Curriculum Intent

Our Personal, Social and Health and Economic Education (PSHE) curriculum aims to equip children with essential skills for life; it intends to develop the whole child through carefully planned and resourced lessons that develop the knowledge, skills and attributes children need to protect and enhance their wellbeing. Through these lessons, children will learn how to stay safe and healthy, build and maintain successful relationships and become active citizens, responsibly participating in society around them. Successful PSHE curriculum coverage is a vital tool in preparing children for life in society now and in the future. The themes and topics support social, moral, spiritual and cultural development and provide children with protective teaching on essential safeguarding issues, developing their knowledge of when and how they can ask for help.

PSHE resources are fully in line with the Learning Outcomes and Core Themes provided by the PSHE Association Programme of Study which is widely used by schools in England and is recommended and referred to by the DfE in all key documentation relating to PSHE provision in schools. This curriculum covers all of the required objectives and follows the three core areas of Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. The curriculum fulfils the requirements of 2020 Statutory Relationships and Health Education, setting these learning intentions in the context of a broad and balanced PSHE curriculum.

Relationships and Sex Education(RSE) at St John Bosco Arts College aims to provide young people with the knowledge and skills they need to deliver caring and positive relationships of all types, not only intimate relationships within the context of the Catholic faith and the wider world. Students will develop an understanding of what constitutes a healthy relationship, considering the qualities of a good friend, classmate or co-worker, and life partner whether in a successful marriage or any other form of stable relationship and exploring what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships.

RSE content builds on the foundation of what is taught in primary school. Although teaching is extended to include intimate relationships, students also continue to learn about family life, friendships and other relationships that form part of fulfilling and positive adult life. We aim to develop personal attributes through RSE such as honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and kindness, underpinned by an understanding of self-respect and self-worth. This allows students to make decisions for themselves about how to live their own lives, whilst respecting the right of others to make their own decisions and hold their own beliefs including around sexuality and gender orientation.

RSE also plays an essential role in the safeguarding of our students by supporting students to recognise when different types of relationships are unhealthy or abusive and strategies to manage this or access support for oneself or others at risk. Students are taught that unhealthy relationships can have a lasting, negative impact on mental wellbeing as well as the rules and principles for keeping safe, both in real-world interactions and online.

RSE is explicitly delivered through discrete PSHE lessons, with themes consolidated across different curriculum areas in school. All staff have a part to play in the holistic development of our young people, and the attributes of kindness, generosity and tolerance are modelled on a daily basis.


Year 7

Term 1A: Transition and Safety

To facilitate the transition between primary and secondary school, students develop a range of strategies to manage change, including coping with anxiety and changing friendship groups. Students also learn basic First Aid and Road Safety to allow them to keep themselves safe both in and outside of school.

Term 1B: Diversity

Students consider the diverse nature of modern society and the benefits of diversity in our community. Students study the way that prejudice harms those affected and learn how unconscious bias can affect our perceptions of different groups in society. Our Anti-Bullying Ambassador recruitment leads up to Anti-Bullying Week in school where students learn about different types of bullying including online harassment, the role that bystanders play in allowing bullying to continue, and how to report bullying inside or outside of school.

Term 2A: Developing Skills and Aspirations

Students are introduced to the different career pathways available to them, and identify their current skills, interests and character traits. Students learn about the importance of high aspirations for all, and the importance of teamwork and resilience to achieve their goals.

Term 2B: Health and Puberty

Students evaluate their current daily routines and identify healthy and unhealthy habits which are then linked to an overall impact on physical, emotional and spiritual health. Students consider the changes they may experience during puberty, physically, mentally and emotionally and develop coping strategies with support services signposted. Students develop their understanding of personal autonomy and what to do in the case of unwanted contact. Students study the practice of Female Genital Mutilation and the harm caused to victims as well as how to report concerns or seek support around FGM.

Term 3A: Building Relationships

Students study the concept of self-worth, to appreciate their own uniqueness and qualities and develop positive self-esteem. Students revisit the theme of friendships and consider the qualities of a good friend, what a positive friendship looks like and how to set appropriate boundaries.These themes are extended to online friendships and a wider variety of relationships.

Term 3B: Financial Decision Making

Students learn how to create and keep to a budget, and how this contributes towards managing finances in later stages of life. Students consider the factors that may affect somebody’s spending habits, including targeted advertising, difference in cultures, and relationships. Students complete a virtual walkthrough of a day out with friends, identifying strategies to keep their money safe and making spending choices then discussing consequences.

Year 8

Term 1A: Smoking, Vaping, Drugs, and Alcohol

Students learn about the factors that may cause young people to begin smoking, vaping, drinking alcohol or using drugs including peer pressure, exposure from family relationships and as a negative coping strategy. Students consider the legal and health consequence of substance abuse and develop the language needed to resist pressure from others to purchase or use substances illegally.

