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Personal, Social and Health Education

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health education) and

RSE (Relationships and Sex education) 



What is PSHE?

PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) education is a curriculum subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. It contributes to helping pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepared for life – and work – in modern Britain. When taught well, PSHE can also help pupils to achieve their academic potential.

RSE is part of lifelong learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, sexuality and sexual health. RSE, within PSHE, aims to give children and young people essential skills for building positive, enjoyable, respectful and non-exploitive relationships and the skills to stay safe both on and offline. It enables pupils to explore their own and other’s attitudes and values and builds their self-esteem and confidence to view their own sexuality positively. RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.


Statutory requirements

At Bishops Nympton and East Anstey Primary Schools, we teach PSHE and RSE , following the Kapow Curriculum. The DfE introduced compulsory Relationships Education for primary pupils from September 2020. Also, from September 2020 it became compulsory for all schools to teach Health Education. In our school, we want to use these subjects to support all young people to be happy, healthy and safe, as well as equipping them for adult life to make a positive contribution to society. We have committed to teach age-appropriate sex education alongside relationships education across our federation and in doing so, we have followed guidance outlined in the Education Act (1996).


What are we aiming to do?

At Bishops Nympton and East Anstey Primary Schools, we believe that PSHE helps to give pupils the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to become confident, healthy and independent and, in turn, become informed, active and responsible citizens. The work we do in PSHE follows the Kapow Curriculum for Year 1-6 with Early Years currently following a personalised plan across both schools. PSHE and RSE also flow through many other curriculum areas.

Under the new guidance issued by the DfE, Relationships Education at primary school has been compulsory since September 2020. We believe that, to be effective, RSE should always be taught within a broader PSHE education programme. RSE enhances and is enhanced by learning related to topics including anti-bullying; keeping safe on and off line; keeping physically and mentally healthy, learning about drugs, alcohol and tobacco; and the development of skills and attributes such as communication skills, managing peer pressure, risk management, resilience and decision making.

Specifically we aim to:

  • Promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of all pupils

  • Promote safety in forming and maintaining positive relationships

  • Help pupils to identify the characteristics of healthy relationships, including trust, respect, communication and consent 

  • Help pupils understand how relationships may affect mental and physical health, and how to make friendships safely online

  • Provide pupils with the tools to understand and manage their emotions

  • Encourage pupils to value themselves and others

  • Allow pupils to acknowledge and appreciate difference and diversity

  • Teach pupils how to make informed choices

  • Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy

  • Prepare pupils to be positive and active members of a democratic society

  • Teach pupils to understand what constitutes a safe and healthy lifestyle

  • Provide an environment in which sensitive discussions can take place

  • Provide pupils with the opportunities to consider issues which may affect their own lives and/or the lives of others

  • Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene

  • Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships

  • Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies

  • Prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life


Our Policy...

Our policy has been developed in consultation with staff, parents and governors. The consultation and policy development process involved the following steps:

1. Review – the PSHE lead pulled together all relevant information including relevant national and local guidance and recent updates.

2. Staff & parent consultation – school staff and parents were given the opportunity to look at our policy and comment/make recommendations.

3. Approval – the policy was shared with and reviewed by the Governing Body.

4. Sharing – the policy was shared with parents alongside opportunity to ask questions


How do we teach PSHE and RSE?

RSE is taught within the personal, social and health (PSHE) education curriculum. Some biological aspects of sex education are taught within the science curriculum. At Bishops Nympton and East Anstey, we use the Kapow PSHE and SE scheme of work for Years 1-6, which includes the themes: Family and Relationships; Health and wellbeing; Safety and the changing body; Citizenship; Economic wellbeing; with variation on content as children move through the school. In Year 6 they will also cover the them ‘Identity’.

The Early Years PSHE scheme of work has been developed by the PSHE Lead in consultation with the Early Years staff. The Early Years half-termly themes are: Friends and Family; Feelings; We’re all special; Healthy Living; Staying Safe; Our World.

We believe that these subjects are designed to foster respect for others and for difference, and to educate pupils about healthy relationships. We believe that RSE should meet the needs of all pupils, whatever their developing sexuality or identity – this should include age-appropriate teaching about different types of relationships in the context of the law.


Pupils with Special Needs

We believe that these aspects of personal and social development are as important to all pupils as their academic achievement. Therefore, as far as is appropriate, pupils with special educational needs should follow the same PSHE education programme as all other students. Careful consideration is given concerning the level of differentiation needed, and in some cases the content or delivery is adapted to suit the individual need. Teachers and/or learning support assistants work with individual pupils where required, and if appropriate.


Does everyone have to take part?

Both Bishops Nympton and East Anstey are aware that the primary role in children’s relationships and sex education lies with parents and carers. We wish to build a positive and supportive relationship with the parents of children at our schools through mutual understanding, trust and co-operation.

In promoting this objective we:

  • Make available online, via the school’s website, this PSHE and RSE Policy;

  • Answer any questions that parents may have about the RSE/PSHE education of their child;

  • Take seriously any issue that parents raise with teachers or governors about this policy or the arrangements for RSE/PSHE in the school;

  • Inform parents about the best practice known with regard to RSE, so that the teaching in school supports the key messages that parents and carers give to children at home.


We believe that, through this exchange of information, children will benefit from being given consistent messages. We have committed to retain parents’ right to withdraw their child from sex education within RSE (other than sex education in the National Curriculum as part of science). There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education as we believe the contents of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught. If a parent wishes for their child to be withdrawn from the sex education elements of RSE, they should discuss this with the headteacher, and make it clear which aspects of the programme they do not wish their child to participate in.

Parents should be aware that schools are legally required to provide a broad, balanced curriculum. Sex education topics can arise incidentally and overlap with relationships education lessons and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions. Requests for withdrawal should be put in writing and addressed to the headteacher. A copy of withdrawal requests will be placed in the pupil’s educational record. The headteacher will discuss the request with parents and take appropriate action. Alternative work will be given to pupils who are withdrawn from these lessons.

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