PSHE and Citizenship

PSHE Intent

The aim of St Edward’s CE Academy’s PSHE and Citizenship programme of study is to equip pupils with essential skills so that they may live life in all of its fulness. It intends to develop the whole child through carefully planned and resourced lessons that develop the knowledge, skills and attributes children need to protect and enhance their wellbeing. Through these lessons, pupils will learn how to stay safe and healthy, build and maintain successful relationships and become active citizens, responsibly participating in society around them.

Successful PSHE curriculum coverage is a vital tool in preparing pupils for life in society now and in the future. The planned units aim to cover a wide range of the social and emotional aspects of learning, enabling children to develop their identity and self-esteem as active, confident members, of their community. The themes and topics support social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, including British Values, and provide pupils with protective teaching on essential safeguarding issues, developing their knowledge of when and how they can ask for help. Stakeholders have been consulted on the content of the 2020 PSHE/ RSE policy and other data was used to inform our provision: pupil voice, pastoral records and information from local services such as the police and NHS.

The long-term planning follows the ‘thematic model’, in line with the Learning Outcomes and Core Themes provided by the PSHE Association Programme of Study which is widely used by schools in England and is recommended and referred to by the DfE in all key documentation relating to PSHE provision in schools. The scheme of work fulfils the requirements of 2020 Statutory Relationships and Health Education, setting these learning intentions in the context of a broad and balanced PSHE curriculum and is based on the three core areas:

Health and Wellbeing Topics includeRelationshipsLiving in the Wider World
Personal identity

Healthy relationships – family and friendships, peer pressure
Economic wellbeing

Keeping safe (outside, in emergencies and online safety)
Relationships and Sex EducationEmployability, enterprise, careers

Healthy lifestyles (eg diet, mental health, effects of smoking, alcohol)
Diversity – tackling prejudice and discrimination, anti-bullying
Rights and Responsibilities –democracy, citizenship, rights linked to Rights Respecting School Award

The three core units are taught in a spiral curriculum that revisits each theme every two years. This enables pupils to recall and build upon previous learning, exploring the underlying principles of PSHE education regularly at a depth that is appropriate for the age and stage of the child.  The PSHE curriculum is carefully mapped against other curriculum areas to enable pupils to make links between ideas and develop their understanding of specific topics in more detail, e.g. the science of puberty is covered at the same time as the emotional effects of puberty.

The overriding concepts and skills delivered by PSHE are as follows:

  • Identity (their personal qualities, attitudes, skills, attributes and achievements and what influences these; understanding and maintaining boundaries around their personal privacy, including online)
  • Relationships (including different types and in different settings, including online)
  • healthy (including physically, emotionally and socially), balanced lifestyle (including within relationships, work-life, exercise and rest, spending and saving and lifestyle choices)
  • Risk (identification, assessment and how to manage risk, rather than simply the avoidance of risk for self and others) and safety (including behaviour and strategies to employ in different settings, including online in an increasingly connected world
  • Diversity and equality (in all its forms, including the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010)
  • Rights (including the notion of universal human rights), responsibilities (including fairness and justice) and consent (in different contexts)
  • Change (as something to be managed) and resilience (the skills, strategies and ‘inner resources’ we can draw on when faced with challenging change or circumstance)
  • Power (how it is used and encountered in a variety of contexts including online; how it manifests through behaviours including bullying, persuasion, coercion and how it can be challenged or managed through negotiation and ‘win-win’ outcomes)
  • Careers (including enterprise, employability and economic understanding) measured against the Gatsby Benchmarks and supported by the Careers and Enterprise Company


PSHE is delivered by House Tutors during one lesson per week (30 lessons over the year) In addition, these lessons are supplemented by ‘Drop Down Days’ (3 per year) to enable the Academy to deliver whole year group activities and to facilitate the delivery of sessions by outside speakers such as Holocaust workshops by the Holocaust Educational Trust, sessions with employers for careers, NATWEST money matters activities, Youth Workers, Staffordshire Road Safety Officer and our local PCSOs. Our case studies and topics include local issues, national and international examples.

Drop Down Days facilitate the delivery of content based on best practice by specialist teachers (such as online safety, PREVENT or contraception) to maintain consistency of delivery and to ensure staff wellbeing. Lessons are planned to be delivered in a creative manner, using many approaches such as role-play, discussion and games. Resources are sourced from PSHE Association recommended websites including, but not limited to, Premier League Primary Stars, Loudmouth, NSPCC, UNICEF, Childline and ‘Think you know’. We take part in and use resources from national events such as Careers Week, Anti-bullying week, Mental Health week, Holocaust Memorial Day, Soccer Aid, World’s Largest Lesson and the UK Parliament online workshops. We hold the International Schools Award, Stonewall Bronze Award and are working towards the UNICEF ‘Rights Respecting Schools Silver Award’ and use these frameworks as a basis for planning. This ensures the resources are appropriate for the ages of pupils and meet the needs of the curriculum.

Assessment in PSHE does not simply focus on factual knowledge. It provides an opportunity to assess:

  • an increase in knowledge (before I only knew … now I also know …)
  • a change or reconfirmation of a belief (I used to feel … but I now feel …)
  • a richer vocabulary (before I would have said … but now I can say …)
  • increased competence in skills (before I didn’t how to … but now I know how to …)
  • new strategies acquired (before I wouldn’t have known how to … but now I know new/more effective ways to…
  • an increased confidence (before I could/would say and do … but now I feel I am able to say and do …)
  • changed and challenged assumptions (before I thought that … but now I realise that was just a myth or a stereotype)

While it should not be ‘marked’, personal reflection in PSHE education lessons is essential, especially when learning about sensitive issues. Pupils need opportunities to consider how new learning will be relevant in their own lives, both now and in the future. Reflection is therefore a valid and valuable component of PSHE assessment. Sometimes pupils may reflect in writing or through discussion, but it is often more appropriate for their thoughts not to be recorded. Equally, it is important to recognise and respect that pupils may not feel comfortable sharing all of their personal reflections with peers or staff. It is perfectly acceptable, and an equally valid part of the assessment process, to pose questions for private reflection only.


Pupils are enabled to develop the vocabulary and confidence needed to clearly articulate their thoughts and feelings in a climate of openness, trust and respect, and know when and how they can seek the support of others. They will apply their understanding of society to their everyday interactions, from the classroom to the wider community of which they are a part. The delivery of a board and balanced PSHE curriculum underpins the active development of a school culture that prioritises physical and mental health and wellbeing, providing pupils with skills to evaluate and understand their own wellbeing needs, practise self-care and contribute positively to the wellbeing of those around them. We use pupil, parent and teacher voice to help us evaluate and modify our PSHE provision.

PSHE education can have a positive impact on the whole child, including their academic development and progress, by mitigating any social and emotional barriers to learning and building confidence and self-esteem.  PSHE education also helps disadvantaged and vulnerable pupils achieve to a greater extent by raising aspirations and empowering them with skills to overcome the barriers they face. This can ensure that all pupils are able to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to succeed at school and in the wider world. We use pupil, parent and teacher voice to help us evaluate and modify our PSHE provision.