PSHE & RSE
Sir Alasdair MacDonald
Today’s children and young people are growing up in a rapidly changing world; full of opportunities but with few guarantees. At St Peter’s, we believe that PSHE education prepares pupils for life and work in this changing world, helping to keep them safe, healthy and boosting their life chances.
The children’s learning in PSHE will enable them to protect themselves and others both online and offline, improve their physical and emotional health and develop character, resilience and academic attainment and employment prospects.
Our programme of study at St Peter’s provides a spiral curriculum to develop knowledge, skills and attributes where prior learning is revisited, reinforced and extended year on year. It has the following three core themes:
- Relationships – focus on families, friends, safe relationships and respect for ourselves and others
- Living in the Wider World – focus on what belonging to a community means, developing media literacy and digital resilience and developing an understanding of money and work. For example the role that money plays in people’s lives and understanding the role that ambition can play in achieving a future career
- Health and Wellbeing – focus on growing and changing, puberty, relationships and reproduction, physical health and mental wellbeing and keeping safe.
There will be overlap, for example Relationship and Sex Education falls in Relationships and Health and Wellbeing. Similarly, whilst they are specifically addressed where appropriate assessing and managing risk and managing life on line are integrated through all three core themes.
The importance of Baseline Assessments in PSHE
PSHE education covers issues and areas of life which children and young people will be affected by in different ways and at different times. As such we cannot make any assumptions based on pupils’ age or year group about their existing knowledge, understanding, attributes, skills, strategies, beliefs and attitudes. So to assess learning and progress effectively, it is important to carry out a baseline assessment before teaching anything new. As pupils’ learning in topics such as healthy eating, online safety, relationships and so on will come from a number of sources, we can only see whether they have made progress in their learning if we have established the knowledge, understanding, attributes, skills, strategies, beliefs and attitudes they had before any new teaching took place.
The learning we wish to assess will relate to the pupils’ attributes and skills, as well as their knowledge and understanding related to the topic. Pupils’ existing knowledge and understanding is often the easiest learning to assess but whilst gauging pupils’ existing skills, strategies, attitudes, beliefs and attributes can never be an exact science; there are activities that provide an insight into their starting point.
At the end of the lesson or series of lessons, pupils should have opportunities to demonstrate the progress they have made from their starting point assessed in the baseline activity. Possibly the simplest and most effective way of demonstrating progress is to either repeat, or better still, revisit the original baseline activity. Some baseline assessment activities (such as mind-maps, ‘draw and write’, ‘explain to an alien’), lend themselves very well to a simple revisit where each pupil uses a different colour to add to their baseline activity and make any changes they now want to make, allowing the pupil and teacher to clearly see how far they have come in their learning. In other cases, pupils might repeat the activity or carry out a completely different activity.