PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education is a crucial part of a child’s education. It gives children access to information to help them understand themselves and the many facets of the diverse world around them. We give pupils access to big ideas and conversations, alongside practical experiences. At the heart of this are our school’s core values, our ‘FLOCK’ values:
F – Fair
L – Listen and Learn
O – Open and Honest
C – Caring and Kind
K – Keep trying.
The curriculum at Nightingale Infant & Nursery School, which is based on the frameworks of PSHE Association, aims to promote children’s knowledge, self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and resilience, and to help them to form and maintain worthwhile and positive relationships. Children will be taught to have respect for themselves, and for others, within our local, national and global communities (Caring and Kind).
We aim to develop key character skills, including decision making, informed risk taking, good communication, and self-regulation strategies. (Keep trying)
We encourage the exploration of, and respect for, values held by different cultures and groups within our local community and promote the development of positive attitudes. (Fair)
We encourage honesty and respect in all relationships, and nurture sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others. (Open and Honest)
We aim to enable children to develop a deepening knowledge of their health and wellbeing, including their mental and physical health. We aim to equip children and young people with information, skills and values to understand and to be able to cope with the physical and emotional changes that happen as they grow up. (Listen and Learn)
Some PSHE topics are also taught within other subjects, especially Computing, Science and Maths, for example the teaching of e-safety within Computing lessons. The curriculum is based on the frameworks of PSHE Association, with more detailed long and medium-term planning developed by the subject leader to ensure it meets the specific needs of our diverse learners and their communities, and support the many aspects of their personal development.
The PSHE curriculum is split into the three key themes of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. These three themes have equal weighting and importance within teaching. Topics are revisited across year groups, and understanding is deepened. This allows for progression and retention of key skills and knowledge, and the introduction of some concepts at an age-appropriate point.
PSHE education will be taught on a weekly discrete basis, with some content also being taught through other subject areas, and within other contexts, such as assemblies, ‘school council meetings’.
Each class has a floor book, a space to capture their learning and understanding around each ‘big question’. These are a vital tool in capturing the implementation of the curriculum, and the learning journey of the children. Some lessons may be talk based and have no written outcome at all. Assessment is essential to the effective teaching of PSHE. Assessment may be carried out baseline and endline assessments at the start and end of lessons, and also at the start and end of units.
Leaders will also hold regular conversations with staff, providing an open forum for sharing ideas, questions or concerns. These conversations are used to inform the subject leaders if statutory curriculum content has been covered, how pupils feel about their own learning, and what areas need to be developed or prioritised in future. Nightingale Infant School works closely with parents and carers, and we believe strongly in the central role of strong, positive home-school communication. PSHE education should not be left to chance and is a responsibility shared with parents / carers and families.
The impact of a good PSHE education cannot be understated. Quite simply, it forms the preparation for adult life, enabling a child to understand and face the challenges, complexities and questions that arise in a diverse world. Impact can be measured in a variety of ways. Pupil voice, and lessons captured via floor books, will form the heart of how we measure the impact of our teaching.
Skills taught in PSHE are transferable to all other areas of the curriculum and will help children to understand these areas in new ways. Additionally, these ‘soft skills’ form the basis of a child’s wider development and experience. The ability to recognise and develop good relationships, the reinforcement of positive mental and physical health, understanding how their body will change and grow, the development of respect and tolerance for all, an understanding of society and the role of the individual in a community – these are the skills that will equip our children for life.