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Est. 1921



What is the curriculum aim / vision for this subject?

At Calderstones, we wholeheartedly believe that education should equip students with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to flourish in life. We want our students to be active participants in society, to reflect on their own opinions and experiences, and to understand how to keep themselves safe, healthy and happy. PSHE is at the heart of the curriculum at Calderstones, and it is valued by both students and staff alike.

What do we expect students to get from this subject?

  • Students should be able to reflect and react to the rapidly changing world in which they are living and learning.
  • They should be aware of global issues, understand nuances in opinion and reject extremist or discriminatory views. They should appreciate the diversity of the country in which they live and its fundamental British Values.
  • They should understand the importance of consent in all relationships, how to enjoy supportive and mutually beneficial friendships and relationships, and how context may effect this.
  • They should understand how to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy and should be able to identify and manage risks to their safety.


How does learning develop over the five years?

Students take part in thematic learning which increases in complexity in each academic year. Prior knowledge is built upon gradually throughout the five years of PSHE. The thematic learning encompasses the following:

  • mental and physical health
  • tobacco, alcohol and illegal drug use
  • the different types of relationships and consent
  • what makes a relationship healthy and unhealthy
  • the importance of empathy in relationships
  • the responsible use of technology
  • the right to bodily autonomy and to make decisions
  • identifying and avoiding stereotypes, including racist, homophobic and sexist language
  • British values and rejecting extremism

What principles have guided our decision making in developing this curriculum? What is distinctive about our curriculum?

The curriculum is based around the Department for Education’s recently updated statutory guidance on PSHE, including the addition of compulsory relationships and sex education (RSE) All lessons in the curriculum are based upon the needs of our students, as indicated through pastoral staff, issues in the local community, and emerging national and global events. All lessons are bespoke and are updated frequently to remain as relevant and impactful as possible.

How is the timetabled curriculum supplemented or enriched by other approaches to learning?

  • Guest speakers and enrichment opportunities are embedded within the curriculum in relation to the themes covered. For example, external CPR training given to all students to supplement our lessons on physical health.
  • Assemblies are delivered by subject teachers, who we consider to be our in-house experts within their fields. For example, business studies and economics teachers deliver an assembly on Black Friday and financial awareness.
  • Events are frequently hosted within school which give students an opportunity to contribute to wider society. For example, students worked with the Royal British Legion and a local care home by inviting them to a Christmas charity event, promoting positive links between our school and the local community
  • Students are engaged with local and global issues and respond well to subsequent fundraising and charity events, such as our collection for newly arrived Afghan refugees in Liverpool.

In what ways does our curriculum help to develop…?

  • Cultural diversity and identity: Students encounter a range of viewpoints and situations that are different from their own in every lesson. They develop an appreciation of the diversity of our student community and Britain as a whole. They learn the importance of tolerance and mutual respect when interacting with people from different nationalities, cultures, languages, religions and identities.
  • Physically and mentally healthy lifestyles:All students start the academic year with a range of age-appropriate lessons identifying the essential components of physical and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Community participation: We frequently make links to local, national or global issues covered in PSHE in our charity fundraising and events.
  • Careers and enterprise: In PSHE, students develop “soft skills” such as teamwork, communication and negotiation. These are essential to be able to flourish in any profession or career. Students also cover life skills such as CV writing and job interview techniques to prepare them for their next steps.
  • Technology and the media: Learning in PSHE is supplemented by a range of media, such as news reports, video clips, songs and websites. Students are directed towards online resources which can further their understanding, provide them with useful information and help them to access support, such as Kooth.

Creativity and critical thinking: Critical thinking is essential for PSHE. Students are taught how to critically evaluate the relevance and trustworthiness of news sources. They are presented with examples of incorrect or inadequately explained viewpoints and then discuss how best to respond to this. Resources make links between past events and current affairs in order to better understand the impact and ramifications of recent history on the present day. Pupils are encourage to formulate their own opinions and share these in a discussion, either in small groups or as a class.


What forms do assessments take? What is the purpose of assessment?

