Tag Archives: Learning

PSHE at Castle Carrock School

What is PSHE?

PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education. It is a subject which is ‘non statutory’ within the English Curriculum, but nevertheless is given high status. This means that schools and teachers can personalise provision for their pupils and ensure that they are equipped with the skills and knowledge to make good decisions and to understand the world around them.

Our Curriculum

We use guidance from the PSHE Association (which is part funded by the government). This guidance splits the curriculum into three main areas:

  1. Health and Wellbeing
  2. Relationships
  3. Living in the Wider World and Being a Responsible Citizen

Health and Wellbeing

This area teaches children about their health; how they can look after their bodies and how to make the right choices about food, for example. It looks at emotional well being – at developing strategies for dealing with stress and how to maintain their physical health. In Key Stage 2 it also explores puberty, sex and relationship education and drugs.

Our children learn about road safety, both walking and cycling. About who can help them in an emergency. We meet those in the community who support our health and wellbeing such as doctors, police officers, mental health nurses and even mountain rescue groups. Some lessons will involve written work; writing letters or thinking about problems from others’ perspectives.


This area of the curriculum has recently undergone some changes – for us in primary it is about how to build relationships, how to recognise and manage emotions as well as how to respond when relationships are negative or risky. Within the new statutory framework children are taught about diversity and equality.

Much of the ‘relationship’ aspect of the curriculum is taught through modelling behaviour, stories and expectations. Discussion in class, especially in Key Stage 2, can unpick these areas and we also welcome visitors in school – such as the Carlisle United Community Team – who explore diversity through recognisable aspects of team work and team games.

Living in the Wider World

Within this category the children learn about their community, about their rights and responsibilities. About the importance of looking after our environment, responsible actions and how they can contribute to their society.

Within school we encourage discussion around recent events – watching the news and planning within our topics ways in which recent events can be taught. We look at class and group rules, including a school council and the Key Stage 2 Rotakids Group. As with other areas of PSHE assemblies are important and provide the chance to tell stories and to hear from visitors.

Across the Curriculum

Lots of our PSHE curriculum can also be taught cross-curricular. In science for example we also look at how we can keep healthy or what types of food our body needs. Teamwork is explored in PE and aspects of living in the wider world fit into many areas of the curriculum.

Maths Journals

We’ve been trying something new in Class 4 these last few weeks.

As you know, as part of the old a school wide focus we have on Maths we have been looking at how we teach maths and the best way to get children thinking mathematically. Some of this has been a huge push on knowledge – e.g. Knowing their time tables by heart, knowing their number bonds to ten etc. However some of it has also been around their application of mathematics – in other words can they take their knowledge and then apply it to problems and to investigations.

Recently I went to a conference looking at new ways of assessment within the new curriculum. At this conference I happened to speak to another Head Teacher all about ‘Maths Journals’ – a different way of getting the children to explore the way in which they think mathematically. This involved leading investigations each week; asking the children to think about a seemingly simple problem – but then take it to a deeper level. Also to explore the different way of working and, crucially at this age, to work together exploring the ideas of their team mates.

We have been leading this weekly sessions with Class 4 now for about half a term – and have been really pleased with the quality of their work. We started by exploring place value – looking for patterns when adding tens and ones together.  This was a simple start but it gave the children the chance to practise the crucial skill of writing their thinking and explaining their ideas. This is harder than it sounds and is the reason that we are using journals instead of ordinary maths books. The journals allow the children to write their ideas, and to explore what they are doing. We work in group – on large bits of sugar paper – and then we distill this thinking to our journals. How far we can take our thinking depends on what we are working on.

Next steps? We want to share what we are doing with other schools  –  and I already have plans to share some of our work with schools throughout the country. A few Skype chats with other pupils ans I hope our children realise just how hard they are working – and crucially just how much they are learning!

Try this at home – start simple thinking about times tables. What pattern can you see between x2 an x4 tables? Can you predict a pattern? What about x8? Write them out side by side and see what you get.