praise and reward systems,
• Positive relationships child to child, adult to child and adult to adult across the school.
We aim to ‘live’ what is learnt and apply it to everyday situations in the school community.
Class teachers deliver the weekly lessons to their own classes. The school’s ethos, curriculum design and PSHE lesson coverage promote the following:
• Empathy and compassion (including impact on decision-making and behaviour)
• Respect for others’ right to their own beliefs, values and opinions
• Discernment in evaluating the arguments and opinions of others (including challenging ‘group think’)
• Skills for employability, including active listening and communication (including assertiveness skills)
• Team working
• Negotiation (including flexibility, self-advocacy and compromise within an awareness of personal boundaries)
• Leadership skills
• Presentation skills
• Enterprise skills and attributes (e.g. aspiration, creativity, goal setting, identifying opportunities, taking positive risks)
• Recognising, evaluating and utilising strategies for managing influence
• Valuing and respecting diversity
• Using these skills and attributes to build and maintain healthy relationships of all kinds
In each curriculum area, consideration is given to the school’s own context to ensure that learning experiences are meaningful and relevant. Learning experiences themselves are also varied and opportunities for learning outside the classroom are also valued, considered and specifically planned for. Children are provided with opportunities to take pride in and ownership of the school grounds.
Through the involvement of visitors with specialist skills and backgrounds and the careful consideration and planning of trips and real-life experiences, the children are able to build on their knowledge of community and develop the skills they will require for life after education.
The school has established and maintained a positive learning environment where the children have positive relationships with their peers and teachers. The school successfully promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and we regularly maintain up to date training which the subject co-ordinator disseminates to ensure an approach that is informed by current pedagogy and advice from experts, as well as involving the use of recommended resources.