Personal, Health, Social and Economic education (PHSE) is an important subject for all children as it seeks to explore issues that affect them and the wider community. It aims to give children the knowledge and understanding they need to lead independent lives. Furthermore it enables children to explore social, moral and cultural issues, which helps to develop their understanding of the world around them. At Michael Drayton, we consider PHSE to be an important aspect of the curriculum. It is taught across all year groups, both discreetly within lessons and as stand-alone lessons.
We are introducing a new programme at Michael Drayton this year called PATHS. The PATHS programme empowers all children to develop the fundamental social and emotional learning skills which will enable them to make positive choices in life. The aim is to facilitate the development of self-control, emotional awareness and interpersonal problem-solving skills.
PATHS improves: Self-Esteem, Self Control, Emotional Intelligence, Classroom Behaviour, Conflict Resolution and Academic Engagement.
It reduces: Aggressive Behaviour, Emotional Distress and Conduct Problems.
At school, we create a community which supports and includes gender variant and trans pupils and the pupils have the opportunity to discuss equality and diversity during Diversity Day and Anti-Bullying Week.
Sex and Relationships Education
At Michael Drayton we feel that by teaching relationships and sex education is vital to promoting positive, healthy relationships. Sex and relationships education will be delivered as an integral part of the curriculum using materials and language which is appropriate to the age of the children. At all times, teaching of sex education will be taught in away which is sensitive to the cultures, beliefs and attitudes of pupils, parents and society, and which promotes equality of regard and opportunity.
The ‘Spring Fever’ Programme is a relatively new initiative that we have been delivering at Michael Drayton across all year groups. The programme is based on a well established and successful Dutch programme for children aged 4 to 11 years and is tailored to the sexual development phases of children. It offers an age appropriate method of acquiring the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed. As a result, children are better prepared for any subsequent sexual contacts in later life. They also better understand relationships and sexual health.
In year 5 children will also complete a unit of work in Science on Life Cycles, which will include an explanation that living things need to reproduce if they are to survive, and recognise the stages of growth development in humans. Sex and relationships education in year 5 will be taught through Spring Fever in mixed gender groups. During the course of this unit of work, the children will learn about puberty, feelings within relationships, changes in the body and the responsibilities that come from growing older, sexual intercourse in marriage or in the context of a stable and loving relationship, preparation for the birth and the actual birth and the effects on the family of the arrival of another child. Children will be given the opportunity to write down any questions anonymously, which the teacher will discuss and respond appropriately to the age of the pupils and compliance with the Warwickshire Guidelines on Professional Conduct.
In addition to Spring Fever, children in years 3 and 4 will learn about life cycles and the reproduction of plants and animals. This will include the concept of growing from young to old and how they are growing and changing, and the responsibility of relationships. The importance of health and hygiene is also covered in years 3 and 4. Any questions arising from these units of work will be answered in a sensitive manner, appropriate to the age of the children.
The relationship aspect will be supported by the PHSE curriculum via medium term plans, discussion and role-play. All teaching, viewing of programmes and subsequent discussions will be in class groups with a teacher who is familiar with the children.
All teaching is intended to be complementary and supportive of the role of parents. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from any aspect of sex and relationships education, which is not outlined in the National Curriculum. The school may ask for a reason for non-participation, although parents are not obliged to reply. Parents will be informed about the Spring Fever programme before the programme is due to start and a Parents meeting will be held.
KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE
At Michael Drayton we want all of our children to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to keep themselves safe from harm. The ‘Taking Care’ Programme, which is delivered within school over a 4 week period, aims to improve the safety and well-being of children by teaching them to keep themselves safer in a variety of situations.