Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education and can encompass many areas of study such as: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle. At Oak Tree we use our PSHE education programme to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.
At Oak Tree, our PSHE curriculum is designed to enable children to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.
It equips pupils to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives. It encourages them to be enterprising and supports them in making effective transitions, positive learning and career choices and in achieving economic well-being. Oak Tree is a restorative school so actively provides children with time to reflect upon their decisions and actions. A critical component of PSHE is providing opportunities for children and young people to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes and explore the complex and sometimes conflicting range of values and attitudes they encounter now and in the future.
PSHE contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. It enables them to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings. Developing an understanding of themselves, empathy and the ability to work with others will help pupils to form and maintain good relationships, develop the essential skills for future employability and better enjoy and manage their lives.
PSHE can help reduce or remove many of the barriers to learning experienced by pupils, significantly improving their capacity to learn and achieve. It makes a significant contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development, their behaviour and safety and the school’s statutory responsibility to promote pupils’ wellbeing. In addition, the learning provided is essential to safeguarding pupils.
Through our PSHE curriculum, we aim to provide pupils with:
- Accurate, balanced and relevant knowledge;
- Opportunities to turn that knowledge into personal understanding;
- Opportunities to explore, clarify and, if necessary, challenge their own and others’ values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities;
- The skills, language and strategies they need in order to live healthy, safe, fulfilling, responsible and balanced lives;
- Opportunities to develop positive personal attributes such as resilience, self-confidence, self-esteem, and empathy.
Oak Tree’s delivery of the PSHE curriculum is supported by 1decision https://www.1decision.co.uk/ which links to the PHSE Association’s Programme of Study. It’s three core themes are:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
The Equality Act (2010) is taught through direct teaching. For example: learning about different families, the effect of stereotypes and celebrating differences.
Relationships and sex education
Relationships and sex education (RSE) is an important part of PSHE education. Relationships education is compulsory for all primary school pupils. Oak Tree follows Christopher Winter’s ‘Teaching RSE with Confidence in Primary Schools’ programme which encourages children to develop the skills of listening, empathy, talking about feelings and relationships with families and friends.
In Reception we focus on families and friendships. From Year 1, children will learn the names of the body parts, the differences between males and females and the ways in which they will develop and grow. Importantly, they will also learn to recognise unsafe and risky situations and to ask for help. The curriculum continues to develop their knowledge and skills as they learn about the physical and emotional changes of puberty and about reproduction. In Year 6, the children learn about internet safety and communication in relationships.
Restorative Practice underpins the Stockport Family Model and is practised by Oak Tree. Restorative Practice promotes active thinking about how we build our relationships, how we work to keep them healthy and how we can repair them when there has been conflict. Restorative Practice is relevant to us all. It supports us to connect with each other as fellow human beings, guiding us with our interactions. It can help us to consider how our actions and responses affect our relationships, whether these are relationships at work or at home. Weekly Circle Time is a key component of Restorative Practice and provides children with opportunities to share, listen, reflect and respond to others.
The British Values of: democracy; the rule of law; individual liberty; mutual respect and tolerance are promoted across the entire school curriculum and in all aspects of school life, particularly assemblies and during PSHE and a wide range of other subjects as appropriate. Values are addressed so that they have relevance for all pupils. For example, democracy is demonstrated through voting for the School Council; visits from authorities such as the police reinforce the importance of the rule of law and our Behaviour Policy revolves around ‘respect’ as a core value with discussions and assemblies focusing on what respect means and how it is demonstrated.
Central to our wellbeing programme is our Forest School provision. Forest School is a unique education experience that gives children the opportunity to develop confidence and self-esteem through hands-on learning in our woodland environment and school grounds. Children are engaged in motivating tasks throughout the year and in all weathers. They work with tools, play, learn and begin to understand boundaries both physically and socially, allowing them to gain self-confidence and understanding of the natural world.
Children are encouraged to try to solve their own problems first before asking for help. This may be with an aspect of their work which they find difficult or it may relate to a dispute with a friend.
Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own belongings, choices, actions and behaviour. They are supported to make the ‘right choice’ and take responsibility for their own actions.
Children are encouraged to have an understanding and appreciation of differences amongst people both within our school and in the wider community. Pupils have frequent opportunities to learn about others and develop their own sense of identity.
Impact is demonstrated by how well the children can utilise their learning within their daily lives, from dealing with friendship issues to resilience, to the good behaviours demonstrated inside and outside the classroom, to making healthy choices and knowing when and how to get help when needed. The successful transitions that the children make through school and on to the next stage of their education, are also testament to the progression in the children’s personal development.