At Bredon Hill Academy, through teaching Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) our intent is that pupils will develop the knowledge, skills and attributes required for a healthy and safe life in modern Britain.
Through PSHE lessons, we intend to nurture our school values of individuality, mutual respect, fairness, honesty and trust, friendship, responsibility, inspiration and enthusiasm so that these values are embedded and our students learn how to have positive relationships and feel valued. Our programme of study in PSHE supports children’s spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development and prepares them for the opportunities, rights and responsibilities and experiences of life and to achieve their individual potential in a changing world. It is our intent to actively promote and provide opportunities for students to understand fundamental British Values as well as teaching students about the nine protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010.
We have drawn on guidance from the PSHE Association Programme of Study in revising our PSHE curriculum to ensure that it meets the needs of our pupils in today’s changing society. The programme identifies the key concepts and skills that underpin PSHE education and through our PSHE programme, we will fulfil our statutory duty to provide Relationships, Sex and Health Education and Careers education.
Our intent is to take a positive approach which focuses on what children and young people can do to be healthy, stay safe, enjoy and achieve, made a positive contribution and achieve economic wellbeing. Students will be taught with information which is realistic and relevant and which reinforces positive social norms.
PSHE education at Bredon Hill Academy supports many of the principles of safeguarding and links closely to the BHA Safeguarding Policy.
The PSHE Association’s priorities for PSHE education are that PSHE should be taught:
regularly – regular lessons on the timetable like other subjects
as a whole subject – from RSE to mental & physical health, online safety to job skills
by trained teachers – PSHE covered in teacher training and ongoing opportunities to learn
to all pupils – from year 1 to finishing secondary school
Our implementation of PSHE at Bredon Hill Academy is based on these priorities in order to best fulfil our intent and also to meet statutory requirements of the 2017 Children and Social Work Act and a subsequent commitment to health education.
At Bredon Hill Academy, PSHE is taught as a whole subject across the school. We have increased our commitment to teaching PSHE and from September 2021, all pupils are taught one lesson a week. In this way, the statutory elements of PSHE (which now include relationships education in all primary schools and compulsory relationships and sex and health education (RSE) in all secondary schools) will be covered as well as a range of other topics which became statutory in September 2020, including first aid and careers education.
The curriculum across KS2 and KS3 is a broad curriculum than not only embraces the statutory requirements for RSE but also other important topics such as economic wellbeing and preparing for the world of work.
The curriculum consists of three main strands of learning:
Health and Wellbeing
Living in the Wider World: economic wellbeing, careers and the world of work.
Subcategories within each of these strands may include Skills for Learning, Democracy and the Rule of Law, Extremism, Diversity, Prejudice, First Aid and Keeping Safe, Mental and Physical Health, Enterprise skills. There is flexibility within the curriculum to respond to local, national and world events eg learning about a forthcoming election. The curriculum is a spiral curriculum with subjects revisited at times to embed pupils’ knowledge and skills. We also work with Prince Henry’s High School PSHE department to ensure continuity and progression of PSHE education at Year 9 and beyond.
Relationships, Sex Education and Health Education is now statutory.
Our current relationships education in Year 6 includes:
Puberty: change and becoming independent, extending pupils’ thinking about puberty and the concept of change throughout our lives. It explores in more detail some of the feelings associated with change. It helps pupils to consider changes that might occur alongside puberty and the new roles and responsibilities that this might bring.
Positive, healthy relationships: Increasing pupils’ understanding of what is meant by positive, healthy and loving relationships is an important part of safeguarding their health and wellbeing. These lessons look at different kinds of relationships and the values, expectations and responsibilities within healthy, positive relationships. The lessons also explore some ways that changing relationships may be managed—ensuring behaviour is respectful even when things do change.
How babies are made: By year 6, pupils will have some idea about how babies are made through sexual intercourse. Although they may have some misconceptions, very few pupils will still believe myths or make-believe stories. Understanding what is meant by sex is an important foundation for the RSE they will receive at KS3. These lessons emphasise that having sexual intercourse or the decision to have a baby is something for when they are much older. It also emphasises the importance of consent in this context. The lessons enable pupils to reflect on the values and responsibilities within healthy adult relationships and are therefore set clearly within RSE— as part of the wider PSHE education curriculum.
