Our vision statement and intent
At Sunnybrow Primary School, we believe that pupils who are emotionally healthy do better at school. In our drive to empower our children to exceed, we place emotional wellbeing and mental health at the heart of everything we do.
We intend to provide our children with a PSHE and RSE curriculum that enables our pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare them for their future life, relationships and work in modern Britain. We recognise that our children will face a vast range of moral, social and cultural issues as they grow up and develop in our ever-changing world. As a result of this, our PSHE and RSE curriculum provides opportunities for our children to explore and challenge a range of values, attitudes, beliefs, rights and responsibilities, thus helping them understand how they are developing personally, socially and emotionally. With further regard to emotional wellbeing, our curriculum is carefully planned to provide the building blocks that pupils need to regulate their emotions and tackle complex issues that threaten to compromise their own wellbeing; developing key skills and attributes such as resilience, self-management, empathy, critical thinking, communication, team work and negotiation plays an integral part of this.
Our PSHE curriculum supports our pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. We uphold positive values, morals and beliefs which are in line with the core British Values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs. We have devised our own set of character values, which are interwoven into our curriculum and whole-school ethos. We encourage our children to follow ‘The Sunnybrow Way’ and show:
Respect and Resilience
After seeking advice, we have developed a ‘spiral’ curriculum for our whole-school, which builds on knowledge, skills and understanding year upon year. It incorporates elements of PSHE and objectives from the statutory framework for RSE. Objectives are based around three core themes: Relationships, Healthy Living and Living in the Wider World. This makes it easier to plan clear progression across the year groups and ensures that we have a comprehensive framework which is carefully matched to the needs of our pupils and context of our school.
We value the importance of PSHE and RSE lessons and recognise their pivotal role in developing positive social, emotional and mental health within our children. In the past, PSHE and RSE lessons have often been squeezed out to make way for other subjects or have been quick time-filler activities. For these reasons, we have changed our whole-school timetable and Friday is now a day dedicated to PSHE/RSE and P.E.
We teach a one-hour lesson of PSHE every week. The lessons are based on our PSHE and RSE Curriculum. We have two cycles as we have mixed-age classes. Long-term objectives are broken up into smaller developmental steps which are planned for on a medium term plan. We have produced a ‘small steps of progression’ document to aid with planning and assessment.
Lessons follow a three-part structure, starting with a ‘warm-up’ game or activity. This helps to settle the children and re-establish the classroom culture for these sessions, which are based around trust, safety, mutual respect and confidentiality. We also explore our key vocabulary for feelings and their ’zones’ in the warm-up sessions too. In PSHE sessions, we tackle sensitive and controversial topics and our children must feel comfortable enough to partake in these. There then follows a ‘main-input’, which also addresses some key subject-specific skills and ends with an opportunity for reflection. Learning and development in PSHE is very person-specific and cannot be assessed in conventional ways like other subjects. Critical reflection helps pupils to develop their self-awareness which enables them to use their knowledge and experience of how they think and feel to choose their behaviour, plan their learning and build positive relationships. Teachers use these reflections to help with planning next steps.
Our offer for PSHE & RSE goes beyond our immediate curriculum, and permeates across our whole-school day. All classes, including Nurture, have ‘check-in’ displays for the ‘zones of regulation feelings’ to help support children in recognising and regulating their feelings. We also offer enhanced support for pupils who are showing difficulties with their social, emotional and mental health.
Judging impact in PSHE can be difficult as it can be perceived as a ‘personal judgement’ of an individual’s own values, beliefs or behaviour. However, we believe that assessment is an invaluable part of the learning journey and teachers and learners need to establish whether, and to what extent, learning outcomes have been achieved and what next steps need to be to further progress.
Impact is measured through assessment for learning opportunities and formative assessment techniques, which are carefully planned for and an integral part of lesson content. Learning outcomes are shared with the children at the start of the session so pupils are clear on what we want to achieve. A key concept or question is posed to the children at the start of a PSHE lesson, children relay their responses to the class teacher verbally or with a physical gesture such as thumbs up, middle or down (more often EYFS, ks1 and SEND) the teacher then records responses using a RAG or traffic light system. At the end of each lesson, the concept or question is revisited, children’s responses are again recorded using a RAG or traffic light system. This provides a clear and immediate assessment and informs the planning of the next lesson. Within all lessons, children have the opportunity to reflect on what they have learnt within a session and these reflections are usually recorded in a class learning journey. Teachers are observing and assessing learning throughout sessions based on participation in activities as well as pupil reflections. They use effective questioning to help elicit understanding and provide feedback which leads learners to recognise their next potential steps and how to take them. This could be verbally or could be part of the summary they write in the class scrap book at the end of each session. This approach actively involves children in their own assessment and promotes confidence that everyone can improve at their own pace. Baseline and exit assessments for each topic are also carried out using a combination or teacher and self-assessment techniques and recorded using a RAG table, highlighting the key concepts of the topic.
In lessons you will see that our children are confident, enthusiastic and active participants. They are clear on what they are learning and why and respond well to the activities presented to them because their teachers know them so well and activities are well-matched to their needs.
PSHE is not a subject that can just stand on its own. We ensure there are always opportunities for application of learning within and across subject disciplines and the wider school environment. The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. And more importantly: socially, emotionally and mentally healthy children.
Judgements on the impact of the curriculum on pupils is based upon a triangulation of different monitoring and evaluation activities within school. Work and book scrutiny, pupil voice discussions, outcomes of assessments and quality of teaching and learning are all used as tools to help senior leaders assess the impact of the curriculum.
The DfE Relationships and Sex Education Guide for Parents can be found here
The NHS has information for parents regarding puberty. It can be found here
Childline also has puberty information for children and parents which can be found here