Most of the work in PSHE is self-assessed by students, following discussion and guidance from the teacher. Incorrect or misleading answers are discussed and addressed in class, often through examples. This allows students to have an appreciation of their own knowledge and address any gaps or misconceptions in a timely manner embedded throughout the lesson.

How do we know if we have a successful curriculum?

  • Pupil voice. Our Student Council frequently feeds back on what is working well in PSHE and the potential areas for improvement.
  • Staff voice. Staff are surveyed to ensure that they feel confident and supported in their teaching of PSHE. They have the opportunity to suggest improvements, beneficial changes or additions.
  • Learning walks. Heads of PSHE, along with associated members of SLT, drop into lessons to ensure they have a realistic picture of the delivery of PSHE and the experience of students. This feedback is vital to developing resources that engage and inspire all learners.
  • Life-long impact. The vital life skills developed during PSHE will continue have a positive impact on our students many years after they leave education.


In accordance with government guidance, our scheme of work will have covered the following by the time students leave secondary school:

4.2.1 Families

Pupils should know:

  • that there are different types of committed, stable relationships
  • how these relationships might contribute to human happiness and their importance for bringing up children
  • what marriage is, including their legal status e.g. that marriage carries legal rights and protections not available to couples who are cohabiting or who have married, for example, in an unregistered religious ceremony
  • why marriage is an important relationship choice for many couples and why it must be freely entered into
  • the characteristics and legal status of other types of long-term relationships
  • the roles and responsibilities of parents with respect to raising of children, including the characteristics of successful parenting
  • how to: determine whether other children, adults or sources of information are trustworthy: judge when a family, friend, intimate or other relationship is unsafe (and to recognise this in others’ relationships); and,
  • how to seek help or advice, including reporting concerns about others, if needed.

4.2.2 Respectful relationships, including friendships

Pupils should know:

  • the characteristics of positive and healthy friendships (in all contexts, including online) including: trust, respect, honesty, kindness, generosity, boundaries, privacy, consent and the management of conflict, reconciliation and ending relationships. This includes different (non-sexual) types of relationship
  • practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships
  • how stereotypes, in particular stereotypes based on sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, can cause damage (e.g. how they might normalise non-consensual behaviour or encourage prejudice)
  • that in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including people in positions of authority and due tolerance of other people’s beliefs
  • about different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders to report bullying and how and where to get help
  • that some types of behaviour within relationships are criminal, including violent behaviour and coercive control
  • what constitutes sexual harassment and sexual violence and why these are always unacceptable
  • the legal rights and responsibilities regarding equality (particularly with reference to the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010) and that everyone is unique and equal.

4.2.3 Online and media

Pupils should know:

  • their rights, responsibilities and opportunities online, including that the same expectations of behaviour apply in all contexts, including online
  • about online risks, including that any material someone provides to another has the potential to be shared online and the difficulty of removing potentially compromising material placed online
  • not to provide material to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material which is sent to them
  • what to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online
  • the impact of viewing harmful content
  • that specifically sexually explicit material e.g. pornography presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours, can damage the way people see themselves in relation to others and negatively affect how they behave towards sexual partners
  • that sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties including jail
  • how information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online.

4.2.4 Being Safe

Pupils should know:

  • the concepts of, and laws relating to, sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, rape, domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based violence and FGM, and how these can affect current and future relationships
  • how people can actively communicate and recognise consent from others, including sexual consent, and how and when consent can be withdrawn (in all contexts, including online).

4.2.5 Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health

Pupils should know:

  • how to recognise the characteristics and positive aspects of healthy one-to-one intimate relationships, which include mutual respect, consent, loyalty, trust, shared interests and outlook, sex and friendship
  • that all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, e.g. physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing
  • the facts about reproductive health, including fertility, and the potential impact of lifestyle on fertility for men and women and menopause
  • that there are a range of strategies for identifying and managing sexual pressure, including understanding peer pressure, resisting pressure and not pressurising others
  • that they have a choice to delay sex or to enjoy intimacy without sex
  • the facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy and options available
  • the facts around pregnancy including miscarriage
  • that there are choices in relation to pregnancy (with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help)
  • how the different sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDs, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex (including through condom use) and the importance of and facts about testing
  • about the prevalence of some STIs, the impact they can have on those who contract them and key facts about treatment
  • how the use of alcohol and drugs can lead to risky sexual behaviour
  • how to get further advice, including how and where to access confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment.

