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Our Go-To Resource for RSHE

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Sarah Anyan is a Year 4 teacher and PSHE Subject Leader at Iveson Primary School in Leeds. Sarah shares why Discovery Education Health and Relationships is her go-to-resource for RSHE and explains why it’s loved by pupils and teachers.

COMPLETE COVERAGE

Discovery Education Health and Relationships is a complete scheme of work for primary RSHE. We’ve been using it since the new curriculum was launched to support our teaching across the whole school. We chose the programme because it provides excellent curriculum coverage and takes a spiral approach, allowing pupils to build upon their learning each year. We could also see that it would help teacher confidence in terms of planning and delivery.

ENGAGING AND RELIABLE

Health and Relationships provides lesson plans, videos and activities to help teachers meet the statutory guidance. The content is age-appropriate, engaging and very relatable. As a staff, we really like the videos and the fact that they are presented by real children is very good. This appeals to our pupils and helps them to talk about difficult scenarios without having to talk about themselves. The videos are also a great starting point for exploring topics such as friendships, relationships and mental health. It’s brilliant to have so many resources at our fingertips to prompt discussion and peer-to-peer learning.

REFLECTING REAL LIFE

Good RSHE teaching should reflect real-life and Health and Relationships does this very well. Pupils see their own experiences reflected in the content, which is authentic and diverse. The sex education lessons are particularly good and we like the fact that the programme doesn’t just cover ‘traditional’ ground. The resources include topics such as Caesarean Sections and IVF, and show the diversity of families. It’s important that our pupils see real life reflected and Health and Relationships achieves this.

SAVING PLANNING TIME

Health and Relationships saves us a huge amount of planning time. Each lesson is mapped out with objectives, resources and success criteria. It’s all there, but the programme also gives us a really flexible way of teaching. If we want to adapt a lesson, taking our lead from the children, we can. Sometimes a video might spark a discussion that takes things in a different direction. Or we might want to explore an idea in greater depth. Health and Relationships gives us the starting point, which is always so important.

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ENJOYABLE FOR PUPILS

Our pupils really enjoy learning with Health and Relationships. They like the fact that we can sit down together and talk about things. Sometimes we cover difficult subjects, but that’s ok because we all respect and each other and our classroom is a safe space. We try to end each lesson with something positive, perhaps relaxation, drawing silly pictures or sharing jokes!

A SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Health and Relationships supports us to create a safe teaching and learning environment for RSHE. This helps our pupils to discuss and share their feelings and ideas without fear or judgment. We establish ground rules at the start of each lesson and we also encourage pupil questions. Because the children feel comfortable and safe, it’s not uncommon for them to share their worries in these lessons. We use comment boxes, so that they can ask questions anonymously or simply share a funny thought or idea to make their friends smile.

IMPROVING WELLBEING

Supporting pupil wellbeing is a priority for every school and Health and Relationships helps us to do this in lots of ways. The Healthy and Happy Friendships Channels helps children to consider what being a good friend means and build skills to resolve difficulties. I recently used the videos with a group of Year 4 pupils. We discussed everything together and it really helped.

EXPLORING RELATIONSHIPS

My Year 4 class are learning about Families and Committed Relationships this term and we’re using Health and Relationships to look at boundaries. There’s a great video resource which helps children to think about what’s acceptable. It sparked a lengthy conversation about why relationships have different boundaries. We talked about how some relationships are professional and some are very close. Next, we completed the lesson activity, an acrostic RELATIONSHIP poem. The children produced some lovely writing and I was blown away by their responses!

SPIRAL CURRICULUM

Health and Relationships follows a spiral curriculum and this is so useful. As subject leader, I find the built-in progression grid very helpful. I can clearly evidence pupil progress and show what we’ve been teaching during each half term. Not having to produce my own evidence saves me a lot of time! It also helps the children with memory retrieval and boosts their confidence.

SUPPORTING TEACHERS AND PUPILS

We’re very happy with Health and Relationships. For us, it ensures complete curriculum coverage across the school in a consistent way and it’s also supportive for teachers. It has increased our confidence in terms of planning and delivery, but it also gives us the freedom to go off on a tangent and adapt lessons where necessary for our children. Our pupil voice interviews show that it’s having a positive impact for the children too, which is really lovely. I would definitely recommend the programme to other primary schools.

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