A developing curriculum

Our tiny primary school team (just one full-time and one part-time worker) put in an enormous amount of work in the 2022/23 academic year visiting 6 different schools with multiple lessons reaching 1,591 primary-aged children.

While making an impact with these sessions in the classroom, the team has been developing new lessons and resources covering all seven strands of the government’s RSHE guidance. All the new materials (many bespoke), as well as the lesson plans and teaching strategies, have been evaluated and honed using the Gibbs model of reflection, and informed by feedback from teachers and the children themselves. Inclusivity is at the heart of the work and the team has been providing sessions on racial identity and with children who have additional educational needs.

Creative primary relationships education lesson

Rachel, the project lead (who is already a qualified primary school teacher), also managed to gain a university diploma in PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education)!!

Consent is one key element of primary relationships education - taught in an age-appropriate way. The children help our Eden the eagle to be eagle-eyed and make good choices about healthy friendships. With Eden, we tell the story ‘Chicken clicking’ and the children are always shocked, and gasp loudly, at the end of the story, when they realise that the chicken is actually going to meet a fox - rather than the chicken they believed they had been chatting to online!

Eden the eagle

The children can make up their own endings to the story, so all can be well if, for example, the chicken takes a trusted adult with them.

We practise saying yes or no to different questions and why it’s important to respect someone when they tell you “no”.

The children discuss whether they need permission for a range of different activities and by the end of the session children understand that physical things like hugs and high fives are okay if the other person likes it and gives permission - but it’s not okay if they tell you they don’t like it.

When talking about peer pressure we ask the children to come up with improvisations of different scenarios that they might encounter. Some of the children are very dramatic and creative in the scenarios: we notice that some are super-confident when refusing to do whatever they are being pressured to do! But we discuss that, in real life, it can be much harder to say no, so we look at different strategies to help them.

Much like the children in secondary schools, they can be unsure if it is ok to change your mind after agreeing to do something. This is a really valuable lesson to learn that you CAN change your mind (and can do so without explanation). The teachers comment on how useful this is and that the children need more sessions like this, to prepare them for life at secondary school.

“The lesson was enjoyable and thought-provoking, the children were engaged and could relate to the scenarios used. It gave them suggestions of how they could respond to different situations and gave them some options they might not have thought of. I think we need more lessons like this to reinforce these messages.” Teacher feedback

We have received generous funding for our primary work from:

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