School Alerts

How the PSHE curriculum, including RSE, was created and tailored for Byron Wood

School context

When Byron Wood began the process of developing our PSHE curriculum, we were aware that some elements, in particular some parts of the statutory RSE curriculum, would be sensitive for some families in our community.  Recent reports in the media, concerning adverse reactions in other parts of the country, had led to apprehension for our parents and misconceptions about what would be taught, and these concerns were shared with the school.

Consultation period

Our first step was to assure our parents that they would be consulted in the creation of the RSE curriculum, and that they would be thoroughly informed about the eventual content of this curriculum.

It was decided that the Byron Wood RSE Curriculum would be based on the Sheffield City Council’s curriculum, as this had been developed with input from local faith groups, health services, charities, local education, and other interested parties.  This would ensure that it was tailored to the needs of Sheffield pupils, and we would be able to further adapt it to Byron Wood pupils.

Parents who had come forward to share their concerns about the curriculum were invited to form a working party to develop the curriculum.  A member of the SLT met with this working party throughout the years 2019 & 2020 to share the work that had been done.  At each stage, we were able to share the objectives intended to be taught, the resources that went alongside these, and the materials that would support the teachers in their delivery.  The parents advised us on the year groups in which specific objectives would be seen as most suitable, and we were able to allay fears about how much detail would be gone into and so that the children’s understanding of the world in which they live is always at the heart of what is taught.

Sharing with parents

Once this process was complete, parents were invited into school to presentations in which the objectives and resources for their year group were shared.  Parents were able to discuss any concerns they might have, and see precisely what their children would be taught.  These meetings were arranged in phases, so that they could focus on the age-appropriate content.

The meetings were positive, with parents appreciating that they would be able to continue the conversations from school at home.  They asked that they should know what topics would be upcoming in their children’s RSE lessons, so that they could prepared for any questions that their children might have at home.  To this end, staff have been directed to send an email home in advance of any new PSHE topic, telling parents the title of the topic and directing them to the school website where they can find more detail.

PSHE Curriculum

Our RSE Curriculum is statutory and covers a large amount of the PSHE content that is appropriate for children at Byron Wood.  We have chosen carefully from the PSHE Association’s Programme Of Study to create objectives which cover all of the aspects not already covered by our RSE objectives.  These are expressed as exploratory questions, in the same format as the RSE objectives, so that our PSHE curriculum is cohesive and consistent.  Staff are encouraged to approach and teach these objectives in the way that is most suitable for their class, as these predominantly are concerned with children developing their own understanding of the world and their interactions with it.  We then, as a school, chose when all of the objectives in PSHE and RSE should be taught throughout each year, with an eye to ensuring that the gap between themes was roughly a year.  The final curriculum can be viewed here: Byron Wood PSHE + RSE Curriculum Map

There are a number of opportunities to ensure that children are able to build on their learning during the year, between when the themes are the focus of the PSHE lessons.  Two case studies demonstrating this can be seen here: Case studies of PSHE coverage

Our PSHE Curriculum is always evolving.  We take feedback from staff, parents and the children throughout the year, so that we can ensure that we are meeting the needs of the community.  We also look at local statistics, including crime rates, communications with the local police and the council Road Safety team.

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