PSHE - Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education 

What is PSHE Education?

PSHE Education (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) is a planned programme of learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to successfully manage their lives – now and in the future. As part of a whole-school approach, PSHE Education develops the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society.

What do schools have to teach in PSHE Education?

According to the National Curriculum, every school needs to have a broad and balanced curriculum that:
• promotes the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school;
• prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life;
• promotes British values.

Statutory Requirements 

From September 2020, primary schools in England also need to teach Relationships and Health Education as compulsory subjects.

Schools also have statutory responsibilities to safeguard their pupils (Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE, 2019) and to uphold the Equality Act (2010).

All schools must provide a curriculum that is broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of all pupils. Under section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010, a PSHE curriculum:

  • Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • Prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. 

An amendment to the Children and Social Work Act 2017 made the teaching of Relationships and Health Education at primary statutory . The DfE guidance on Relationships and Health Sex Education can be seen here.  This became active from September 2020.

Curriculum Overview

The St. Michael's PSHE curriculum incorporates the best lessons and knowledge from two nationally recognised PSHE schemes of work: Kapow and Jigsaw. Lessons and knowledge have been selected specifically to enhance the safeguarding of pupil while supporting their mental and physical health.

What is Kapow and how does it work?

This Kapow PSHE policy is also informed by DfE guidance on Relationships and Health Educationpreventing and tackling bullying, drug and alcohol educationsafeguarding and equality. 

Aims of the Kapow PSHE curriculum: 

  • To provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals and within the community.
  • Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of their school and communities. In doing so they learn to recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
  • They learn to understand and respect our common humanity; diversity and differences so that they can go on to form the effective, fulfilling relationships that are an essential part of life and learning.


What is Jigsaw and how does it work?

Jigsaw is a whole-school approach and embodies a positive philosophy and creative teaching and learning activities to nurture children’s development as compassionate and well-rounded human beings as well as building their capacity to learn.

Jigsaw is a comprehensive and completely original PSHE Education programme (lesson plans and teaching resources) for the whole primary school from ages 3-11. Written by teachers and grounded in sound psychology, it also includes all the statutory requirements for Relationships and Health Education.

Jigsaw has two main aims for all children:
• To build their capacity for learning
• To equip them for life

Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, compulsory Relationships and Health Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. 


The Equality Act 2010 covers the way the curriculum is delivered, as schools and other education providers must ensure that issues are taught in a way that does not subject pupils to discrimination. Schools have a duty under the Equality Act to ensure that teaching is accessible to all children and young people regardless of age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexuality (protected characteristics). Inclusive RHE will foster good relations between pupils, tackle all types of prejudice and promote understanding and respect. 

Schools have a legal duty to promote equality and to combat bullying. 

Relationships and Health Education (RHE

From September 2020, Relationships Education is compulsory for all primary schools as set out in the DfE Guidance (2019). For all maintained schools there is also a statutory duty to provide Health Education. This includes primary aged children learning about the ‘changing adolescent body’.  

RHE plays a very important part in fulfilling the statutory duties all schools have to meet.

RHE helps children understand the difference between safe and abusive relationships and equips them with the skills to get help if they need it. It also teaches them about the importance of a healthy lifestyle and positive mental health, about online and off-line safety. 

RHE Curriculum Content

Year 1: Explore how families are different to each other; understand that families look after us; know words to describe how people are related (aunt/ uncle/ cousin); know that some information about their families are personal; explore friendly behaviours and how problems can be overcome; understand characteristics of positive relationships; know how other people share their feelings; know how we can care for others when they are sad; stereotyping; know what to do if they get lost; identify hazards that might be found at home; understand the roles of people in the community for keeping us safe; know what is and isn’t safe to put in our bodies; know that some types of physical contact are never appropriate. 

Year 2: Understand the concept of privacy; know how to be safe online; how to behave safely near roads and when crossing the road; know the PANTS rule; know that you tell an adult if you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable online; understand the difference between secrets and surprises; understand what people can do to feel better if they feel unwell; how to use medicines safely; respecting my body and understand which parts are private.

Year 3: Understand what cyberbullying is, explore ways of responding to cyberbullying or unkind behaviour online; develop skills to be a responsible online citizen; identify things people might do near roads that are unsafe; begin to recognise unsafe online content; know the signs that an email is fake; know that people and things can influence me and that they need to make the right decision for themselves. 

Year 4: Discuss how to seek help from online abuse/bullying; know what to do if an adult makes me feel uncomfortable; know the benefits and risks of sharing information online; know the difference between public and private; know the benefits of being an non-smoker; know the risks associated with smoking and tobacco; discuss some physical and emotional changes during puberty. 

Year 5: Understand how to ensure relationships are safe online; know the steps to take before sending a message online; know some of the possible risks of online; learn to make ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments to help with decision making; know some strategies to overcome pressure from others and make my own decisions; learn about emotional changes in puberty; identify reliable sources of help with puberty; understand the process of the menstrual cycle; know that puberty happens at different ages for different people. 

Year 6: Develop an understanding about the reliability of online information; explore online relationships, including deals with problems; know where to get help with online problems; discuss why adults may or may not drink alcohol; know the associated risks with alcohol; discuss problems that may occur during puberty and where to get help. 


Girl’s understanding of sanitary products and disposal in school

As part of lessons on puberty, girls will be made aware of the procedures in place for accessing and the safe disposal of sanitary products. The school is aware that period poverty can be an issue for some pupils, and will to the best of its ability ensure that girls have access to appropriate sanitary products during school time.


Teachers need to be aware that sometimes disclosures may be made during PSHE lessons; in which case, safeguarding procedures must be followed immediately. Sometimes it is clear that certain children may need time to talk one-to-one after the lesson closes. It is important to allow the time and appropriate staffing for this to happen. If disclosures occur, the school’s safeguarding policy is followed.

Key Documents

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