Our Whole School Approach
At Stow-on-the-Wold Primary School, we believe a whole school approach is essential in ensuring the whole school community understands the value of putting the emotional and mental health of pupils, staff and the wider school community at the heart of its curriculum and ethos. We believe that as a school, we have a key role to play in supporting children to be resilient and mentally healthy. The children learn how to become responsive, informed and responsible citizens. They learn to recognise their own worth and work well with others. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially.
Our PSHCE curriculum is designed so that pupils are able to:
§ understand the importance of physical activity in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle
§ learn about the factors that affect our physical and mental health
§ develop risk management
§ understand personal change and responsibility
§ understand the dynamics of healthy relationships
§ begin to understand the value of money
§ recognise how media, commerce and social issues shape our understanding of the world
Teaching beyond discrete lessons
PSHCE will be taught as a discrete subject, and as part of other curriculum areas such as team building in Forest School and building resilience through PGL and other outdoor or challenging activities. Good teaching is responsive to the needs of the pupils. Therefore, there are times when a need arises for a spontaneous session, often in the form of a class discussion where the children have a safe space to unpick and explore a concern, worry, incident, misconception which has arisen and come to the attention of the teacher.
Inviting external visitors into school is recognised by the school as a great way to reinforce our curriculum messages. we make good use of our local PC and PCSOs in Stow as well as our local Schoolbeat Officers will come into school and deliver whole school assemblies and class sessions, charities such the NSPCC who occasionally deliver assemblies and workshops, and other relevant visitors such as members of local health teams or the clergy or other community groups who may have useful input for the children. However this is in addition to and not instead of the taught curriculum in each class.
RSHE ground rules
Due to the nature of RSHE, many children will often share their private thoughts, feelings and experiences during these lessons. It is important that all children are aware of the need to respect other people during discussions. We make sure that RESPECT is taught through our assemblies, British Values input and as part of our school rule and value of “Be Supportive”
In RSHE lessons, the subject matter can sometimes be of a sensitive nature and could raise certain feelings and emotions for pupils for different reasons. Therefore, when planning and delivering lessons, pupils’ home lives and past experiences are considered carefully. Staff are mindful of any recent family separations and bereavements when talking about loving and respectful relationships within families or, when teaching about adoption, ensure they are aware of any child who may have had personal experience of this. Such examples highlight the importance of RSHE being taught regularly by the class teacher, who knows their pupils and their lives. The children need to feel happy and safe when sensitive and personal topics are being explored. Consider also teaching certain units when an extra support adults such as the class teaching partner are on hand is on hand, to ensure any pupil can be individually supported if necessary or could safely leave a lesson if they needed to.
The school uses GHLL resources and other signposted signposted documents to create the curriculum for the children without buying into a scheme – this is what the DfE deems to be best practice for schools when developing their provision. The school uses resources offered by the Gloucestershire safeguarding Partnerships such as In the Net, and using resources from the GHLL PINK curriculum. The Life Caravan forms part of our curriculum and provides bi-annual specialist lessons about health and keeping safe.
The school also utilises Skill zone, a bespoke environment where children can learn how to behave in various scenarios in safe controlled conditions. This is for Y2 and revisited in Y5 as a way of embedding learning. The school has been awarded National Healthy Schools status many times over. We focus strongly on anti-bullying work with children ensuring they have strategies to cope with and address all forms of bullying including racism, cyber bullying and other online bullying exploitation threats, homophobic bullying and other prejudices, as well as keep safe initiatives such as Keep Safe Pants which is visited every year throughout the school.
Healthy Eating and Physical Wellbeing: Most schools currently cover these objectives in their science, PE and PSHE curricula. In our county, Active Gloucestershire works with children and young people, both in and out of school, to increase physical activity.
Online Relationships, and Online Safety and Harm: This is a significant part of the curriculum and perhaps the fastest changing element of it although, ultimately, the key learning around staying safe online and building healthy relationships online will remain constant. The school feels that it provides excellent coverage in their curriculum regarding staying safe online, but many of our young people will be navigating relationships online and need to be taught the skills to do this in a healthy and safe way, so explicit lessons are incorporated into the curriculum. For example, when teaching about friendships, the unit of work addresses online friendships and cyber bullying.
First Aid: This is a new addition to the primary curriculum. Within the resource, we have provided a progression of first aid activities, Year 1 to Year 6, to ensure the end of primary statements for first aid are met. We have used the Mini Medics programme with Class 2 and then repeat this at a more advanced level using St Johns materials with Class Five.
Drug Education: Many Gloucestershire schools currently follow the GHLL drug education curriculum. The PSHE Association has recently launched a primary suite of lessons, some of which we have integrated into our resource. As with other areas of the curriculum, our school develops its lessons to best fit the needs of each class.
Relationships and Sex Education
At primary level, there is no statutory requirement to deliver sex education. However, specialist practitioners and bodies such as the DfE and PSHE Association deem it to be good practice to do so and this is true at our school. Pupils are also taught RSE throughout the school using the local authorities RSE curriculum toolkit, at an age-appropriate level building right from reception upwards and covering key vocabulary to give pupils the words they need to explain their feelings and experiences.
In KS2 National Curriculum Science, children learn about the life cycles of humans and animals, including the changes which happen from birth to old age; puberty is one of these changes. In addition, the health objectives of the new document require children to learn about body changes in puberty including menstruation. These lessons are an obvious learning opportunity for sex education (how a baby is conceived and born) and consultation with parents, we have opted to include this in their curriculum. This curriculum element has been developed with input from parents and governors to ensure that it is meeting the needs of our community and reflects the needs of our learners so that they develop tolerance, keep safe and make healthy choices. Sex education, however is the part from which parents do have the right to withdraw their child.
We have a well-established School Council to help children contribute more fully to the life of the school and to give the pupils a voice and offer them the opportunity to meet local counsellors and find out more about democracy and their rights. Our school council is held in high regard by the local town clerk and she visits regularly to gain their views and to involve them in local democracy. The pupils are strongly encouraged to play a full part on their community and the school follows a full calendar of events in the town where it is fully represented such as the Stow Christmas Tree Festival, Remembrance day activities , Harvest festivals at the church, taking part in town carol singing and tree lighting, town Fireworks events, year round links with Edwardstow Court for the elderly and those with dementia and a range of charitable work such as Christmas Boxes and our annual chosen charity events