At Whitmore Park Primary School, Relationships and Health Education (RHE) is at the core of what we do and enables our children to become independent, confident, healthy and responsible members of society, as well as developing them intellectually, morally, socially and spiritually. Through our whole-school approach to RHE, it is our belief that excellence in these areas will lead to excellence across the curriculum and beyond in later life. RHE is taught across the school from Reception to Year 6 on a weekly basis. As a school, we utilise the Jigsaw PSHE scheme of learning. Our RHE curriculum equips children with relevant and meaningful content, which is supported through a strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health. With an ever changing society, we intend to provide our children with a strong understanding of the diverse world around them and support them in playing a positive role in contributing to the school and the wider community.
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, or additional needs to flourish within our diverse community, to become the best they can be. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. Jigsaw PSHE directs our aim in developing the “whole child” through a spiral curriculum approach to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in the areas of:
- Being Me in My World
- Celebrating Difference
- Dreams and Goals
- Healthy Me
- Changing Me
Our Key RHE Principles
- Healthy Mind
- Healthy Body
Children’s understanding is underpinned by our key principles. RHE lessons at Whitmore Park Primary develop children’s ability to apply these principles inside and outside of the classroom; inside and outside of school. Our principles drive our RHE curriculum as we understand how the children and the community they live in benefits from children who are healthy, safe, respectful and champions of their diverse community.
By the time children leave our school they will:
- have a ready willingness and ability to try new things, challenge themselves and persevere.
- have a good understanding of how to stay safe, healthy and develop good relationships.
- have an appreciation of what it means to be a positive member of a diverse, multicultural society.
Children will have a secure understanding of the British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and for those without faith.
A strong anti-bullying message is embedded within the school culture with children being able to share if they are being bullied and receiving prompt support to prevent the continuation of any bullying-type behaviour at the earliest opportunity.
Offering beyond statutory requirements:
- Futures Festival- children are taught about the importance of acquiring knowledge and skills across the curriculum and speak to visitors who explain how the skills they learnt at school have supported them in their careers.
- Year 6 visit to Warning Zone Life Skills Centre in Leicester to learn about the importance of understanding risks (including online), peer pressure, anti-social behaviour and consequences.
- Participation in a range of annual initiatives including Anti-Bullying Week, Mental Health Awareness Week, Children in Need, Comic/Sports Relief as well as charity fundraising initiatives
- RHE as well as SMSC and British Values are an integral part of the whole school curriculum, and are therefore often taught implicitly and explicitly in other subject areas.
- Visitors such as emergency services and the school nurse complement our curriculum to offer additional learning.
- We encourage our pupils to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community by taking on junior leadership responsibilities.
- Every child is an official member of School Council positively influencing change within the school.
- We provide opportunities for our pupils to show the school values of honesty, respect, kindness, growth and community. One example of this is when our school choir visits residents in local care homes to sing to them.
- PSHE, BV and SMSC displays throughout school reinforce the PSHE curriculum enabling children to make links.
Sex Education (Year 6)
The school is committed to providing children will the knowledge and understanding of Sex Education. Sex Education is non-statutory for Primary schools and is not considered to be part of Relationships and / or Health Education. It does form part of the school’s overall PSHE provision.
The Department for Education recommends that all primary schools should have a Sex Education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. Our Sex Education curriculum aims to help children understand issues relating to sex and reproduction. Our Sex Education curriculum builds on the learning about puberty in Relationships and Health Education with children learning:
- about the link between puberty and reproduction
- about reproduction in relationships and why two people might choose to have a sexual relationship
- how babies are created through sex
- the process of conception and pregnancy
Parents/carers do have the right to withdraw their child from these lessons, however the school is committed to working with parents/carers transparently in order to reassure them about the content and the way it is sensitively taught.
At Whitmore Park, RHE is taught explicitly weekly throughout the year. Learning is lead in depersonalised lessons set in a culture of safety, understanding and support. Content is taught age-appropriately with high-quality resources which are age-appropriate. Children learn are taught to make good choices based on important facts and understanding share with them. Children engage with scenarios which accurately reflect the challenges people of their age may face and contribute, listen and reflect on how they would manage similar scenarios, should they need to. The curriculum also presents the children with animations, stories, diagrams, fact files and other engaging resources to ensure content is inclusive for all. The curriculum is designed to ensure children have the opportunities to learn about themselves and others impacting positively on their safety, wellbeing, aspirations and their social skills. Independent learning tasks, recorded in books, are a means to an end as the primary focus of the curriculum is the learning children take with them beyond the classroom.
