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Supporting RSHE in the classroom and at home

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Newland House School in Twickenham has embedded Discovery Education Health and Relationships at the very heart of their enhanced RHE curriculum. Nursery teacher and PSHE co-ordinator Andrea Taylor explains how the school is using the programme to support blended learning and to help teachers to meet the new RHE curriculum requirements.

GETTING READY FOR NEW RHE

We initially launched the Discovery Education Health and Relationships programme last September for pupils in Years 1 to 6 and even found that some of the resources were suitable for teaching our very youngest Early Years pupils. We are now in a position to teach the new RHE curriculum in full, despite the impact of the pandemic.

PLANNING AND DELIVERY

We had been researching resources to help us refresh our PSHE curriculum and were very pleased to discover the Health and Relationships programme which is simple to use, accessible and has everything that we need to deliver RHE in one convenient place. Not only did the programme do the planning for us but it also demonstrated what the learning objectives were and so far we have found the resources incredibly comprehensive.

A COMPLETE RESOURCE

The Health and Relationships programme makes it easy for teachers to ensure they are covering all aspect of the new RHE curriculum. It takes away much of the hard work of researching and planning and clearly sets out what pupils will achieve from each lesson. The programme provides a complete package but also offers the flexibility to add our own resources, perhaps to expand on a section, so it becomes a continually evolving reference point for teachers.

SUPPORTING TEACHERS

As the RHE curriculum is new, some teachers are understandably a little apprehensive about the best way to deliver the content. Using Health and Relationships has given our teachers greater confidence as it sets out the curriculum very clearly and ensures the content is age-appropriate.

HEALTHY FRIENDSHIPS

We have found that one of the best aspects about the Health and Relationships programme is the video content. Recently, one of our Year 2 classes had a friendship issue and their teacher was quickly able to use one of the videos to manage the issue in a sensitive and understanding way. The film helped the children to work through their concerns and when the rest of the class watched the video too it prompted enough conversation to last the rest of the lesson!

DIFFERENT FAMILIES

Diversity is very important to us as a school and the Health and Relationships programme provides considered explanatory content which has proved very helpful for teaching pupils about different types of families. In one video scenario, it explores different types of families, such as adoptive and same-sex families, which has been invaluable in teaching our pupils how to understand and accept differences.

CHILD-LED VIDEOS

Using children to present topics within the videos has helped pupils to relate to the content by reinforcing messages and creating a deeper impact than simply being delivered by an adult. Making the videos age-relevant has meant that pupils can more easily understand concepts and are more able to identify with the feelings being portrayed by other children in the videos.

AMAZING CONVERSATIONS

The Health and Relationships programme is a great vehicle for inspiring conversation, whether across an entire class or in breakout groups. Most of our RHE lessons are taught as a single lesson but to really take advantage of some of the more practical activities we will be considering creating longer lessons in the future. Our Year 1 and 2 classes have really enjoyed using some of the practical activities which have helped to reinforce their learning.

COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS

The Health and Relationships platform has provided very useful materials to help us communicate with parents. We are planning an information session to walk through the resources and explain to parents what their children will be learning and how this will be delivered. It is very important, especially with a more sensitive subject such as RHE, to have transparency in our approach and the materials are very useful in supporting this.

PUPIL MENTAL HEALTH

Supporting children’s mental health is vitally important to the school and the Health and Relationships programme has provided the right tools to facilitate this and has also encouraged the children to come up with their own ideas for supporting each other. For example, last term some of our senior children researched and supported charities such Mind, through a series of different fundraising activities.

SUPPORTING BLENDED LEARNING

Returning to school after the first lockdown early last autumn, we used the Health and Relationships programme to supplement our Recovery Curriculum. This was useful not only for children but for teachers as well, providing resources to help us explore and address any concerns or anxieties about the return to school. In periods of home learning the platform has also proved ideal. Integrating PSHE lessons into the remote timetable is very simple and the resources work equally well as both live online lessons and static resources, which the children can easily access from home.

The programme further supports blended learning through the range of different and engaging activities. These lend themselves perfectly to remote learning where children can work through these quietly and thoughtfully without any classroom distractions. These resources have helped us to continue to offer a broad curriculum and a range of stimulating lessons ensuring that learning is continuous whether it’s in school or being delivered remotely.

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