4.2.6 Mental wellbeing

Pupils should know:

  • how to talk about their emotions accurately and sensitively, using appropriate vocabulary
  • that happiness is linked to being connected to others
  • how to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing concerns
  • common types of mental ill health (e.g. anxiety and depression)
  • how to critically evaluate when something they do or are involved in has a positive or negative effect on their own or others’ mental health
  • the benefits and importance of physical exercise, time outdoors, community participation and voluntary and service-based activities on mental wellbeing and happiness.

4.2.7 Internet safety and harms

Pupils should know:

  • the similarities and differences between the online world and the physical world, including: the impact of unhealthy or obsessive comparison with others online (including through setting unrealistic expectations for body image), how people may curate a specific image of their life online, over-reliance on online relationships including social media, the risks related to online gambling including the accumulation of debt, how advertising and information is targeted at them and how to be a discerning consumer of information online
  • how to identify harmful behaviours online (including bullying, abuse or harassment) and how to report, or find support, if they have been affected by those behaviours.

4.2.8 Physical health and fitness

Pupils should know:

  • the positive associations between physical activity and promotion of mental wellbeing, including as an approach to combat stress
  • the characteristics and evidence of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, including the links between an inactive lifestyle and ill health, including cancer and cardiovascular ill-health
  • about the science relating to blood, organ and stem cell donation.

4.2.9 Healthy eating

Pupils should know:

  • how to maintain healthy eating and the links between a poor diet and health risks, including tooth decay and cancer.

4.2.10 Drugs, alcohol and tobacco

Pupils should know:

  • the facts about legal and illegal drugs and their associated risks, including the link between drug use, and the associated risks, including the link to serious mental health conditions
  • the law relating to the supply and possession of illegal substances
  • the physical and psychological risks associated with alcohol consumption and what constitutes low risk alcohol consumption in adulthood
  • the physical and psychological consequences of addiction, including alcohol dependency
  • awareness of the dangers of drugs which are prescribed but still present serious health risks
  • the facts about the harms from smoking tobacco (particularly the link to lung cancer), the benefits of quitting and how to access support to do so.

4.2.11 Health and prevention

Pupils should know:

  • about personal hygiene, germs including bacteria, viruses, how they are spread, treatment and prevention of infection, and about antibiotics
  • about dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene and dental flossing, including healthy eating and regular check-ups at the dentist
  • (late secondary) the benefits of regular self-examination and screening
  • the facts and science relating to immunisation and vaccination
  • the importance of sufficient good quality sleep for good health and how a lack of sleep can affect weight, mood and ability to learn.

4.2.12 Basic first aid

Pupils should know:

  • basic treatment for common injuries
  • life-saving skills, including how to administer CPR1
  • the purpose of defibrillators and when one might be needed.

4.2.13 Changing adolescent body

Pupils should know:

  • key facts about puberty, the changing adolescent body and menstrual wellbeing
  • the main changes which take place in males and females, and the implications for emotional and physical health.


Parents will continue to have a right to request to withdraw their child from sex education delivered as part of RSE in secondary schools which, unless there are exceptional circumstances, should be granted up to three terms before their child turns 16. At this point, if the child themselves wishes to receive sex education rather than be withdrawn, the school should make arrangements for this to happen in one of the three terms before the child turns 16 - the legal age of sexual consent.

Parents have no right to withdraw their child from Relationships Education as we believe the contents of these subjects – such as family, friendship, safety (including online safety) – are important for all children to be taught.

The science curriculum in all maintained schools also includes content on human development, including reproduction, which there is no right to withdraw from.

You can access links to documents of interest below:

Click here to access the PSHE Policy for Calderstones School

Click here to access the Department for Education Parental Guide to Relationships, Sex and Health Education