Personal, Social, Health, Citizenship and Emotional Education promotes pupils’ personal social and emotional development, as well as their health and well-being. It helps to give children the knowledge and skills they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.
At St Thomas Aquinas RC Primary School we believe that the personal, social and health development of each child, in conjunction with their citizenship skills, has a significant role in their ability to learn. We value the importance of PSHCE and Citizenship in preparing children for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. In addition we believe that a child needs to learn about the many emotional aspects of life and how to manage their own emotions. We are also aware of the way that PSHCE supports many of the principles of Safeguarding. (See Safeguarding Policy.) The purpose of PSHCE reinforces the ethos of our school. It encompasses all subjects. We aim:
“To enable children to learn creatively, achieve their best personally and develop independently. To value all, no matter what their culture or faith and make a positive contribution to their socially and multi culturally diverse community”. (Our Mission Statement)
· To ensure pupils are happy, healthy and reach their full potential
· To promote pupils confidence, self-respect and self-esteem through the ethos of our school
· To prepare pupils for life in society, promoting equal opportunities and respect for other cultures and religions
· To foster positive, caring relationships within the school and between others in the wider community
· To improve pupils ability to reflect on and become responsible for their own learning by providing a safe, supportive and happy learning environment
· To provide a curriculum that will enable pupils to learn and develop confidence in their own ability and self-image
· To ensure pupils are motivated and interested in learning by providing real life opportunities and experiences
· To tackle many of the moral, social and cultural issues that is part of growing up.
· To ensure the wellbeing of all staff & provide support mechanisms for them within school.
British Values allow pupils to develop their understanding of being an effective part of our British society and upholding the British Values of: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and the mutual respect for different faiths and beliefs. These British Values will form part of the school’s PSHCE curriculum throughout the school year.
Teaching and learning
As there is a large overlap between the PSHCE programme and religious education we deliver a considerable amount through collective worship, assemblies and RE lessons. We also map PSHCE through whole school, class activities and events. Our school council and elected groups (e.g., PALS, eco warriors, e-safety officers) meet regularly to discuss school matters.
The Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, PSHCE is encouraged through the ‘Personal, Social and Emotional Development’ curriculum. PSHCE is about making connections and is strongly linked to play. PSHCE is taught through activities that are part of topics, as well as on an individual basis to develop personal skills such as dressing, feeding and toileting. Positive experiences are built through daily opportunities to share and enjoy a range of different activities. The children are given the opportunity to engage in social activities, as members of a small group or occasionally during whole school activities.
KS1 and KS2
The PSHCE curriculum divides the year into values and PSHCE may be linked to these values or taught on a more individual basis to promote necessary skills. Personal development or intervention groups may be based around our core values of honesty, kindness and trust if class teachers deem these to be relevant.
The children are encouraged to engage in activities that promote an understanding of themselves as growing and changing individuals, and as members of a wider community, based on their own first hand experiences. These activities also encourage pupils to understand how their choices and behaviours can affect others. The children are encouraged to play and learn alongside, and then collaboratively with, their peers. They may use their personal and social skills to develop or extend these activities. The children are also given the opportunity to make choices about their health and environment and are encouraged to develop a caring attitude to others. SEAL materials and themes may be incorporated into the curriculum. All aspects of British values are integral to the children’s learning and experiences.
Water Safety Assembly
Stephen from Canal and Waterways Trust presented an assembly on water safety. Through a series of games, activities, and role play pupils spotted the hazards of being near water and learnt how to react in an emergency. The pupils were taught basic water safety such as don't swim in open water, canals or locks as these are very unsafe and water levels are unpredictable. We were asked to remember SAFE: Stay Away From the Edge. When near water we were reminded to keep clear from the edge so that they don't accidentally fall in!
The whole school enjoyed a very interesting and informative visit from the Dogs Trust. We learned about the importance of looking after dogs. This includes: -Getting them chipped and pinned. -Taking them for two walks per day. -Making sure they drink plenty of water and eat regular meals. -Giving them lots of love and attention! We then participated in workshops in our classroom, which we all enjoyed.
Essential Life Skills
Non-Smoking Day Assembly
Liz from the Public Health Service delivered an assembly to KS2 on the dangers of smoking. She showed us this through putting the ingredients (of a cigarette) into a bowl one at a time and asked if we would like to put these ingredients into our bodies. It was a visual and informative display of the dangers of smoking.
The Animal Aid company visited KS2 and discussed issues like pet care animal rights and animal welfare. We also discussed vegetarianism/veganism. We found this extremely interesting and informative.
Some of our Year 1 children are privileged to be attending an inter-generational workshop. We attend sessions at St. Dominic's Court, here we connect two generations together in traditional song and dance activities. Our pupils are thoroughly enjoying these sessions, it really is the most fantastic experience for all and has so many benefits for both age groups.
We had a visit from the staff from Attend to discuss the importance of attending school. We all know that we should try to be at school every day and aim for 100% attendance.
Children's Mental Health Week
Mrs Bekalo delivered an assembly during Children’s Mental Health Week, we focused on taking steps to be healthy: inside and out. We learnt that our bodies and minds are connected, so simple things that we do to improve our physical well-being can help our mental well-being too. We also took part in different activities in our classrooms during the week.
To improve our understanding of cats and learn about how to care for them we invited Cats Protection into school for a whole school assembly. We found this really interesting as lots of us have cats at home, we learnt things from feeding, playing with to neutering cats.