Curriculum For Life provides us with the knowledge and skills to keep ourselves happy, healthy and safe, as well as to prepare us for life and work.
PSHE & RSE education at Elmhurst involves the development of the key skills and attributes which pupils need to thrive both in their childhood and throughout their adult lives. These key skills and attributes – such as self-management, empathy, critical thinking, communication, resilience, teamwork and negotiation – are crucial to pupils’ life chances, helping them to stay healthy and safe, and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. Curriculum For Life education therefore helps pupils to achieve their academic potential and leave school equipped with the skills they will need throughout later life.
At Elmhurst Junior School, we have worked collaboratively with our feeder schools, Hindhayes and Crispin to rename PSHE and RSE ‘Curriculum For Life’ as we believe this subject encompasses so many of the skills and knowledge needed throughout our lives.
All year groups follow the same theme each half term, with the statutory units of health and wellbeing and relationships repeated over two half terms to ensure full and comprehensive coverage throughout the year. Lesson themes in Curriculum For Life are taught in a way which is appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils to ensure that learning is built on as they progress through the school.
Curriculum For Life is taught weekly and teaching and learning comes in many different forms, such as class, group and paired discussions, role play, creative tasks, research tasks and solution seeking activities. Any written work in Curriculum For Life is recorded in individual hardback books. Our curriculum is also supported by assemblies, outside speakers and cross curricular learning. Weekly lessons provide opportunities for pupils to reflect on prior learning and gain an insight into future lessons, enabling them to prepare any questions that they may have in advance. Curriculum For Life knowledge organisers highlight the key knowledge and vocabulary for each lesson within each unit of work and sticky knowledge is checked through the use of retrieval questions. All children have access to the full curriculum and tasks are adapted to provide appropriate challenge and support depending on individual needs. Curriculum For Life resources are allocated to year groups and specific units of work, allowing teachers to support effective learning.
All Curriculum For Life lessons take place within a safe learning environment, underpinned by class rules. Class ground rules are established and reviewed at the start of each topic and are underpinned by Elmhurst Etiquette and our school values: respect, kindness, forgiveness and trust. Within this secure learning environment, children are encouraged to both ask and answer questions to deepen their knowledge and understanding. We use an ‘Ask-It-Basket’ to support pupils in this area, which allows questions to be asked anonymously should they wish. Support networks, local and national, are signposted within lessons, providing pupils with safe, accessible and age-appropriate reference materials to support their understanding and to reinforce the importance of seeking advice and speaking out to trusted adults to stay safe.
The Elmhurst online safety programme is taught as part of Curriculum For Life lessons with all year groups learning and revisiting key online safety messages each half term. Online safety lessons cover a range of themes including: health, wellbeing and lifestyle, privacy and security, online relationships, online bullying, online reputation and managing information online. Online Safety is also incorporated within our weekly assembly timetable for all year groups.
Outcomes in pupils’ Curriculum For Life books, provides clear evidence of a broad and balanced curriculum and demonstrates children’s acquisition of key knowledge. Pupils’ learning is assessed on a lesson-by-lesson basis through the use of verbal feedback, written feedback, peer and self-review.
Key questions and learning outcomes, which are planned into each unit of work, allow teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit. Weekly celebration assemblies showcase a variety of Curriculum For Life activities and work completed across all year groups. This evidence informs teacher assessment and is used by the Curriculum For Life subject leader as part of the monitoring process.
In addition, the Curriculum For Life subject leader talks to pupils about their learning as part of the monitoring process to gauge attainment and enthusiasm. Children’s books and knowledge organisers are used to guide discussion and provide the subject leader with the necessary information to measure how much core knowledge and vocabulary has been remembered and understood.
Please note that parent & carers are welcome to come into school to review all resources used in our RSHE teaching. We are currently working on having these resources available through Class Dojo and will update parents as this becomes available.