Personal, Social & Health Education
PSHE at The Downs is aimed to hold children at the heart of the learning within a mindfulness approach. It involves making each individual pupil, not only a citizen of our local community but a global citizen. Our PSHE Curriculum is for all pupils to have a realisation and understanding of the world and people around them. For our PSHE curriculum we use a spiral approach which allows all knowledge to be built upon year after year. In the spiral curriculum approach we are consistently revisiting and building upon the children’s previous knowledge. The aim of the PSHE curriculum is “to equip pupils with sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions” (PSHE, Department for Education).
In order to achieve these goals, the children are given experiences, knowledge and time to explore a range of scenarios that will allow them to become thoughtful, engaged and prepared for life. As a school we allow the children to gain the building blocks to give the children the skills to assess risks and life events and explore which strategies and resources they may want to use to help them overcome these situations. We aim to give the children the tools to be able to see the warning signs of a risk and how they can deal with these.
The children are given the opportunities to retrieve previously taught knowledge and skills and build upon these with new knowledge, new skills and new scenarios. This is throughout the school as we teach specific areas of PSHE within specific terms. This is further achieved through well planned and taught lessons which show purposeful learning. We are able to engage the children in a mixture of alternative structures to the lessons. We have times where they can feel connected with their peers, they have time to feel challenged with opening their minds to new scenarios and are able to reflect on the learning with a specific time to pause and think. The Jigsaw Journal each child gets is for their thoughts and feelings and they give them the opportunity in their own way to respond to different scenarios, through this the children learn that their responses are acceptable and respected. This is furthered with the approach that a teacher may look through each individuals Jigsaw Journal and tick and initial to show they have done this but they are not to mark the work in any “traditional way of marking” showing right and wrong responses. The children are able to be open with their recording of these thought with no expectations to having to just write. The pupils are able to use the best means for them, and this allows them to draw, discuss or write their responses and allowing them to take ownership of their learning. This allows all pupils to demonstrate a clear understanding, which in turn allows a teacher to assess when the pupils are ready to move on with their learning journey.