Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education including Relationships & Sex Education
At Chestnuts, through our PSHE curriculum, we ensure that our children develop the knowledge and skills that they need to manage their emotions, understand their place in the world and become successful members of the community, both now and in the future. We teach all of our children to recognise and celebrate their attributes as individuals, as part of their family unit and as members of the wider world.
Throughout school, our children follow the ‘Jigsaw – The Mindfulness Approach’, which teaches the learning from the PSHE curriculum alongside developing the children’s emotional literacy and social skills, understanding of mindfulness and their spiritual learning. The Jigsaw programme consists of six different units of work, each designed to support the children with a specific phase of their educational journey. For example, the Being Me in My World unit of work is taught each year in September as it focuses on the children understanding their role in their new class and building bonds together. In the Early Years, the children learn to understand right from wrong and are encouraged to make the right choices. Then in Key Stage One, the children recognise their rights and responsibilities within their own classes and learn how to make their class a safe place. Moving into Key Stage Two, the children then learn to recognise the impact of their actions on others and finally, to understand the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and what this means for them. Each time the children encounter this unit on their journey through school, they are encouraged to revisit their previous knowledge and skills before developing and building upon these progressively as we understand the importance of the science of learning.
Our school values are woven into Jigsaw lessons and through our themes as we encourage children to challenge themselves in all aspects of their learning and to choose a positive, “can-do” attitude. We also empower them to make other people’s days, exploring how this can benefit both themselves and the recipient.
Through our progressive curriculum design, we ensure that all of our children have the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to ensure that they can manage their emotions, have a growth mindset and are able to recognise their own strengths as well as things they want to develop, regardless of their starting points. As a result, we ensure that they are ready to face the challenges that lie ahead of them both in their secondary education and beyond.
Relationships & Sex Education (RSE)
At Chestnuts, our RSE curriculum is again taught through the Jigsaw programme and focuses primarily on developing the children’s understanding of what makes positive relationships, particularly family relationships, friendships and relationships with other children and adults. Within these units, the children learn to understand the concepts of personal privacy, respect for each other and the principles of a healthy relationship. We also ensure that the children know how to relate these principles online in order to keep themselves safe as we recognise that many of them will be using technology to access an increasingly online world.
It is important to us that our RSE curriculum is reflective of our school community and is inclusive and accessible for all children irrespective of their backgrounds or indeed their family make up. With this in mind, we take care to value the experiences of the children and provide a safe and tolerant environment in which they can share their views and opinions.
Another important aspect of the RSE curriculum is developing the children’s understanding of how to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy. Within this, the children learn to recognise the signs of a healthy lifestyle and develop some strategies that they can use, in person and online, to promote their own mental and physical health.
At Chestnuts, we are aware that, as the children grow and change, they become naturally curious about themselves, their feelings, their bodies and the changes that they will be going through. It is important to us that the children feel safe to ask questions and discuss any concerns that they may have around these changes. For this reason, when the children enter Year 4, we begin to teach our sex education curriculum which has been specifically designed to meet the needs of our children. The focus of this learning progresses through the following topics: having a baby; conception; and from conception to birth. This content is taught in a way that is appropriate to the children at each phase of their educational journey and will be shared with parents and carers prior to teaching. By providing our older children with this knowledge, we ensure that they are prepared for the Key Stage 3 curriculum in secondary school.