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personal, social, health education

Personal, social and health education (PSHE) helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active, responsible citizens.


Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their schools and communities. In so doing, they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. They also find out about the main political and social institutions that affect their lives and about their responsibilities, rights and duties as individuals and members of communities. They learn to understand and respect our common humanity; diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.


We have developed the curriculum in consultation with parents, pupils and staff,  taking into account the age, needs and feelings of pupils.  If a pupil asks questions outside the scope of this policy, teachers will respond in an appropriate manner so they are fully informed.  In some instances, we will use our professional discretion and deem a question unsuitable for discussion at school and direct it home, consulting with that child’s parents if required.


Primary sex education is taught as part of the statutory science curriculum and focuses on reproduction.  This is taught in Year 6 at Orchard Junior School.


At Orchard Junior School, PSHE spans the whole curriculum and our children benefit from  wide and varied learning opportunities, all of which aim to develop them in order to be integrated, happy and successful members of our ever-changing, diverse society.  Relationships are strong between staff and children and this allows opportunities to be seized in order to develop SMSC throughout the school day. In addition to this wide variety of learning opportunities, weekly lessons will be taught sensitively, using a variety of teaching techniques.   Our children are taught the three core themes of PSHE: Relationships; Living in the Wider World and Health and Well-Being.

RSE is taught within the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education curriculum.  Biological aspects of RSE are taught within the science curriculum in Year 6. 


Relationships education focuses on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships including:

  • Families and people who care for me

  • Caring friendships

  • Respectful relationships

  • Online relationships

  • Being safe


Orchard Junior School will use a programme called “No Outsiders in Our School: Teaching the Equality Act in Primary Schools” (Andrew Moffat, 2019).  The sessions are based around a series of age appropriate books that teach children about the characteristics protected by the Equality Act, 2010.  (They include stories about a dog that doesn't feel like it fits in, two male penguins that raise a chick together and a boy who likes to dress up like a mermaid and aim to encourage children to explore identities, focus on diversity and embrace difference.


Throughout our curriculum, we will present the diversity of  family life taking care to ensure there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances (families can include: single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers, parents/carers with disabilities and BAME families amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: ‘looked after children’ or ‘young carers’).

Through RSE, we equip our children with the knowledge they need to recognise and report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. We focus on boundaries and privacy, ensuring the children understand they have rights over their own bodies. This also includes understanding boundaries in friendships with peers and also in families, and with others, in all contexts, including online. As the online world is so prominent in today’s society, in conjunction with the e-safety objectives of our ICT curriculum, children will be taught how to recognise if friendships online are making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable and how to seek help or advice. They will also develop strategies for recognising and reporting hurtful or dangerous behaviour online.


PSHE and RSE must be accessible for all pupils taking into account age, development and individual circumstances.  This is particularly important when planning teaching for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities as well as those with specific religious beliefs.  High quality teaching that is differentiated and personalised, in consultation with the family or carer, will be the starting point to ensure accessibility.

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