Vision for PSHCE
PSHCE stands for Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Economic education and is a principal component to St. Chad’s vision of ‘In the light of God, we care, we share, we laugh, we learn’.
In PSHCE, our vision is to foster happy, healthy and responsible citizens, who are confident, independent learners and effective contributors to their community. We believe in delivering a high-quality teaching and learning experience using a bespoke PSHCE curriculum, designed to meet the needs of our school community. We also have a commitment to staff continuous professional development and a collaborative approach to learning, which includes all stakeholders.
The intent underpinning our PSHCE curriculum design
The PSHE statutory guidance is comprehensively covered by learning opportunities across all three core themes within our St. Chad’s PSHCE curriculum:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the wider World
Even though much of ‘Living in the wider world’ is not included in statutory requirements, the theme as a whole remains vitally important for pupils’ personal development and economic wellbeing. Learning opportunities are planned according to pupils’ development, readiness and needs, and taking into account prior learning, experience and understanding.
Learning from one area may be related and relevant to others. Whilst this PSHCE curriculum distinguishes three separate core themes, there will be extensive overlap, so when planning sequences of lessons, teachers may draw on learning from more than one theme. For example, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) falls within both ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and ‘Relationships’, as sexual health should always be considered as an element of health education but also taught within the context of healthy relationships. Similarly, whilst they are specifically addressed where appropriate, assessing and managing risk and managing life online are integrated throughout all three core themes.
PSHE education addresses both pupils’ current experiences and preparation for their future. The Programme of Study therefore provides a spiral curriculum to develop knowledge, skills and attributes, where prior learning is revisited, reinforced and extended year on year. This is grounded in the established evidence base for effective practice in PSHE education. More on this and other relevant research can be found in the evidence and research section of the PSHE Association website.
Our PSHCE curriculum identifies a broad range of important issues, whilst ensuring the universal needs of all children, as well as the specific needs of the pupils in our school and community, are reflected. It is important that children recognise their PSHCE education as relevant and applicable across many important areas of their lives. Therefore, when planning and ordering our curriculum, we have started with identifying the needs of our children using our knowledge of the pupils and families and data sets such as pupil voice surveys, Public Health England Child and Maternal Health (CHIMAT) data and our local authority’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA).
Unlike many other subjects, much of the specific knowledge taught in PSHCE education changes regularly, for example as a result of legal changes, medical or technological advances. It is therefore important that we continually review and modify our PSHCE curriculum to ensure that all information used to develop pupils’ knowledge on any aspect of PSHCE education is up to date, accurate, unbiased and balanced.
Answers to some Frequently Asked Questions
Why teach PSHCE in primary school? Why not wait until high school?
Research shows that by the age of seven, most of our patterns of behaviour, our beliefs and our habits are formed. In order for our children to develop the vital knowledge, skills and attitudes they require to flourish, we must start as early as possible and revisit learning in a spiral curriculum to match the children’s development, age and maturity.
Why teach about puberty in primary school?
The NHS website states that the average age for a girl to start her period is between 10 and 16 years old. Periods can start as early as 8 years old, so it is important to talk to girls from an early age to make sure they’re prepared. They recommend using clear language, like 'vagina' and emphasising that periods are completely normal and natural – they're part of growing up. They also state boys need to learn about periods and should be talked to in the same way as girls about the practicalities, mood changes that can come with periods, and the biological reason behind periods. It will keep them informed, as well as help them to understand about periods.
When a girl starts her periods it's a sign that her body is now able to have a baby, so it's important that girls also know about getting pregnant and contraception. At St. Chad’s Primary, this element constitutes Sex Education and is taught in Year 6. Parents reserve the right to withdraw their child from this lesson.
For further information, please see the NHS website via this link.
What input have pupils had into this PSHCE curriculum to ensure it is relevant and fit for purpose?
We strongly value pupil voice at St. Chad’s as demonstrated by our commitment to becoming a Talk-rich School with Voice 21. Pupils at St. Chad’s are often given opportunities to share their views and provide feedback to school leaders through Pupil Voice groups e.g. School Council or Junior Leaders; as well as, specific surveys and questionnaires e.g. our Oracy survey, Anti-bullying survey and the My Health, My School survey. We also collect pupil voice information through Collective Worship and learning walks.
This information is analysed by school leaders and feeds into decisions around curriculum adaptations and processes in school. You can see from the PSHCE Statutory Mapping document that some elements of our curriculum are not statutory; however, we have chosen to include them over and above the statutory content because they are important and relevant for our children in our school.