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Intent – The vision

Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)

At Holy Trinity Pewley Down, our ethos which centres on “living life in all its fullness” and our school values, based on respect and empathy, underpin all that we do. We are committed to the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of all children and have a determined approach to safeguarding; high quality provision for Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) is crucial to both of these. Through RSE, children will learn to “imagine the journey in another’s footsteps”, they will be equipped to “embrace the future with hope and confidence” and they will reflect on how we are all “treasured and loved as unique children of God”. Living out these values, we aim to ensure that children will grow up having a secure understanding of who they are, developing understanding and empathy that enables them to build strong and respectful relationships with others.

The biblical passage 1 Corinthians 13, provides us with an inspiring foundation for the teaching of RSE: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE)

We seek to foster a caring family environment across the school and more widely. Our PSHE policy is underpinned by the principal of four-way respect that permeates every aspect of life at HTPD – adult to child, child to adult, child to child and adult to adult. The aim of our PSHE curriculum is for the children who leave HTPD to be well-balanced, thoughtful, considerate, confident and proactive members of their communities. As well as discrete lessons, PSHE is embedded within our assemblies, weekly thoughtful times and collective worship as well as across our creative curriculum, and forms an integral part of the ethos of our school. It is the part of our curriculum where children truly “learn to live”.

Implementation – How we achieve our goal

PSHE and RSE form the foundations of everything we do at HTPD. These subjects are taught in several ways:

  • Discrete lessons which allow for in-depth, focussed discussion and learning.   
  • Embedded as part of our wide and creative curriculum. 
  • They form part of our assemblies, our class thoughtful times and collective worship.
  • Where appropriate, the RSE curriculum is taught within the science curriculum.  
  • Teachers also provide spontaneous lessons in response to changing events in school and around the world. 

Our children are taught that their ability to understand the world, themselves and their friends is crucial to their well-being and that the adults around them at school are available to help them to understand the world around them, in lessons but also at any other times. This approach is summed up by our school motto ‘Learn to Live’.

What do we teach?

RSE across HTPD

Every year group teaches a series of at least eight lessons under the following headings. These lessons progress from Year R through to Year 6.

  1. How to make friends - How do people care for and respect each other?
  2. Celebrating me - Psalm 139 'you knit me together in my mother’s womb.'
  3. Understanding and respecting change in ourselves and others
  4. Standing up for ourselves and keeping safe in the real world and online
  5. Knowing who to talk to if I have a problem - How to look after our physical and mental health
  6. Celebrating and respecting our differences - Celebrating marriage and stable committed relationships as a foundation for family life.
  7. What makes a good relationship? - 1 Corinthians 13 'Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.'
  8. Appreciating the important people in my life

Examples of the lessons are as follows:

In Year R, the ‘How to make friends’ lesson looks at how children make friends and what it means to be a good friend to one another. In Year 6 the children look at the significant people in their lives and what role they play. 

Under the heading ‘Celebrating me’, the Year 1 children discuss what they consider to be their best qualities and why someone would want to be friends with them.  In Year 5, the children learn about body image and at ways to build self-esteem. They share Psalm 139 and consider its value in understanding themselves.

What makes a good relationship’ in Year 2 involves learning about the relationship with different family members, why it is important to cooperate, be kind and forgive each other. In Year 4 the children focus on the importance to some people of having a ‘special pet’? Why are animals special? What does it feel like when an animal dies and how can we find comfort?

We endeavour to make sure that all areas of learning are taught within the context of family life taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances. We respect the fact that families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents and foster parents/carers amongst other structures. Our school value ‘Imagining the journey in another’s footsteps; nurturing understanding, respecting all sums up perfectly why respecting difference matters so much to us as a school community.

Online Safety

We recognise that many children in primary school already have active online lives. Because of this, we know that RSE and PSHE lessons will help to equip the children with the knowledge and skills they will need to navigate the online world safely and understand what is and is not appropriate behaviour. By Year 5, our RSE curriculum links closely with our computing curriculum to ensure that pupils also gain the knowledge they need to recognise and report any kind of online abuse and are taught how to keep themselves safe. For further information on online safety, please see our Computing curriculum pages and our Online Safety policy.

PSHE across the school

In each year group we cover a series of lessons under the following headings:

  1. School       
  2. The UK and the Wider World      
  3. Healthy Lifestyles 
  4. Hopes and Dreams

As always, these lessons are age appropriate and are adapted to suit the needs and requirements of particular classes and/or children in each year.

Examples of the lessons are as follows:

In EYFS, the lessons under the heading ‘School’ involve learning about interacting with classmates, taking turns and sharing. The children develop their own class rules. They also learn about all the adults in school from the cleaners and the cooks to the office staff and the teachers.

In Year 1, the lessons under the heading ‘The UK and the Wider World’ involve learning about the local community and the emergency services. The children also begin to learn about our democracy by looking at buildings such as the Houses of Parliament.

In Year 3, the ‘Healthy Lifestyles’ lessons involve learning about physical and mental health and how exercise can keep you fit and make you feel good.

In Year 6, the ‘Hopes and Dreams’ lessons involve thinking about the responsibilities that come with being the ‘top of the school’. The children learn to identify their own strengths and to understand their own challenges. There is also a strong focus on making the huge, exciting and also daunting step from primary school to secondary.

Impact – how do we know our vision has come to fruition?

The impact of this aspect of our curriculum is that our children will be able to respect themselves and others. They will:

  • have the confidence to talk about relationships
  • have the skills to make and maintain healthy and respectful friendships and family relationships 
  • recognise unhealthy or unsafe relationships, including friendships (and online), within the family and with known or unknown adults
  • understand and respect different types of families, including families with one parent, with same sex parents, families that foster and adopt children and others
  • recognise bullying and discriminatory language based on race, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation and develop the confidence to prevent it and report it
  • challenge stereotypes and inequality and promote equality and respect in relationships
  • know how to be safe online and behave respectfully and appropriately 

Our school values provide a clear and strong guide for our children to follow:

Zest for learning and a love of life

Embracing the future with hope and confidence

Seeing heaven in the moment

Imagining the journey in another's footsteps; nurturing understanding,

Everyone knowing that they are treasured and loved as a unique child of God

Our values are referred to on a daily basis in class and throughout the school and provide a reminder of what how we want the children to live their lives.

Our children have many opportunities beyond the confines of the classroom to grow and learn. For example, we offer:

  • Extra-curricular clubs
  • School council
  • Eco team
  • House captains
  • Young carers
  • EDI group
  • Sports leaders 
  • Buddy system

These groups and roles enable the children to feel valued, to be heard and to grow as individuals amongst a network of caring adults and children.  

As is set out in the Department for Education statutory guidance “the focus in primary school should be on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults”.

These links are also useful:

Relationships education: