The PSHE curriculum at Hill View provides values-based, progressive content that promotes positive behaviour, mental health, wellbeing, resilience and achievement. Research shows that there is a link between a pupil’s wellbeing and positive mental health and academic achievement. Therefore, in order for our children to learn and be well, they need to have good mental health, resilience and the ability to keep themselves safe. Through our PSHE curriculum, we aim to equip children with these attributes and the skills to implement them in different contexts.
PSHE is taught both in discrete weekly sessions from Nursery to Year 6. However, we are so passionate about the vital role that PSHE plays in supporting our pupils, our school ethos and culture is intrinsically linked to key PSHE principles. We ensure that taught content is fully aligned to the PSHE Association Framework in order to provide our children with a comprehensive and externally ratified coverage. In order to tailor our PSHE content to the needs of our pupils, we combine carefully chosen resources that make up our full PSHE offer. These are outlined below:
SCARF (Coram Education)
The majority of our PSHE coverage uses SCARF as starting point to build upon. The programme aligns fully with Hill View’s ethos of promoting wellbeing and an understanding of mental health and therefore provides a strong foundation for our curriculum. The curriculum is broken down into six strands;
- Me and my relationships
- Valuing difference
- Keeping myself safe
- Rights and responsibilities
- Being my best
- Growing and changing
Children explore these strands year-on-year, building a toolkit of strategies and knowledge which they apply in scenario-based lessons, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and practise the skills in a safe and caring environment.
Safeguarding Children in Banbury (SCIB)
A key driver for us at Hill View is to tailor our curriculum to focus on what our children really need. Part of this work is to seek advice and support from experts in our local community to provide preventative education to address the needs of our Hill View family. With this in mind, Hill View have played a pivotal role in developing a context-driven curriculum with Thames Valley Police and professionals from Health that is organised into three strands:
- Substance Abuse
- Online Safety
The curriculum has been written using a Protective Behaviours model where children are taught in blocks of four lessons, three times a year. During these lessons they develop three key skills:
- Recognise Early Warning Signs
- Risk Assess
- Take Action
Each of these aspects are taught alongside key knowledge about the three strands and, again, a scenario-based lesson structure gives children the opportunity to practise the skills that they have learnt in order to increase their confidence and ability to tackle new and unfamiliar situations that they might find themselves in their lives.
Understanding Mental Health and Wellbeing
We are incredibly passionate about equipping children with the skills and knowledge to develop positive mental health, including strategies to support themselves if they are feeling low or anxious. All children start every morning and every afternoon with a Brain Smart Start – children unite as a class, de-stress, connect with one another and then commit to their learning. This enables our children to get into Executive Mode and understand that in order to learn, their brains need to be ready to do so.
We recognise that, for some children, developing positive mental health and wellbeing is incredibly challenging and that for some, additional focussed teaching needs to be put in place to close this gap. We provide a wider range of nurture programmes within school through the deployment of skilled and caring staff and work closely with the Mental Health Schools Team to provide early intervention for those who need it. Each of these interventions help our children to understand themselves, their emotions and how to be successful in the world both in and outside of school.
It is evident when walking through the school that the development of the whole child is central to the work that we do – children are well-cared for and the development of personal, social, emotional and health needs is a strength. Children at Hill View school are able to talk confidently about how to keep themselves safe both in and around school as well as online. They care for each other, accept differences and support their peers in a way that demonstrates that their core values match those of the school’s and staff.
As children progress through the school, their ability to articulate their feelings and Early Warning Signs develops. Children at Hill View are reflective and articulate when discussing their emotions. Using scenarios within their learning means that children can apply transferrable skills, preparing them to meet unknown situations with confidence. Where additional support is required to develop any area within a child’s personal, social, emotional or health needs, intervention is swift and effective.