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The Downley School

“Learning, Growing and Succeeding Together”



All pupils at The Downley School are immersed in a carefully crafted PSHE curriculum. We believe that a quality PSHE curriculum helps to give our children the knowledge, skills, strategies and attributes to make informed choices and decisions about the different opportunities and challenges life presents in modern Britain and an awareness of their place in the wider world.    

Our spiral PSHE curriculum, is delivered in 6 blocks (Jigsaw pieces) with everyone doing the same block at the same time enabling pupils to learn, grow and succeed together. Each block  is underpinned by one of our six values:


Being Me In My World covers a wide range of topics, including a sense of belonging, welcoming others and being part of a school community, a wider community, and a global community; it also looks at children’s rights and responsibilities, working and socialising with others, and pupil voice.


Celebrating Difference focuses on similarities and differences and teaches about diversity, such as disability, racism, power, friendships, and conflict; children learn to accept everyone’s right to ‘difference’, and most year groups explore the concept of ‘normality’. Anti-bullying, including cyber and homophobic bullying, is an important aspect of this Puzzle.


Dreams and Goals aims to help children think about their hopes and dreams, their goals for success, what their personal strengths are, and how to overcome challenges, using team-work skills and tasks. There is also a focus on enterprise and fundraising. Children learn about experiencing and managing feelings of pride, ambition, disappointment, success; and they get to share their aspirations, the dreams and goals of others in different cultures/countries, and their dreams for their community and the world.


Healthy Me covers two main areas of health: Emotional/mental health (relaxation, being safe, friendships, mental health skills, body image, relationships with food, managing stress) and Physical health (eating a balanced diet, physical activity, rest and relaxation, keeping clean, drugs and alcohol, being safe, first aid). Most of the statutory content for Health Education (DfE) is contained within this Puzzle.


Relationships starts with building a respectful relationship with self and covers topics including families, friendships, pets and animals, and love and loss. A vital part of this Puzzle is about safeguarding and keeping children safe; this links to online safety and social networking. Children learn how to deal with conflict, build assertiveness skills, and identify their own strengths and strategies for building self-esteem and resilience. They explore roles and responsibilities in families and friendship groups, and consider stereotypes.


Changing Me deals with change of many types, from growing from young to old, becoming a teenager, assertiveness, puberty, self-respect and safeguarding. Each year group thinks about looking ahead, moving year groups or the transition to secondary school and how to cope positively with such changes. Life cycles and human reproduction are taught in some year groups.


Our high quality PSHE curriculum has clear progression and learning is carefully sequenced, built on and revisited. Lessons are planned to deepen pupils’ knowledge and skills, for future learning and employment as a citizen of their local, national and global community.

We do this through:

  • Fidelity to a whole school PSHE programme ‘Jigsaw’
  • Aligning our school values to each half termly Jigsaw theme
  • Encouraging and planning high quality talk opportunities
  • Having a range of ways children can record their thoughts and ideas
  • Transparent parent partnership e.g. encouraging dialogue to continue at home through weekly shared questions on dojo
  • Considering our local context and responding appropriately by adding lessons if needed
  • Seeking opportunities to enrich learning through trips, visitors and national focus days/weeks e.g. Anti-Bullying Week
  • Ensuring our reading spine addresses inclusion and diversity
  • Looking for opportunities across the curriculum to contextualise and reinforce learning e.g. sustainability in Geography, refugees in English, democracy in History, online safety in computing
  • Our daily interactions and discourse with children and adults
  • Promoting pupil voice and leadership opportunities including a Pupil Leadership Team, peer mentors, school and eco councils

Teachers use assessment to help learners embed and use knowledge fluently, to check understanding, address misconceptions, and inform teaching.

PSHE is assessed formatively through classroom discussion, interactions, book work and a weekly PowerPoint to capture work not shown in book. Summatively, PSHE is assessed through the Jigsaw designed ‘Thinking Pads’, which are adapted to different age groups. Children who are not meeting age expectations or children that not showing they have understood aspects of the curriculum are identified for additional or adapted support.


At the Downley School, we acknowledge that some children will need support to access and understand the PSHE curriculum. We do this through: 

Adapting or sourcing different materials  

  • 1:1 and small group reinforcement  
  • Revisiting content  
  • Regular checks for understanding  
  • Alternative ways to record ideas 
  • Slower pace  
  • Asking a parent to reinforce ideas at home  


Pupils leave The Downley School with a deep and relevant understanding of their spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development. They know more, remember more and can do more; they are prepared for their future as a citizen of their local, national and global community.

They understand that when we learn together, we grow together and succeed together.