At Elmhurst Primary School, PSHE is at the core of what we do and enables our children to become independent, healthy and responsible members of society, as well as developing the “whole child” intellectually, morally and socially. Through our whole-school approach to PSHE, we believe that outstanding practice in these areas will lead to excellence across the curriculum and beyond in later life. PSHE is taught weekly across the school from Reception up to Year 6 and as a school, we follow the Jigsaw PSHE scheme. Our PSHE 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, Elmhurst provides our children with a strong understanding of the diverse world around them and supports them in playing a positive role in contributing to the school and the wider community. We want our children to get the most of their lives so that they are ready for their adult lives and life in the twenty-first century. Weaving through the heart of our PSHE teaching is a commitment to enhancing and promoting the 5Cs (the core Elmhurst values); care, confidence, creativity, challenge and character. Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability, additional needs, to flourish and to become the very best version of themselves they can be. We want all our little seeds to have big dreams.
Jigsaw is a unique, spiral, progressive and effective scheme of work, aiming to prepare children/young people for life, helping them really know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world. This in turn allows our children to become citizens of the world. We develop individuals who see themselves as agents of change and take responsibility for themselves, each other and the world around them. Moreover, Jigsaw PSHE directs our aim on developing the “whole child” through a spiral curriculum approach to developing knowledge, skills and understanding. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. We also use our own expertise to tailor Jigsaw to our own needs.
Specifically, the areas of:
-Being Me in My World
-Dreams and Goals
Mindfulness underpins all PSHE lessons taught at Elmhurst. For example, throughout every year group, at the beginning of each Jigsaw lesson (Piece), there is a Calm Me time, which is designed to teach children techniques to relax their bodies and calm their minds. This is being used to great effect and impacting positively on children’s ability to concentrate, to connect well with each other and most importantly to be more aware of and better able to manage their feelings and thought processes more helpful the impact on their capacity to learn. Staff have benefited from regular guided meditations led by the PSHE co-ordinator, improving well-being and sharing good practice.
Establishing a safe, open and positive learning environment based on trusting relationships between all members of the class, adults and children alike, is vital. To enable this, it is important that ‘ground rules’ are agreed and owned at the beginning of the year and are reinforced in every lesson through the use of The Jigsaw Charter:
- We take turns to speak
- We use kind and positive words
- We listen to each other
- We have the right to pass
- We only use names when giving compliments or when being positive
- We respect each other’s privacy (confidentiality)
Although we have taken on the Jigsaw scheme, we have adapted it to fit the needs of our pupils and tailored it to the wider Elmhurst curriculum. Year Heads used their curriculum expertise to select suitable Jigsaw lessons whilst simultaneously ensuring that the rest of PSHE is being covered through Computing, Science, History and Religious Education.
Our adapted lessons allow for a strong pupil voice, providing students with the opportunity to become involved in how and what they learn and giving them a real say in issues that affect them, allowing them to make positive contributions towards the development of their school. The open-ended and discursive nature of the lessons also ensures that those children with SEND can join in the discussion and share their ideas in a welcoming environment.
The Celebrating Difference unit focuses on similarities and differences and teaches about diversity, such as disability, racism, power, friendships, and conflict. Children learn to accept everyone’s right to ‘difference’, and most year groups explore the concept of ‘normal’. Bullying – what it is and what it isn’t, including cyber and homophobic bullying – is an important aspect of this unit.
Training sessions for school staff are delivered by our PSHE lead, leadership team, the local authority and other consultants, meaning teachers are familiar with and confident in delivering PSHE. Staff have also received training in Sex Education and Relationships Education to aid in the delivery of the Changing Me unit. School leaders have engaged in numerous consultations with parents and governors, leading to sensible adaptations of the Jigsaw RSE curriculum that have been agreed upon by the governing body, parents and teaching staff.
We believe that all children should have the tools they need to develop social skills to the best of their abilities. Therefore, children in need of social skills support to benefit from weekly group sessions led by the PSHE co-ordinator. The lessons are designed with inclusivity and accessibility in mind to help children enjoy meaningful, beneficial interactions with others, for example, children learn to take turns, the meaning of friendship and how to treat people with respect.
By the time they leave our school, every child will have a deeply ingrained sense and understanding of the five core Elmhurst values: care, confidence, creativity, challenge and character. In PSHE, this will manifest in the following outcomes for every child:
-To become caring members of the community with strong self-awareness, interlinked with the compassion of others
-For all children to have the confidence, willingness and ability to try new things, push themselves and persevere.
-To become ready for adult life and twenty-first century living, solving the problems that may come about with creativity and imagination.
-To challenge themselves, negative stereotypes with an attitude of open-mindedness and respect
-To have the character, responsibility and honesty required to be a positive member of a diverse, multicultural society.
-To have a good understanding of how to stay safe, healthy and develop good relationships and be respectful.