PSHE and RSE
At Muscliff, statutory RSHE (Relationships and Sex Education) objectives are taught through our PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) curriculum. You can find our PSHE/RSE policy on our policies page (see link below).
On this page, you’ll find our progression maps that outline what we teach in each year group… but before we get to what, let’ focus on why:
Our Muscliff Approach to PSHE
As a school that prides itself on our ‘Carefully Crafted Curriculum,’ it is only right that our PSHE provision is also rooted in our underpinning values. We wanted to offer our children a PSHE curriculum that builds on the statutory content outlined in the National Curriculum - a curriculum that is both relevant to our context here at Muscliff (supported by our five values) but also an education programme that equips pupils with a sound understanding of the world around them. This includes understanding how to make safe and informed decisions.
PSHE (Personal, Social and Health Education) and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) are crucial in children’s learning and development. At Muscliff Primary School, our aim is to give children the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives, to be informed, active and responsible citizens.
Features of our PSHE Curriculum
What a lesson looks like:
Our PSHE Curriculum is framed around a key question and takes the form of oral discussion. We love to talk at Muscliff! And since we are committed to developing children’s oracy skills through our teachers’ research on dialogic teaching*, it is fitting to use discussion to deliver our PSHE objectives.
*Dialogic teaching is a pedagogical approach that capitalises on the power of talk to further students' thinking, learning, and problem solving. Teachers at Muscliff are researching oracy.
Since our curriculum is framed around our Beautiful Text, we use our lead book as a vehicle for discussion. In this way, children can approach a PSHE objective or concept and first discuss it through the eyes of a lead character in the context of the book. This provides a ‘safe’ starting point. Then, we reflect on what we could learn from this situation, consider what we might do if we were in that position and begin to identify with the character. This in turn enables our children to understand how this objective applies to their own lives.
Here’s a typical RSE Year 1 objective from the National Curriculum = 2e) How to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed.
The lead text when this objective is taught in Year 1 is The Ugly Duckling
During this lesson, we would discuss the Ugly Duckling’s problem and offer him advice. We would talk about what the characters around the Ugly Duckling should do. Once a safe environment has been established through the eyes of the character, the talk would move to think about us. We aren’t the Ugly Duckling but we may experience similar problems…
Here’s another example:
In Year 6, an objective we teach = 6j) It's common for people to experience mental ill health. For many people who do, the problems can be resolved if the right support is made available, especially if accessed early enough
This lead text we use when this objective is taught in Year 6 is Frankenstein.
During our reading of the text, we track Victor Frankenstein’s mental health and specifically highlight significant events that are a factor in his mental ill health. Through the book, it is easy for children to identify the signs of stress and use Victor as our example. Children feel, at first, more comfortable talking about a book character. This creates a safe and supportive environment so that children can then relate the importance of mental health to our own lives.
The impact of our approach in PSHE is that children are able to engage with our curriculum through the characters and key events in the books we read – we establish a safe environment. This enables children to empathise and then relate the learning to themselves. Children then understand what it means to be informed, active and responsible citizens.
Assemblies and End-of-the-Day Reflection:
Whole school assemblies are also used as a vehicle to reflect on key themes within our PSHE curriculum. Each assembly starts with a carefully selected book. The book prompts children to reflect on the theme presented. Teachers have access to these books and are able to continue the discussion during our end of the day reflection.
We are also developing the ‘end points’ of our PSHE curriculum to help us assess where children have been successful. Debate and key questions will form an essential part of this although we are aiming to align these end points to our English writing curriculum.
We have also created progression maps for each of our five values. See below. These progression maps outline age-related expectations (determined by us) and will eventually be used alongside our PSHE curriculum assessments.