At West Hill School, we believe that personal, social, health and citizenship education helps children to lead confident, healthy, safe and independent lives, now and in the future. We aim to provide children with the tools they need to understand how they are developing personally and socially, helping them to become responsible members of society. We help them to tackle many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We believe it is important to focus on well-being to enable children to thrive, feel positive about themselves and embrace change. With regard to economic well-being and financial capability, we aim to teach young people to develop as questioning and informed consumers and learn the importance of managing their money and finances effectively.
During key stage 1, pupils learn about themselves as developing individuals and as members of their communities, building on their own experiences and on the early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development. They learn the basic rules and skills for keeping themselves healthy and safe and for behaving well. They have opportunities to show they can take some responsibility for themselves and their environment. They begin to learn about their own and other people’s feelings and become aware of the views, needs and rights of other children and older people. As members of a class and school community, they learn social skills such as how to share, take turns, play, help others, resolve simple arguments and resist bullying. They begin to take an active part in the life of their school and its neighbourhood.
During key stage 2, pupils learn about themselves as growing and changing individuals with their own experiences and ideas, and as members of their communities. They become more mature, independent and self-confident. They learn about the wider world and the interdependence of communities within it. They develop their sense of social justice and moral responsibility and begin to understand that their own choices and behaviour can affect local, national or global issues and political and social institutions. They learn how to take part more fully in school and community activities. As they begin to develop into young adults, they face the changes of puberty and transfer to secondary school with support and
encouragement from their school. They learn how to make more confident and informed choices about their health and environment; to take more responsibility, individually and as a group, for their own learning; and to resist bullying.
Social, Emotional Aspects of Learning, (SEAL) are taught through a spiral programme, revisiting themes whilst increasing the challenge, broadening the scope and deepening pupils’ thinking. Each year, the children undertake activities relating to: New Beginnings, Getting On and Falling Out, Going for Goals, Good to be Me, Relationships and Changes. Assemblies are held to introduce each theme and then at the end of the term to celebrate and share children’s presentations.
Other aspects of the PSHCE curriculum are taught, where possible, through cross curricular studies enabling learning to be put into context. Otherwise learning takes place in discrete lessons. Learning experiences could include such activities as circle time, role play, taking part in elections for School Council or mock elections, fund-raising for charity, listening to visitors, making cultural visits, taking part in local parades, taking part in focus days such as “Money Day” or focus weeks such as Creativity week.
Children are encouraged to help each other for instance through paired reading when older children buddy up with children from younger classes. Some children volunteer to undertake peer mediator training and then help others to resolve difficulties in the playground if they occur.
Following consultation with parents and Governors, sex education is taught in the context of family life and general health education. The programme covers the physical and emotional changes that occur at puberty, animal and human reproduction and the birth and care of a baby. Parents are invited to view and discuss the teaching materials beforehand. They have the right to withdraw their child from sex education lessons, but we hope that they will allow their children to take part with the rest of the class.