The various teaching and learning activities are engaging and mindful of different learning styles and the need for differentiation and the Early Years (EYFS) planning is aligned to the National Early Years Framework (England).
Each lesson is built upon a Charter which underpins the behaviour and respect that is the basis for each lesson (one is provided within Jigsaw, but children and their teacher can write their own to ensure mutual respect and ownership).
The lessons then split into 6 parts, all of which are included in every session to ensure that the learning follows the optimum progression.
Connect us – This is a game or activity designed to be fun and inclusive and to build and maximise social skills. ‘Connect us’ engenders positive relationships and enhances collaborative learning. It sets the atmosphere at the beginning of each lesson and can be used again at the end should the teacher feel the atmosphere needs to be lifted after some deep work during the lesson.
Calm me – This section of the lesson helps children gain awareness of the activity in their minds, relaxing them and quietening their thoughts and emotions to a place of optimum learning capacity. This will also engender a peaceful atmosphere within the classroom. It is an invaluable life skill which also enhances reflection and spiritual development. This underpins the mindful approach advocated in Jigsaw
Open my mind – The Reticular Activating System of the brain filters the many stimuli entering the child’s mind at any given time. It is designed only to allow in that which is significant. Therefore, it is important to engage this system with the most important aspects of learning intended for each lesson. This introduces the children to the main focus of their lesson.
Tell me or show me – This section of the lesson is used to introduce new information, concepts and skills, using a range of teaching approaches and activities.
Let me learn – Following Piaget’s learning model, after receiving new information/concepts, children need to manipulate, use, and play with that new information in order for it to make sense to them and for them to ‘accommodate’ it into their existing learning. Children will complete activities in this part of the lesson to enable them to ‘accommodate’ their learning.
Help me reflect – Children are encouraged to reflect on their learning experiences and their progress. By reflecting, children can process and evaluate what they have learnt, which enables them to consolidate and apply their learning. They are also asked to stop and become aware of their thoughts and feelings a number of times throughout the lesson to support their ability to reflect- these are called pause points.
Closure – Each Piece needs safe closure. This will always include the teacher praising the children for their effort, positive attitude and achievement, as well as giving one or two sentences to summarise the key learning points for the children.
Children at Whitmore Park are highly encouraged to join the school’s Junior Leadership Team. The team have multi responsibilities including leading visitors around the school, setting up the hall for whole school assemblies as well as monitoring corridors, caring for the school environment and returning lost items to others. Sports and play leaders also take responsibility for organising and managing fun playtime activities and liaise maturely with adults to discuss the leadership of their peers.
We believe that focusing on developing a ‘Growth Mindset’ in our children will help them to build resilience, independence and confidence; embrace challenge; foster a love of learning; and increase their level of happiness. We do this through the language we use in class, praising children for their efforts, and using language to encourage children to change their way of thinking. This supports our school values, and we focus on having a Growth Mind-set in all aspects of school life.
We also believe it is crucial to teach children to develop life-long learning skills and, therefore, incorporate meta-cognitive skills development implicitly within the curriculum. Staff training enables teachers to build an understanding of meta-cognition for our children to enable them to maximise their learning potential academically, personally, socially and spiritually.
The impact of our RHE curriculum will be manifest in the actions of our children both when they attend Whitmore Park and when they leave for the next stage of their education. Children’s books will show they have engaged well with the subject and that children are reflective individuals with a secure understanding of how to foster a healthy body and mind, how to keep themselves and others safe, and how to culture positive relationships within the diverse community within which they live.
By the time our children leave our school they will:
- be able to approach a range of real life situations and apply their skills and attributes to help navigate themselves through modern life
- be on their way to becoming healthy, open minded, respectful, socially and morally responsible, active members of society
- appreciate difference and diversity
- recognise and apply the British Values of Democracy, Tolerance, Mutual respect, Rule of law and Liberty
- be able to understand and manage their emotions
- be able to look after their mental health and well-being
- be able to develop positive, healthy relationship with their peers both now and in the future
- have respect for themselves and others.
- have a positive self esteem.
Impact can be evidenced using assessment. Assessment is both formative and summative. The two clear learning objectives for each lesson allow the teacher to be mindful of the assessment elements within that session that can formatively help them pitch and plan subsequent lessons, and activities are included in each lesson to give the children the opportunity to self-assess using simple pictorial resources designed in a child-friendly, age appropriate manner. It also allows children of 6 and over the opportunity to identify areas for self-improvement. Summative assessment trackers are used to establish a ‘best fit’ model with supporting documents being used to decide if a child is working towards, working at or working beyond for that lesson, highlighting one green and one purple descriptor.