At Fosse Way, we recognise that effective teaching of PSHE is key to enabling our students to flourish in positive relationships and stay safe as individuals living in the wider community. Our curriculum aims encompass our school values of showing kindness to ourselves and others, being proud of ourselves and our community, and showing resilience. Taking into account the prevalence of anxiety in young people with autism and those with learning disabilities, we take very seriously developing an awareness of, and strategies for, good mental health and self-esteem.
Our PSHE curriculum seeks to:
- promote the physical, social and emotional well-being of each pupil
- protect pupils from harm and enable them to develop the skills to keep themselves safe and healthy
- enable pupils to make the most of opportunities in life, to enjoy and to achieve
- prepare pupils to make a positive contribution as responsible members of the community and society
- provide experiences, information and guidance in preparation for further education, training, careers and life after school
The PSHE curriculum is in line with all recent DfE guidance, allowing particular emphasis on those areas relevant to students with SEN. The teaching overviews have been crafted in consultation with students, teachers, parents and governors and these are shared on the school website, along with our Relationships and Sex Education policy. Each class has at least one hour of timetabled PSHE per week, although learning in this area is embedded across the school week through daily, structured opportunities in other areas or in other lessons, such as: communication skills and social interaction; emotional regulation; personal hygiene routines; integrated speech and language therapy input; trips out into the local community; movement breaks and PE; individual EHCP target work; food technology lessons; IT and eSafety; Science lessons; Forest School. Students also benefit from visitors from the local community in school (or visits out to different settings) as part of their PSHE learning, which enhances their understanding of future careers.
We have teaching staff qualified to teach the SoSafe programme, a visual teaching tool which enables learners to develop their abilities in managing and communicating about their relationships and social safety.
Depending on the age and learning pathway of the students, teachers have the flexibility to tailor the curriculum according to their student’s needs, in preparation for adulthood. For example, some students may need more time to develop their independent living skills, personal safety and safe relationships knowledge as their aim might be to live independently and find employment in the community. Other students may need greater input with their sensory and emotional regulation, having a positive impact on daily life for the student and their family members. The overviews make clear for staff which content is statutory and must be covered, enabling flexibility, should there be an immediate need to address particular content with their students (perhaps triggered by personal circumstances or world events).
The curriculum is reviewed on a yearly basis, to ensure we are catering for the learning needs of our current students, but PSHE training sessions are also offered throughout the year which give opportunities for staff development, collaboration and reflection. The PSHE overviews hyperlink to schemes of work for that term which, in turn, link to a variety of resources for teaching. We subscribe to the SCARF PSHE programme which is regularly updated with teaching tools and resources to ensure our delivery stays up-to-date.
As pupils progress through the school, each PSHE unit/topic builds on prior learning, being arranged into the three core areas of: Relationships, Health and Wellbeing and Living in the Wider World. Students are given lots of opportunity to revisit and consolidate material so that they can practise and apply skills to different contexts. Delivery and recording of the programme for PSHE is the responsibility of the class teacher. The teacher will provide appropriate learning opportunities and assess the progress of individual pupils through observation, review of work, video or photographic evidence.
School council is a forum in which students can review the PSHE lesson content and delivery. Some classrooms have the ‘Ask it Basket’ where students can post questions anonymously and this informs subsequent teaching. Teacher assessment recorded in Show Progress can keep a record of any skills or concepts not yet mastered. Behaviour logs and incident recording are also used as tools to monitor the mental health and wellbeing of our students and to introduce interventions. Targets set and evidence gathered against PSHE on Show Progress are reviewed twice annually by the PSHE co-ordinators to gain an overview of areas which need more support or to address any barriers to learning.
The PSHE curriculum aims offer opportunities for students to visit people who help us in the community, or to receive visits from healthcare and community services professionals in school. This will inform students about a range of possible careers or work placements for the future. Students will be able to ask questions to professionals currently working in the locality, making any career guidance the most up to date and relevant. The skills of resilience, knowing their own strengths and difficulties, and strategies for good mental and physical health – which run throughout our schemes of work – will equip our students to meet the challenges of living and working in the wider world as they progress into adulthood.