Term 1B: Community and Careers

Students learn about equality of opportunity in careers and legal rights protecting workers against discrimination along with the limitations of stereotypes. A variety of types and patterns of work will be introduced along with the different life choices available to students upon finishing secondary education.

Term 2A: Discrimination

Students study discrimination in all its forms including racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination against differently abled people or those of different religions. Legislation around protected groups is introduced along with strategies to ensure students behaviour and attitudes are inclusive and welcoming to those around them.

Term 2B: Identity and Relationships

Students learn about the continuum of gender identity and sexual orientation, using appropriate terminology and avoiding discriminatory, offensive or exclusionary expressions. Students identify the risks and challenges members of the LGBTQIA+ community may be most likely to face and how these young people can seek support or advice. Students consider the pressures around ‘sexting’, how to respond to and report requests for inappropriate content, and the ramifications of sending indecent photographs. Students are introduced to different forms of contraception, and the range of uses for these.

Term 3A: Emotional Wellbeing

Students study mental health and emotional wellbeing, classifying different coping strategies as positive or negative to develop a resilience toolkit of their own, and identifying potential risk factors. Students consider how social media and societal pressure can distort their own body image and consider the importance of self-care in protecting their emotional wellbeing.

Term 3B: Digital Literacy

Students revisit online safety principles ensuring they know how to stay safe online by avoiding revealing personal information and are able to identify and report potential online grooming or inappropriate contact. Students explore the reliability of information found online and develop an awareness of how to discriminate between reliable and unreliable sources as well as verify information independently. The use of gambling hooks in online content is explored as well as the impact of gambling addiction on families and the community.

Year 9

Term 1A: Peer Influence, Substance Use and Gangs

Students explore the characteristics and define what constitutes healthy and unhealthy friendships, further developing their knowledge from Year 7. Students identify how unhealthy friendships may be formed as a tool for gang exploitation and study how County Lines stems from the grooming of young people. Students revisit the impact substance abuse has on the life chances of young people, families and the wider community.

Term 1B: Respectful Relationships

Students understand the variety of family formations in modern society and investigate a range of parenting styles, considering the effectiveness and implications of each on the parent-child relationship and development of the child. Students consider how relationships may change over circumstance and time and healthy strategies to resolve conflicts.

Term 2A: Healthy Lifestyles

Students revisit the topic of lifestyle, developing their understanding of components of a healthy lifestyle including diet, exercise and screentime. Students discover the importance of balance within a healthy lifestyle and revisit the topic of First Aid, developing new skills for emergency situations.

Term 2B: Setting Goals

As part of the GCSE options process, students evaluate their learning strengths and consider their potential career pathways in the future. Students learn how to set ambitious but achievable goals, and the benefits of giving themselves SMART targets at the start of the journey to reach them.

Term 3A: Employability skills

Students consider the meaning of the word ‘employable’ and differentiate between soft and hard skills. Students learn how to develop their skillsets through existing hobbies and link these to employability including resilience, communication skills, independence and teamwork.

Term 3B: Intimate Relationships

Students revisit the concept of boundaries in relationships, considering consent and the role it plays in healthy relationships. Students study the use of contraception in the prevention of transmission of sexually transmitted infections and consider how and why attitudes and access to pornography have changed over time.

Year 10

Term 1A: Mental health

Students further develop their knowledge of mental health, studying a range of mental illnesses and the stigma that can often surround them. Students learn how to safeguard their own mental health, particularly during periods of transition or change, knowing how and when to report concerns or seek support and advice.

Term 1B: Exploring influence

Students revisit the theme of peer pressure and gang influence, studying case studies of former gang members to identify signs of exploitation and early intervention strategies to prevent escalation into criminal or risky behaviour. Students consider the importance of positive role models and the role played by the media both on and offline in influencing the attitudes and actions of young people.

Term 2A: Healthy relationships

Students consider the expectations surrounding relationships and sex, and the impact that the media, social media and pornography have played in this. Students explore popular myths surrounding relationships and sex and identify the challenges facing young people when accessing inaccurate information. Students identify how healthy relationships contribute to pleasure and wellbeing.

Term 2B: Addressing extremism and radicalisation

Students define the term ‘community’ and consider what it means to be part of a community. The theme of belonging is explored along with the barriers that some members of society may face in fully integrating and how these can be addressed. Students develop their awareness of extremism and how young people can be groomed by extremist groups both in the real world and online. Students learn the importance of challenging extremism in building and maintaining an inclusive and safe community and how to report this, or seek advice and support as a potential victim.

