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Much Birch Church of England Primary School

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PSHE including RSE

At Much Birch Primary School, we believe in the importance of education for the development of the whole child. Personal, social and health education (PSHE) is concerned with the emotional health, well- being and welfare of the pupils in our School. PSHE enables pupils to become effective learners and supports them as they move from childhood through adolescence to become independent young people and effective citizens.


We aim to provide a healthy, caring community in which children can learn to respect themselves and others, and also to take responsibility for their own actions. Positive approaches to personal, social, health and economic issues, are promoted throughout the curriculum and general life of the school.   Children are encouraged to learn and acquire new skills that will enable them to show respect and concern for themselves, others and the environment. They will also be encouraged to see themselves as valued members of both the school community and society at large. They should feel that they have an active party to play in these communities and should be aware of the associated rights and responsibilities that go with that.


What is Personal, Social and Health Education? (PSHE)


PSHE encompasses all areas designed to promote children’s personal, social and health development. It gives children the knowledge, skills and understanding that they need to stay healthy and safe, develop worthwhile relationships, respect differences, develop independence and responsibility, and make the most of their own abilities and those of others. Additionally, children will come to appreciate difference and diversity.


PSHE is very closely linked to Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development (SMSC). Explicit opportunities to promote pupils’ development in these areas are provided in framework for personal, social and health education (PSHE) and citizenship.


PSHE helps pupils to:


  • acquire knowledge and understanding of themselves, of others and of the world they live in;
  • develop skills for living;
  • understand and manage their emotions;
  • become morally and socially responsible;
  • take on a range of roles and relationships;
  • value themselves and respect others;
  • contribute to their community;
  • appreciate difference and diversity;
  • safeguard the environment;
  • act in the wider world in a way that makes the most of their own and others’ human potential.


For full details see RSE policy

Teaching and Learning of PSHE and SMSC at Much Birch Primary School.

British Values

- Children are taught about their rights, responsibilities, duties and freedoms about laws, justice and democracy.

- These lessons are explored through cross-curricular activities in class as well as through whole school activities

- Opportunities to practise British values are given regularly through voting on general everyday activities such as ‘Which story to read?’ to ‘role-play choices’ as well as ‘pupil-council elections’ and ‘consultations on school policies’.

Decision Making

- Problem solving activities in cross-curricular activities

- Use of structured PSHE scheme 3Dimensions

Embedded use of SEAL resources

- Circle times

- Planned lessons

- Assemblies

- Clubs

- Pastoral support activities


- Regular classroom activities

- Designated week each year


- Regular age appropriate lessons

- As part of National campaigns

- Working with Parents as Partners


- Visitors presenting age appropriate workshops


- Visit to Crucial Crew

- Relationships and Sex Education

- STAR programme with Police

- Transition to High School day and visits from High School Teachers

Peer mentors (peers supporting children before involving adults)

- PALS (Playground Activity Leaders in Schools)

- Digital Leaders


- looking at healthy eating and hygiene as part of science lessons

- healthy snack policy developed by pupils

- visitors to school- school nurse, dentist, health visitors, eye/ear tests, fitness coaches,

- Community links- Police Community Support Officers, Fire and Rescue, Paramedics visits

- Charity events- fundraising for local, national and international charities

- Links to Church and Church community



Christian Values (Friendship, Hope, Perseverance, Humility)

- Through R.E. lessons

- Assemblies

- Class lessons

- Circle times

- Reflection times

Celebration Services

- We promote and celebrate achievements of school values through assemblies with certificates, awards from Teachers, Head Teacher’s award, peer awards such as PALS

Engage Parents as Partners

- Workshops

- Presentations

- Coffee mornings

- Parent meetings

- Social media

Pastoral support

- Circle times

- Small group work

- One to one work

- worry boxes, bubble time, emoji faces feelings chart

Prayers and End of Day Reflection Times

At the end of the day children say class prayer and reflect upon what has made them happy today and talk about it. They also discuss what has made them sad today and as a class we talk about how we can ensure this does not happen again.


Teaching and Learning engages all learners through a range of approaches and methods such as role-play, drama, diary entries, written work, imovies, posters, working in keystage groups, whole school themed days, visitors to school and visits out of school.


Growth Mindset

What is growth mindset?

Growth mindset is a theory centred around the belief that intelligence and learning can be developed and improved. If someone has a growth mindset, they have a positive attitude towards learning and their ability to progress and achieve.

