At Ladybridge Primary School, PSHE and RSHE, are taught through our HELP(s) Lessons. (Health, Education, Life and Personal skills.) We follow Kapow’s programme of study for PSHE and RSHE, which covers healthy relationships, alongside growing and the changes this brings. It is a progressive scheme, in which all areas are linked to the PSHE statutory and non‐statutory framework. The curriculum has been developed, with parents, taking into account the age, needs and feelings of our pupils.
The lessons are categorised into 5 key areas, which we return to, in each year group. This makes pupils' prior and future learning clear, and demonstrates progression on their wider learning journey. This scheme of work has been designed as a spiral curriculum, with the following key principles in mind:
Family and Relationships
Learning how to: form respectful relationships with others, deal with conflict and bullying, and the importance of challenging stereotypes.
Health and Wellbeing
Learning strategies for: looking after mental and physical health, including healthy eating, relaxation techniques, sun safety, and the benefits of sleep.
Safety and the Changing Body
Learning how to: administer first aid in a variety of situations, safety around medicines, online safety, road safety, and the changes which occur during puberty.
Learning about: human rights and the rights of the child, democracy, diversity and community and protecting the environment.
Learning how to: make decisions when it comes to spending, budgeting, saving money and exploring different career choices.
(Year 6 only)
Considering what makes us who we are whilst learning about gender and sexual identity and body image.
Answering Difficult/Sensitive Questions
Staff will ensure that their personal beliefs and attitudes do not influence the teaching of PSHE. Furthermore, school recognises that, at times, staff will be faced with ‘difficult/sensitive’ questions, and therefore, additional/specific guidance will be provided to staff (to ensure consistency and appropriateness of response).
School also recognises that some of the issues raised, within PSHE, may be of a particularly sensitive or embarrassing nature. To minimise this, staff will implement the following:
- At the start of each PSHE session, staff will provide pupils with an overview of what will be covered (and therefore prepare them so that they will know how to minimise any embarrassment they feel.
- No one (adult or pupil) will be expected to answer a personal question.
- Adults will ensure that pupils’ views are listened to and will encourage them to ask questions and engage in discussion, but no one will be forced to take part in a discussion.
- Meanings of words will be explained in a sensible and factual way*.
- Ground rules/clear parameters about what is appropriate and inappropriate will be discussed whole class.
- Adults should set the tone so that issues are discussed in a sensitive, sensible and matter-of-fact way.
- Children should be encouraged to write down questions anonymously and post them in a question box; the adult will have time to prepare answers to these before the next session.
- Adults should listen to children but not lead or further question the child, in line with the school’s child protection guidelines.
- If an adult is concerned that a pupil is at risk of abuse this needs to be noted down and reported to the Head teacher and the usual child protection procedures followed.
- Adults will answer questions sensitively, honestly and appropriate to the pupil’s age (they should not be drawn into providing more information than is age-appropriate). Staff will be provided with additional and specific guidance to ensure responses are consistent*.
*From Reception to Y3, any responses to pupils’ questions will avoid using terminology/labels. Once pupils are in Y4, terminology/labels will be taught proactively.
See vocab lists attached to overviews (appendices)
In the report, ‘Not Yet Good Enough – personal, social, health and economic education in schools’, Ofsted highlighted research carried out by The Lucy Faithfull Foundation. It indicates that, ‘failure to provide high quality, age-appropriate sex and relationships education may leave young people vulnerable to inappropriate sexual behaviours and exploitation, particularly if they are not taught the appropriate language’. Therefore many schools will choose to teach vocabulary for external body parts, including penis and vagina from KS1, and introduce other related-vocabulary in KS2. As set out above, while education about sexual reproduction may not start until later, the imperative to keep children safe from abusive behaviours makes it essential for this language to be introduced early in their schooling.
Whenever schools choose to introduce this vocabulary, it is important that the needs, prior knowledge and maturity of the pupils is taken into account, and that schools work in collaboration with parents and carers who should be made aware of and are introduced to this vocabulary. Being open and honest about the words for genitalia will help to keep all pupils safe and is particularly important for supporting girls at risk of female genital mutilation (FGM). The summer holiday between leaving primary and starting secondary school is a risk period for girls at risk of FGM (and the practice can take place earlier than this) so this knowledge must come in good time.
Withdrawing from the subjects
Relationships and Health education are statutory in Primary Schools, and parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from the subjects.
At our school, we do teach pupils sex education beyond what is required of the science curriculum. As sex education is not statutory at primary level (other than what must be taught as part of the science curriculum), parents have the right to request to withdraw their child from all or part of the sex education curriculum.