Term 3A: Financial decision making

Students revisit the theme of financial management, exploring the impact of advertising on financial choices, and the impact of those choices. Students develop their understanding of debt and the stress this can place upon a person’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Students study the risks associated with gambling, and how young people may be encouraged to gamble through social media or online gaming.

Term 3B: Work experience

Students prepare for and evaluate readiness for work through work experience placements.

Year 11

Term 1A: Building for the future

Students develop their resilience and determination through evaluating their current way of thinking and learning about the benefits of a growth mindset. Students consider strategies to improve their self-efficacy and manage stress, particularly in relation to examinations and transition. Students identify future opportunities available to them.

Term 1B: Communication in relationships

Students consider the importance of their own personal values, and how to incorporate these into their daily decisions and behaviour. Students learn how to communicate assertively within a relationship, including in relation to contraception and sexual health in order to express and maintain their personal boundaries. Students identify the challenges that may arise within relationships, when these may escalate into abuse and how to safely de-escalate conflict and report abuse.

Term 2A: Independence

Students consolidate previous learning around healthy living and keeping safe to make responsible decisions when presented with varying scenarios around peer pressure, online grooming, sexual harassment and financial decision making. Students apply their knowledge to date to decide on appropriate responses and actions in each situation, justifying each decision within the context of personal safety and wellbeing.

Term 2B: Next steps

Students learn about application processes for further education along with interview skills and CV writing. Students complete mock applications within a field of their choice, completing a written application and cover letter and participating in practice interviews to consider appropriate and professional verbal and body language.

Term 3A: Families

Students revisit different types of families and consider parental responsibilities as well as the challenges faced by new parents. Students learn about the physical and emotional changes during pregnancy and their effect on the lives of parties involved. Students discuss the institution of marriage alongside civil partnerships and how to access help and support for victims of forced marriage referring to case studies for warning signs.

Year 12

Term 1A: Managing risk and personal safety

Students consolidate how to stay safe online, recognising phishing emails and how to protect sensitive information and passwords. Students learn how to stay safe when travelling including how to arrange travel insurance and contact local embassies. Students revisit First Aid training identifying when to contact emergency services irrespective of legal implications.

Term 1B: Bullying and abuse

Students identify different forms of abuse, including honour based abuse, forced marriage, harassment and stalking both on and offline. Students learn about different sources of support available to them and exit strategies for unhealthy relationships, prioritising their personal safety and wellbeing.

Term 2A: Choices and pathways

Students revisit their career and life goals ensuring that they align with their own personal values, interests, strengths and skills. Students learn about the implications of the global market for their future choices and options in education and employment.

Term 2B: Mental health and wellbeing

Students identify signs of change in mental health and wellbeing and how to recognise when to engage with support services and how to do this. Students review common mental health issues affecting young people and how to maintain and develop positive mental health.

Term 3A: Work and career

Students learn how explicitly evidence strengths and skills when applying and interviewing for future roles and opportunities. Students produce and refine CVs and review what professional conduct in the workplace looks like and their rights and responsibilities as future employees or employers.

Term 3B: Sexual health

Students learn about different forms of contraception and sexually transmitted infections including seeking diagnosis and treatment. Students study how to access local and national advice around contraception and STIs as well as support services available.

Year 13

Term 1A: Healthy lifestyles

Students learn how to remain vigilant for illnesses that particularly affect young adults such as meningitis and ‘freshers’ flu’ and the process of registering and accessing health services in new locations. Students study the importance of preventative action in their personal health including staying safe in the sun, self-examination of breasts and testicles and regular cervical screening. Students will also consider how to maintain a healthy diet on a budget.

Term 1B: Financial choices

Students explore how to manage their financial expenditure and budget for change in circumstances, for example when moving out or going to university. Students compare financial contracts including mobile phone services and renting items and accommodation and the potential gains and risks of different debt arrangements and repayment implications.

Term 2A: Forming and maintaining respectful relationships

Students review personal safety in new relationships, including online activity or when meeting an online acquaintance for the first time. Students use constructive dialogue to support relationships and negotiate difficulties, including how to end relationships safely and respectfully. Students identify opportunities to build meaningful relationships in the workplace and the boundaries around professional relationships.

Term 2B: Consent

Students review the importance of respecting and protecting people’s right to give, not give, or withdraw their consent (in all contexts, including online) and the consequences of failing to respect this. Students consolidate how to recognise and seek help in the case of, sexual abuse, exploitation, assault or rape, and the process for reporting to appropriate authorities.

Term 3A: Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco

Students review the effects of alcohol and drug use on health, decision making and personal safety, road safety, work-place safety, reputation and career. Students identify the risks of being a passenger with an intoxicated driver and ways to manage this including dialogue in removing themselves from risky situations.

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