PSHE & RHE
‘By following in the footsteps of Jesus,
we are making the heart, mind and spirit soar’
Our actions and words of today are the footprints of our future.
At St. Thomas Aquinas we are committed to the education of the whole child through a broad and balanced curriculum. We want to equip our children with the skills to live healthy, safe and responsible lives. Our curriculum is designed to be taught in units, in a spiral curriculum enabling pupils to revisit and build on previous learning hence extending their understanding guidance to plan the delivery of a broad and balanced curriculum.
Our PSHE teaching allows them to become independent, confident, healthy and responsible members of society, as well as developing the ‘whole child’ intellectually, morally, socially and spiritually. These are all vital skills for living in the wider world.
This includes the teaching of PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) and Education and RHE (Relationship, and Health Education) at a level which is appropriate to the age and stage of development of our children. We believe that the teaching about human love and relationships must have the teachings of Jesus at its core and promote Catholic virtues as well as equipping all children with the clear and scientific information they need to maintain successful and happy relationships and healthy minds and bodies.
We follow the Tenten Resource 'Life to the Full', a programme in relationship education that truly does enable children to 'live life to the full' (John 10:10). The programme runs from EYFS to Year 6 and incorporates interactive videos, story-based activities, music and prayer. This scheme is supplemented with lessons that cover British Values, financial and economic education and first aid from Twinkl Life to ensure full coverage of all areas of the PSHE and RSHE Curriculum. In addition, there is a parent platform so that parents can engage with the teaching and deepen the experience for their children.
PSHE and RHE is delivered implicitly through our Catholic Virtues and Values as well as explicitly, through many areas of school life such as assemblies, circle time and campaigns such as Anti-Bullying week.
How we deliver PSHE at St. Thomas Aquinas’s Catholic Primary School:
- All pupils have a weekly PSHE or RHE lesson
- Our curriculum is designed to be taught in units in a spiral curriculum, enabling pupils to revisit and build on previous learning hence extending their understanding
- RHE is taught from ‘Life to the Full’ Ten Ten Programme
- There are cross curricular links with RE, Science, PE, English and Computing
- There are specific focus weeks within the curriculum such as Ant-Bullying Week, Internet Safety Week, Children’s Mental Health Week
- Our PSHE Curriculum also includes links to British Values (BV), Spiritual, Moral, Social, Vocational and Cultural (SMSVC) and the language is used by staff
- Whole school, Key Stage and Class assemblies make links to SMSVC and BV.
- There are links to safeguarding, our Catholic Virtues and Values, values, BV, rights and responsibilities to ensure that the pupils have an overall knowledge within these areas of the curriculum
- Visits from external visitors such as: priests, school nurse, community police officer, fire brigade, form an integral part of our curriculum
Lessons consist of class discussions, debates, circle-time, and group activities. Our aim is to ensure all pupils develop their Cultural Capital and are socially prepared for life in Britain and the modern world.
In all subjects around the curriculum, we make provision to allow pupils to overcome any barriers to learning they might have. It ranges from Teacher focus, Adult support, pre teaching social stories, role play and drama and pastoral groups tailored to individual pupils.
Much of the PSHE curriculum is practical and discussion based, written work is recorded and kept in PSHE/RHE folders.
At St. Thomas Aquinas’s Catholic School, we firmly believe that a meaningful PSHE/RHE curriculum is the key to pupils becoming independent lifelong learners. We continuously assess the implementation and impact of our PSHE curriculum ensuring that our pupils become confident, tolerant and well-minded citizens. Teachers use various methods to evaluate the impact of their teaching on pupils’ learning to ensure that all the pupils make progress. We ensure all our pupils have access to our ambitious curriculum through targeted support and subject monitoring.
As PSHE is practical and discussion based book looks, learning walks and pupil voice/interviews are used to gain a holistic understanding of the whole child’s learning including self-confidence, as well as their ability to explain their learning.
Through the delivery of PSHE/RHE we will:
- establish a culture within our school which prioritises physical and mental health and wellbeing
- undertake Pupil Voice surveys
- provide opportunities for Collective worship, whole school/class Masses, circle time, class assemblies, provide the pupils with the appropriate vocabulary, to allow them to clearly articulate their views
- enable pupils to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be part of a diverse society
- ensure that pupils know and are aware of when and how they can seek help if necessary
- empower pupils, particularly those who are more vulnerable, with the skills they need to overcome their difficulties.
Our Catholic Virtues and Values ensure that our pupils are happy and safe and can excel in all aspects of school life. They are encouraged to learn and reflect on key issues, which they may face in everyday life.
- Pupils will recognise and apply the British Values of Democracy, Tolerance, Rule of Law and Liberty.
- Pupils will be able to develop positive, healthy relationships with their peers now and in the future.
- Pupils will understand the physical aspects involved in RHE at an age appropriate level.
- Pupils will have respect for themselves and others.
By the time children leave St. Thomas Aquinas they will have developed the confidence and vocabulary they need to articulate their thoughts and feelings in any situation, trust and respect and know when and how they can seek the support of others. They will be able to understand and evaluate their own needs, well-being, practise self-care and contribute positively to the well-being of those around them. They will have developed the knowledge, skills and attributes needed to succeed at school and in the wider world, all within a context of the Catholic faith.
The School Council launched Anti Bullying Week at assembly as the children explained this year's theme 'One Kind Word - or phrase'. All children will be engaged in doing lots of kind acts next week and beyond. Children wore odd socks to school on Monday to celebrate their individuality.
Young Carers Assembly
Sam, a support worker from the North Staffs Carers came into school to deliver an assembly about 'young carers'. She highlighted the importance of young carers in our society and the support available. Thank you Sam, we loved meeting and listening to you.
Anti-Bullying Week Assembly
The theme for this year's Anti-Bullying week is " All different, All equal". In every class the children have been exploring what it means to bully, how to deal with bullying and exploring how we are all different and all equal. During our assembly we discussed that at St Thomas Aquinas we are against bullying and we celebrate our differences and individuality. We follow the gospel teaching of "Treat others the way you want to be treated!"
Our Year 2 children are enjoying taking part in an Intergenerational Workshop with our friends at St Dominic's.
Here our fabulous Year 1 children enjoying another fantastic Intergenerational Workshop at St Dominic's with their friends.
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.