At Holme Valley, we believe that a high quality PSHE curriculum provides pupils with the relevant skills and information which will help them make informed choices concerning their own well-being and that of the wider community.
We aim to provide children with the appropriate knowledge to support their understanding of positive relationships, with reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We offer a personalised curriculum where specific needs of our community are addressed, such as the specific needs of children in our school community which allows a greater understanding of the diverse nature of our immediate society. We provide our children with the opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be part of a diverse society.
The children are encouraged to develop a sense of self worth through contributing to school life and the wider community. We promote a good understanding of physical and mental wellbeing and the recognition of this as part of daily lives.
Part of our PSHE curriculum is the implementation of the Relationships and Health Education and Sex Education. Our spiral approach to our RSE lessons, is intended to give the children age appropriate knowledge from the start of their school life, which will enable them to keep safe and understand what happens to them as they grow up as well as recognise potential inappropriate behaviour they may come across.
To support us with our Relationships and Sex Education, a specialist company called Big Talk come into school each Autumn term to deliver lessons to all children in school. The content covered for each age group is shown below. This content is revisited during our PSHE lessons later in the year to embed the childrens' knowledge.
Age four to six (reception – year 1): From this age children should be able to identify safe situations and those which may be risky, like other children or adults taking improper photographs of them. They should be able to identify trusted adults (both at home and school) who they can talk to if they feel worried. Within this age group they should understand about different types of families, including those with same sex parents. The emphasis being on all different types of families.
Age six to eight (year 2 – 3): Understanding the importance of boundaries within friendships and personal relationships is important, including online and through technologies such as mobile phones and games. They should know what films, programmes and online content they should and shouldn’t be watching, in addition who to tell, if someone encourages them to watch inappropriate content (this can be a grooming tactic).
Age eight to nine (year 4): By this age children need to be taught about the emotional and physical changes of growing up, coping strategies for different emotions, as well as looking after their bodies and the onset of puberty. We find that some girls may even be starting their periods in year 4, so it is critical that they have this knowledge at this age. We also recommend giving a gentle introduction to reproduction, this is the point at which we find we are able to tell children before they have received a muddled version from an older sibling or peers who may have been looking online for the definition of “sex”.
Whilst some parents and teachers may question this age, it is important to know that ‘sex’ is spoken and sung about, widely in the media including in pop music aimed at children (e.g. Little Mix). If children type this simple word into the internet to find out what it means they will be presented with graphic and often disturbing images, so it is better to educate the children in a gentle age appropriate manner, than to leave them hungry for information.
Age nine to 11 (year 5 – 6): At these ages, it is important to review the previous information taught, as children tend to absorb and retain elements of the information when it is of relevance to them. We allow children to ask more questions in these year groups, to ensure they understand what they have been taught and fill in any gaps in knowledge. They will often want more details on conception, how babies (including twins) develop and are born. Sometimes they ask how people can get germs from sex and how they can be prevented, or there may be curiosity about feelings or body image – each group is different.
Through our PSHE curriculum, we aim to give children the appropriate knowledge, understanding and capabilities in the context of a supportive culture which values personal and social development and promote more confident, motivated and better equipped pupils who understand the basis to make important health and life choices. We aim to develop confident, independent learners who are able to consider the thoughts and feelings of those around them and have a good understanding of the world around them.
If you require any further information about our PSHE curriculum, please contact the school office and our subject leader will get back to you.