Pupils who possess a growth mindset are said to rise to challenges and learn from the mistakes they make, rather than feeling distressed and defeated if they are unable to do or understand something.







Developing A Growth Mindset

This is a story of two seeds - both planted on the same day, in the same soil, in the same garden bed. One has a growth mindset-with a curious desire to grow...

Parents use these statements to develop a growth mindset

Mental Health

We all have times in our lives when events, people and transitions upset us. Ensuring children have the strategies and tools to express their feelings and make sense of what is happening to them is more important than ever. Paying attention to our mental health is so important. Keep talking, keep listening and use the support that is there.

Emotional Literacy

“Emotional literacy is made up of 'the ability to understand your emotions, the ability to listen to others and empathise with their emotions, and the ability to express emotions productively. To be emotionally literate is to be able to handle emotions in a way that improves your personal power and improves the quality of life around you.”  Claude Steiner (1997)

Social-Emotional Learning: What Is SEL and Why SEL Matters

Key aims of Emotional literacy

  • To help students to become aware of their emotions and how their emotions underpin their behaviour and their choices.
  • To help students to become aware of the effect of their behaviour on their environment, their relationships and their learning.
  • To help students learn life skills for success.

Top tips for helping your child develop emotional literacy

  • Accept your child’s emotions and their emotional responses. Don’t immediately judge, criticise or negate how your child is feeling.  Name the emotion for them and say things like: ‘Oh, that sounds really frustrating,’ or, ‘How lovely, I can tell how excited you are.’
  • Label their emotions with them. Doing so helps children feel understood. For example, say, ‘You sound upset,’ or, ‘You look worried.’

Watch ‘How is she feeling?’ video from Film ‘Inside Out’ to discuss/label feelings

  • Encourage your child to talk about their feelings. Create an environment where it’s safe to talk openly about feelings and emotions free from judgement, criticism or finger-pointing. Say things like: ‘You sound really fed up. Shall we have a chat?’ and, ‘How did that make you feel?’
  • Help them to recognise the signs about how others may be feeling. In stories, books or TV programmes, ask open-ended questions to help your child step into the shoes of a character or person. Say, ‘How do you think that made him feel?’ or, ‘How would you feel if that happened to you?’
  • Teach them how to calm down and press their imaginary ‘pause button’. Encourage them to take three deep breaths and say a simple mantra of, ‘I can feel calm inside.’ After that, encourage them to go and do something they find calming and relaxing.
  • Teach children alternative ways of expressing their frustrations. Ask your child an open-ended, empowering question to help them feel that they have choices. For example, say, ‘How could you explain how you feel using your words rather than hitting?’ or ‘Can you think of a different way to let him know how angry you are?’ 
  • Recognise what motivates them to perform at their best. Encourage your child rather than praise them: focus on celebrating the behaviour and effort, not just the result. Say things like, ‘I’ve noticed that when things get difficult you just keep trying – that’s fantastic’.
  • Model how to remain calm and in control when you are tired, angry or fed up. Say, ‘I’ve had a tough day at work – can we talk about this later when I’ve had a chance to relax?’

Have an anxious/ depressed child?

Look at ‘Inside Out’ video clip - Importance in talking about feelings/ expressing feelings

How we develop Emotional Literacy at Much Birch



Emotional literacy is embedded across cross-curricular teaching through open ended questions. Children are often asked to consider the feelings and perspectives of historical figures, effects of their actions and use strategies such as hot seating and drama to explore different perspectives. Role-play and stories are also used to discuss characters feelings and encourage empathy.

As a Church School we focus on Christian values and each value is focused upon in class and as a whole school through RE as well as cross-circularly. For example, friendship. In RE we relate events to ‘What would Jesus do?’ and in class we reflect upon our actions- ‘What makes a good friend?’

Forest School

As a forest school Much Birch pupils have weekly, structured forest school lessons planned by trained Forest School leaders and get the chance to connect with nature.

Research says

In children, Wells (2000) has shown that playing in natural settings can improve concentration and act as a buffer to stress (Wells and Evans 2003). Faber Taylor and Kuo (2008) have shown a reduction in the symptom severity of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in young people who engage in activities in green, open space. Nature is also known to raise mood in children (Faber Taylor and Kuo 2008) and improve self-discipline (Faber Taylor et al 2002).”

Support Materials

Much Birch School has a well-resources library of books, games, puppets and other engaging materials to support the teaching and learning of PSHE.

Recommended Reads