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Barrow Hedges Primary School

PSHE and Relationships Education

In this section...

The aims of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education at our school are to: 

  • Help pupils to develop self-confidence and a feeling of self-worth 

  • Create a positive culture around issues of relationships, equipping pupils with the strategies and skills they need to recognise and form healthy relationships throughout their lives, understanding how to keep themselves and others safe from unhealthy relationships and abuse and seek support as appropriate 

  • Provide a safe environment in which sensitive issues can be discussed in an age-appropriate way 

  • Become increasingly responsible for their own learning 

  • Help pupils to make informed decisions to improve their mental and physical wellbeing 

  • Support children to recognise, manage and express a range of feelings and emotions appropriately 

  • Help pupils to understand and manage their feelings and be able to talk openly with trusted adults and develop a variety of strategies to utilise in support of their own positive mental health 

  • Develop a caring and considerate attitude towards themselves, others and their environment 

  • Support pupils to develop virtues of kindness, generosity, empathy and honesty 

  • Develop an understanding of how society works, including rights and responsibilities and a respect for all 

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education relate to our school core values of Care, Honesty, Respect and Responsibility which underpin all teaching and learning at Barrow Hedges and enable us to fulfil our guiding principles. 

Relationships Education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships and relationships with other children and adults.  Pupils are taught what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who can support them.  In an age-appropriate way, they learn about how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect.  By the end of primary school, pupils will have been taught content on: 

  • Families and people who care for me 

  • Caring friendships 

  • Respectful relationships 

  • Online relationships 

  • Being safe 

Health Education focuses on giving pupils the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, to recognise issues in themselves and others, and to seek support as early as possible when issues arise.  By the end of primary school, pupils will have been taught content on: 

  • Mental wellbeing 

  • Internet safety and harms 

  • Physical health and fitness 

  • Healthy eating 

  • Facts and risks associated with drugs, alcohol and tobacco 

  • Health and prevention 

  • Basic first aid 

  • Changing adolescent body 

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is not compulsory in primary schools. However, there is a statutory requirement to teach pupils about relationships and health, including puberty. The Department for Education (DfE) recommends that all primary schools should have a sex education programme tailored to the age and the physical and emotional maturity of the pupils. The DfE recommends that both boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings and – drawing on knowledge of the human life cycle set out in the national curriculum for science – how a baby is conceived and born. RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity. 

At Barrow Hedges the RSE element of the curriculum is taught only in Year 6 when pupils are taught the following non-statutory objectives: 

  • To know how a baby is conceived and develops  

  • To explain what happens when a baby is born  

(Yasmine & Tom Module 3 9-11 Lesson 10,11,12) 

Each year, prior to the commencement of the Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) sessions, parents are invited to attend a meeting with the Year 6 teachers to discuss in more detail the content of the sessions and view the online resource that we use (i.e. Yasmine & Tom). 

Relationships Education and Health Education at Barrow Hedges - Intentions 

Relationships Education and Health Education are taught at Barrow Hedges mainly through the high quality and comprehensive PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) curriculum.  However, PE, Science, Computing, DT and other subjects and activities (e.g. assemblies and visitors into school) also support the teaching and learning requirements as prescribed in the guidance.  These and other subjects at Barrow Hedges help our pupils to flourish. 

The knowledge and attributes gained through the PSHE and Relationships and Health Education curriculum will support each pupils’ wellbeing and attainment and help them to become successful and happy adults that make a meaningful contribution to society.  We aim for pupils to leave Barrow Hedges with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. 

In addition to academic subject matter, pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of the school and community. 

At Barrow Hedges we provide a supportive and nurturing environment where all members of the community are valued and encouraged; positive relationships are seen as important and there is a safe and secure school environment which is conducive to learning. 

Curriculum Implementation 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, PSED (Personal, Social and Emotional Development) and UW (Understanding the World) is rigorously taught and provides the foundation for future learning at KS1 and 2. (See EYFS Policy).  In Key Stage 1 and 2, long and medium term plans have been developed by a working party of professionals so that it is rigorous and progressive and builds upon prior learning. 

