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Quality of Education

At Uplands Junior school we place a high value on the development of the ‘whole child’.  The teaching of Personal, Social, Health & Economic (PSHE) education underpins children’s development as individuals and supports their learning capacity.  PSHE also forms part of our approach to addressing sensitive subjects and protecting our pupils.  Through our PSHE curriculum, we aim to provide children with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society. 

We use the Jigsaw PSHE Programme for our curriculum at Uplands to provide consistency and progression in this vital curriculum area.  Jigsaw is a ‘mindful’ approach to PSHE with a spiral curriculum that deepens and broadens the children’s learning each year.

Jigsaw PSHE incorporates statutory Relationships Education and Health Education for all primary school pupils.  Children are taught to recognise the characteristics of healthy and positive relationships, including online relationships, and how to seek support if they experience problems or have concerns.  Relationships education includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills, and dealing with bereavement and loss.  Children are taught to celebrate difference, how to recognise bullying behaviour and strategies for dealing with bullying situations.

Health education covers mental wellbeing, internet safety and harms, physical health and fitness, healthy eating, lifestyle choices, rest and exercise, basic first aid, and the physical and emotional changes associated with adolescence and puberty. Children are taught the importance of prevention in maintaining health, for example through keeping safe, careful handwashing, personal hygiene, dental hygiene and sun care.  We also use PSHE to teach children about the risks of drugs and substance misuse. Jigsaw PSHE sits within a wider approach to promoting mental wellbeing that includes Trick Box strategies for dealing with feelings, and the Art of Brilliance project.

Some elements of statutory Relationships and Health Education are also reinforced through links in other areas of the curriculum such as Online Safety, Science (Animals including Humans) and Religious Education.

The government recommends that all primary schools have a sex education programme, tailored to the age and maturity of pupils, that teaches the facts about human reproduction. We therefore provide some non-statutory sex education in Years 5 and 6, covering how human reproduction occurs. Parents have the right to request their child be withdrawn from the PSHE lessons that specifically refer to human reproduction. For more information please see our PSHE policy and Relationships and Sex Education Policy.

PSHE is taught as a blocked unit of approximately a week, once per half term. Using techniques such as role play, reflection and group discussion, children are taught to develop self-awareness, empathy, resilience, self-management and social skills.  Lessons and resources are designed to help children address topics at an age-appropriate level.  Children are supported in setting aspirational goals, coping with difficult situations and dealing with interpersonal issues such as falling out with friends.

In addition to the half-termly Jigsaw unit, we deliver PSHE in a weekly session focusing on either Online Safety or Trick Box strategies for dealing with feelings. PSHE and our school’s approach to mental wellbeing is also embedded in our programme of assemblies, through links across the curriculum and in dedicated workshops on specific topics. 

At Uplands we promote Respect for All and value every individual child.  We also respect the right of our children, their families and our staff, to hold beliefs, religious or otherwise, and understand that sometimes these may be in tension with some aspects of PSHE Education. As with all teaching at Uplands, PSHE is taught in such a way as to be inclusive and value all children irrespective of their ability, gender, race, ethnicity, or any other protected characteristics. 

Through our PSHE curriculum, we aim to equip children to be confident in the following areas:

  • understanding their rights and being able to communicate their needs;

  • having strategies to deal with difficult emotions and situations including bullying;

  • knowing how to report problems and ask for help;

  • setting ambitious goals and steps to achieve them;

  • how to look after their physical and mental health and wellbeing;

  • recognising the characteristics of healthy relationships, and knowing what to do when a relationship is problematic;

  • coping with change, bereavement and loss;

  • understanding the physical and emotional changes associated with growing up and going through puberty.


PSHE is assessed through teacher observations during discussion, reflection and role play activities, along with children’s own self-assessment of every Jigsaw session. Although many sessions do not create written or physical work, when this is produced it contributes to teacher assessments of children’s progress within each Jigsaw unit.

The PSHE champion carries out periodic book trawls, learning walks, pupil voice and staff voice surveys in order to ensure continuity and progression, and to identify areas where curriculum or resources can be developed and improved.

Knowledge, Skills and Vocabulary Progression documents for Jigsaw PSHE are available here. Please contact us for the password.

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