Year 7 lessons will include a deeper understanding of puberty, the concept of consent and healthy and unhealthy relationships.
Year 8 lessons include learning about sexual orientation and gender Identity, relationship values, greater depth learning about consent, an introduction to contraception and the concept of parenting.
The lessons are generally taught using lesson plans which are quality assured by the PSHE Association. The curriculum and lessons may be adapted to the needs of each class and or/cohort. Parents are welcome to look at available lesson plans in more detail and to discuss the Relationships, Sex and Health Education programme with the PSHE Lead, Mrs Claire Matthews. Parents and carers will be given the opportunity to participate in a Relationships and Sex Education workshop every two years. This will provide the opportunity for parents to find out more about the Relationships and Sex Education curriculum child, view the materials and resources being used in lessons and discover how best support their child to discuss these topics at home.
PSHE education has significant potential to boost pupils’ life chances, helping them to stay safe both online and offline, improve their physical and emotional health and develop the character, resilience and skills they need to succeed academically and in the workplace.
PSHE education is an important response to parental fears about child safety online and offline. When pupils receive lessons on healthy relationships, their first sexual activity occurs later and they are more likely to report abuse and exploitation. Experts see PSHE education as the best way to promote the safe use of technology and address online abuse.
Educating pupils about their health reduces risk-taking behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction and improves diet and exercise levels, in turn boosting long-term life chances. There is also good evidence to suggest that emergency first aid skills programmes delivered through PSHE education can have a significant impact on survival in critical situations. The British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and St John Ambulance – are strongly supportive of statutory PSHE education as a means of equipping all young people with emergency life-saving skills and knowledge.
There is growing evidence that, when delivered well, PSHE education can promote positive outcomes relating to emotional health while reducing stigma and helping pupils learn where to go if they have mental health concerns. This all helps to boost pupils’ life chances.
Poor mental health is the key emerging risk for children and young people according to recent research. PSHE education is the school subject through which mental health is addressed, with three key areas of focus:
- promoting positive mental health among pupils through evidence-based programmes
- giving pupils information on where to go if they are worried about their own mental health or that of a friend or family member
- reducing mental health stigma by teaching about the issues openly and honestly.
The 2017 joint inquiry into the role of education in supporting mental health by the Commons Education and Health Committees concluded that there should be a whole-school approach to mental health, with statutory PSHE education playing an important role. The report also highlighted the potential effects of social media use on mental health and how PSHE education can help in this regard. There is good evidence of the impact of this kind of learning. Studies on universal school-based social, emotional and/or behavioural programmes show that these lessons could benefit pupils in seven outcome measures including social skills, antisocial behaviour, positive self-image, mental health, and prosocial behaviour as well as having an impact on bullying.
The skills and attributes acquired through PSHE education have a positive impact on academic performance and life chances as well as being key to boosting the employability of school-leavers and improving social mobility.
At Bredon Hill Academy, pupil voice questionnaires in Year 7 and 8 suggest that the curriculum is enjoyed by pupils and they learn a lot in their lessons. Pupils feel that the topics covered are relevant to pupils of their age. In 2021/22, we will be able to offer a greater variety of different learning activities during lessons.
The curriculum is planned to enable pupils to visit core themes and deepen understanding. Retrieval of relevant prior learning at the start of core themes aims to embed these concepts. Tier 2 and Tier 3 subject specific vocabulary is taught and modelled by PSHE teachers and pupils are expected to use this vocabulary in both oral and written answers.
Pupils are assessed through the ipsative assessment model which compares where a student is at the end of a lesson or series of lessons against where they were before the lesson(s). Therefore, the benchmark against which progress is measured is at the pupil’s own starting point, not the performance of others. Pupils will be asked to spend time completing self-reflections which incorporate whether they feel more confident or whether they have a firmer sense of their own beliefs and opinions following a unit of work.