Relationship Education and Health Education lessons are taught through a combination of explicit Relationship and Health Education lessons and Philosophy for Children (P4C) sessions as identified on the long term plan and as appropriate to the learning objective being covered.  Relationships and Health Education and P4C teaching is timetabled for half an hour per week in KS1 and for 1 hour fortnightly in KS2. As PSHE underpins all teaching and learning and is hugely cross curricular, it is taught implicitly in all aspects of school life, including the wider curriculum. 

Class teachers deliver Relationships and Health Education lessons because these adults know their children best and are able to foster excellent relationships with their classes.  Our Emotional and Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) and Lead TA (Family Support Worker and ELSA) provide further support to those children who need this. 

Why teach some Relationships and Health Education objectives through Philosophy? 

We choose to teach some Relationships and Health Education through P4C as it is highly beneficial in developing pupil’s emotional awareness and thinking skills. Philosophy calls on imagination and reasoning and puts these capacities to work, exploring values, assumptions and vital concepts like justice, truth, knowledge and beauty. The Philosophy Circle creates a philosophical community of enquiry, a forum where adults and children can search for meaning together. Children become reasonable in both senses of the word – they are adept at reasoning and they are open to the reasoning of others.  We believe that it is so important for adults and children to talk together in situations where differences can be welcomed and explored. 

Teaching some elements of Relationships and Health Education through P4C promotes a forum for open dialogue in which participants ask questions, sift arguments and explore alternatives.  Above all, they try to understand each other.  

Philosophical questions asked by the children include:

"Why do we dream but not believe?"

"What is normal?"

"Can an emotion be wrong?"

"Can a confrontation be a responsible action?"

"Should you always be positive in bad situations?"

"Is it ever OK to dare someone to do something you know they can't do?"

"Why do people ignore help when they clearly need it?" 

Mrs J Covey and Miss K Rayment are the Subject Leaders for PSHE and Relationships Education.

We are delighted to have received the Anchored Schools Platinum Award for Safeguarding, reflecting the hard work, passion and dedication of all the staff at Barrow Hedges. We found the audit itself to be extremely beneficial, enabling us to discuss in depth how we ensure safeguarding is and continues to be, of utmost importance for the whole school community.

We have always been proud of our PSHE curriculum and the way that children are supported with their personal development, and in turn that our children can clearly articulate how they can stay safe, keep healthy and have positive relationships. Our curriculum is delivered through discrete lessons, but we are especially proud of how we deliver some Relationships and Health Education through the 'Philosophy for Children' (P4C) approach. We find this to be highly beneficial in developing pupil’s emotional awareness and thinking skills. Philosophy calls on imagination and reasoning and puts these capacities to work, exploring values, assumptions and vital concepts. We believe that it is so important for adults and children to talk together in situations where differences can be welcomed and explored. Teaching some elements of Relationships and Health Education through P4C promotes a forum for open dialogue in which participants ask questions, sift arguments and explore alternatives. Above all, they try to understand each other. 

Clearly, within safeguarding there will always be some key knowledge and skills that cannot be taught in this way, and we are equally proud that the 'golden thread' of safeguarding is clear across our curriculum. We love to exploit opportunities to bring in visitors, have children leading assemblies and that we have a wide range of strategies to support children's mental health and wellbeing (behaviour mentoring, play leaders and 'You are Awesome' groups, for example).

There is no doubt that we are all living through challenging times, but at Barrow Hedges we always try to live by our motto of 'Believe to Achieve', to work as a team and support one another.

The Safeguarding Team:

Back row, left to right: Mrs S Woods (E-Safety Leader), Ms L Gardiner (Lead TA - Family Support Worker/ELSA), Miss R Swinfield (Healthy Schools Leader), Miss K Lucas (PSHE Leader) and Miss C Davies (Computing Leader)

Front row, left to right: Mrs K Duncan (Deputy Headteacher, DDSL), Mrs M Rondeau (Assistant Headteacher, DSL), Mrs L Wood (Headteacher, DSL), Miss M Wilson (Assistant Headteacher, DDSL) and Mrs J Covey (Assistant Headteacher, PSHE Leader).

Miss K Rayment is the Subject Leader for PSHE and Relationships Education.