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Health and Relationships: Teaching RSHE with Discovery Education

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Broadgreen Primary School uses Discovery Education’s Health and Relationships programme to deliver the new RSHE curriculum. Assistant Headteacher Suzanne Evans shares how the resources have helped the school to prepare for curriculum change and teachers to deliver with confidence.

HIGH QUALITY RESOURCES
We’ve been using Discovery Education Health and Relationships for several months, and are very happy with it. We adopted the new RSE curriculum a year early and were looking for something to supplement our existing resources. Health and Relationships provided a complete package. As existing users of Espresso and Coding – which our pupils and teachers love – we knew that this would be a high-quality resource. The digital content is engaging and teachers find it easy to use. Each topic has a lesson plan, video and linked activities.

TEACHER CONFIDENCE, PUPIL PROGRESSION
Some of our teachers felt less confident to deliver the new RSE curriculum, especially in terms of assessment. Many were unsure about how to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge. Health and Relationships helps us to do this because it supports and tracks pupil progress. The curriculum content is split into 6 topics: Healthy and Happy Friendships, Families and Committed Relationships, Caring and Responsibility, Similarities and Differences, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds and Coping With Change. Pupils work through the topics each year and progress. We love this spiral curriculum approach and the ability to revisit topics to scaffold learning.

REAL LIFE LEARNING
The Health and Relationships resources are really engaging and designed with children in mind. The feedback we’ve had from our pupils so far has been very positive. They like the videos, which feel very current. And they love the fact that lots of the films are presented by other children. They can relate to the content and the learning reflects their lives. Children also enjoy the activities, which aren’t just worksheet based. They have to look at different scenarios and discuss what they might do. It’s great to see children put themselves in another person’s shoes.

BUILDING SKILLS
The activities in Health and Relationships promote lots of different skills, including active listening and reasoning. Having learned about a topic, children are encouraged to work together to come up with a solution. Our Year 2 pupils enjoyed an activity where they had to rank statements about friendships in order, to express what they valued. Teachers liked this because it encouraged reasoning, higher order thinking and independent thinking. Health and Relationships also introduces children to key vocabulary in a contextual way, and there are lots of opportunities for collaboration and talking. These are things that we really value in our learning and we love the fact that they are reflected in this resource.

DIVERSE AND INCLUSIVE
One of the key aspects of this programme is that it teaches children the importance of diversity and reflects Britain’s diverse communities. As teachers, we are always looking for resources to make sure our lessons are inclusive. It’s great to see lots of different children and types of families and relationships represented in the videos. It’s diverse on every front.

COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS
Health and Relationships helps schools to communicate with parents and explain what children will be taught through the new curriculum. The programme includes template letters for each year group and materials for parent meetings. We already write to parents about our PSHE curriculum, but I think schools will find these extra resources really helpful. It’s nice to see the communication broken down for each year group.

SUPPORTING PUPIL WELLBEING
PSHE has always been a priority for our school. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become more important than ever. We’ll be implementing a recovery curriculum in September and Health and Relationships will be a key part of this. The resources will help us to promote the social and emotional skills that children will need. We don’t know how our pupils have been affected by lockdown, but we want to give them the opportunity to talk about their feelings and express themselves. Having been away from school for six months, they’ll need help with building positive relationships and reminding about what a good friend is. They might also need support with healthy eating and better sleep routines. Health and Relationships covers all of these themes.

FAMILIES AND RELATIONSHIPS
The programme explores the importance and diversity of families, and the characteristics of positive family relationships. As a Stonewall school, this is something we champion, so it was great to find resources that fit with our teaching. The progression in this channel is excellent. In Year 1 children learn about different families. In Year 2 they see examples e.g. different sizes of families, same sex families, intergenerational families, families where there are different faiths and so on. We really like how Health and Relationships covers this. It fits with the ethos of our school.

REFLECTING PUPILS’ LIVES
I’m really pleased with Health and Relationships and would definitely recommend it to other schools. We wanted a resource which would support teachers and enable children to learn in a way that reflects their lives. Health and Relationships delivers this and I was so excited when I started using it. The resources are engaging, easy to use and bring learning to life. It’s great when you find something that you know will make a difference and help pupils.

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