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Curriculum design at The Firs

In deciding on the intent behind the design of our curriculum it is our vision and values that are the starting point. See The Firs’ Curriculum Policy.

The key drivers behind the makeup of our curriculum are:

  • What we wanted to develop in a ‘Firs’ Mindset’ (which we defined as the values and approaches to life we wanted our children to live by and hold to).

  • The knowledge and skills we wished to develop in addition to those set out in the National Curriculum.

  • Any gaps in children’s knowledge, skills or awareness that we perceive, associated with the context of our local environment, location or general pupil characteristics.

  • Our understanding of what ‘Cultural Capital’ meant to us at The Firs and in each year group, how we could give children the chance to experience it.

All of the thinking behind these key drivers are set out in The Firs Scheme of Work.

We decided on an additional programme of learning, organised into a number of strands, that would complement the content from the National Curriculum. We have called these additional strands ‘The Firs’ Themes’.

The PSHRE Curriculum at The Firs

PSHRE is a compulsory subject, which every pupil should have access to. It can provide the foundation for many people’s lives and promote understanding of many aspects including those of physical health, mental health, social development, including friendships and  relationship education. 

Through the teaching of PSHRE, we aim to promote the spiritual, moral, cultural and social development of all pupils.

The PSHRE syllabus that we follow is largely based upon the ‘You, Me and PSHE’ scheme for Primary Education by Islington with the support of other resources such asThe PSHE Association and Twinkl. 

At The Firs, we enable children to develop a sound knowledge of many key aspects of personal, social, health and relationship education. This includes aspects such as relationship education (covering the DfE Relationships Education guidance); drug, alcohol and tobacco education; keeping safe and managing risk; physical health and wellbeing; career, financial capability and economic well-being and identity, society and equality. 

Children reflect on what they have learnt in each lesson, applying their knowledge and understanding.


  1. Know about and understand different aspects of personal, social, health and relationship education. 

  2. Express ideas and insights about the nature, significance and impact of personal, social, health and relationship education. 

  3. Gain and deploy the skills needed to ensure a positive relationship with yourself, others and aspects of personal, social, health and relationship education. 

The overall aims should enable pupils to:

  • Understand and respect the difference and similarities between people. 

  • Understand the way humans grow and change throughout the human lifecycle. 

  • Understand the importance of physical hygiene. 

  • Understand the needs to be cared for and ways in which we can care for others. 

  • Understand about different families and how their home-life is special. 

  • Understand the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.

  • Understand about healthy choices, medicines, tobacco and alcohol, using this to make informed choices about what goes into our bodies. 

  • Understand different medicines, how to be safe around these and how they are used to treat different health conditions. 

  • Understand how to keep themselves safe in familiar situations, outdoors including road safety, and promote online safety. 

  • Understand about mental health and wellbeing, thinking about our own feelings and others, friendship, celebrating achievements and handling setbacks and identifying special people in our lives. 

  • Understand the importance of healthy eating, physical exercise, sleep, personal hygiene and role models. 

  • Understand and promote differences, community, co-operation, democracy and diversity.  



This policy should be read in conjunction with The Firs Scheme of Work section on PSHRE, that sets out in detail what children in different year groups will be taught and the expectations at the end of each year.

Our school curriculum sets out the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain at each stage. It is clear what end points the curriculum is building towards each year and what children need to know and be able to do. 

The teaching of PSHRE is largely based on the You, Me and PSHE by Islington’s recommended study units:

Year 1

What do we put into and on to bodies? 

Feeling safe. 


Fun times. 

Me and others. 

Year 2

Boys and girls, families.

Medicine and me. 

Indoors and outdoors. 


What keeps me healthy?

Year 3

Tobacco is a drug. 

Bullying- see it, say it, stop it. 

Strengths and challenges. 

What helps me choose? 

Celebrating differences. 

Year 4


Drugs Education

Keeping safe.

What is important to me? 

Safe Relationships


It is important in the foundation stage to give children a broad, play based experience of PSHRE in a range of contexts, including outdoor play. Our early years learning environments will provide for children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) as a key part of the Statutory framework for EYFS.

As part of the Foundation Stage Curriculum, we set out the PSHRE aspects of the children's learning in the PSED section of the Firs' YR Scheme of Work, which is downloadable from the The Firs Scheme of Work page.

Withdrawal from PSHRE Learning:

PSHRE is a compulsory part of the National Curriculum. However, parents may request that their child is withdrawn from Sex and Relationships aspects of the PSHRE curriculum, if they wish to do so. The only exceptions to this are the biological aspects of animal growth and reproduction, that are essential elements of National Curriculum in science. Where parents / carers are wishing to exercise this right, the Governing Body would suggest that they first meet with the Headteacher to discuss their concerns. If the matter cannot be resolved, parents need to apply to the Headteacher in writing to withdraw their child from those aspects of PSHRE lessons. 

The school will make arrangements for the child(ren) to be supervised or engaged in another activity during this time. We are mindful that everyone holds different beliefs and this is taken into consideration in PSHRE lessons.



In order to measure the impact of the PSHRE curriculum, we use a range of formative and summative assessment in all lessons such as:

  • Questioning

  • Observations/learning walks/drop ins

  • Looking at children’s written work

  • Feedback from staff and children

  • Analysis of our assessment tool linked to Scheme of Work objectives/National Curriculum for each year

Assessment information is collected and analysed by the subject leader using the school’s PSHRE Assessment, as part of our monitoring of teaching and learning. This process provides us with an understanding of the quality of education in PSHRE as well as indicating areas for development.

Positive outcomes in PSHRE can be harder to ‘measure’, but are, nevertheless of incalculable benefit in the part they play in our curriculum.

Children show enjoyment, learning about different aspects of personal, social, health and relationship education. They enjoy learning about the world around them and developing a deeper understanding of themselves, others and the world around them:

  • They make links between their own lives and those of others in their community and in the wider world. 

  • They develop an understanding of positive relationships around them. 

  • They develop their knowledge and understanding of drug, alcohol and tobacco education, encouraging children to make positive choices related to these. 

  • They develop their knowledge and understanding of keeping themselves safe. 

  • They develop their understanding of physical and mental health. 

  • They develop their knowledge upon career, financial capability and economic well being. 

  • They develop their understanding around identity, society and equality. 

  • They develop the ability to reflect, debate and accept the existence of opposing viewpoints.

  • They are encouraged to feel valued as individuals and that their own beliefs are valued and celebrated by the school.