PHSCE including RSE and Health

What PHSE looks and feels like at Appletree
Amazing Appletree is a great place to grow
At Appletree we have developed a broad and balanced curriculum where PSHE is at the core of everything we do. It is not something that you can just see or hear, it is a presence, a feeling that you get when you meet our children and staff.

The root of our ethos is to ‘grow your learning’. We want the knowledge, skills and understanding taught at Appletree to be memorable and built upon so that pupils leave with confidence, independence and the ability to pursue future success.


At Appletree Gardens we believe that our children blossom and reach their potential when they feel happy, physically and mentally healthy and safe at school. We take pride in providing a kind, caring, respectful and supportive environment for all of our pupils so they can ‘grow their learning’ in a calm, relaxed, friendly and safe atmosphere.

Relationships are at the heart of Appletree and are embedded securely and consistently across the school where we have healthy, caring and respectful relationships which are complemented by kindness, honesty, integrity and generosity.  This supports the importance of wellbeing where we can all be happy and successful and where children grow and move on to make a meaningful contribution to society.

Mental health is a growing concern and is at the forefront of Government concern for both children and adults. Nationally 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. Research shows that most issues begin in childhood. 1 in 8 children and young people are experiencing mental health difficulties. Issues include depression, anxiety, conduct disorder and are mostly a direct response to what is happening in their lives. Community is at the heart of Appletree and we are committed as a school to help improve our community based mental health.

Another rising concern is that our children are growing up in a world of ever-changing technology. Children learn how the internet is a great tool for learning, sharing and connecting with friends and family. But they are taught to recognise that it's not without risks for them including inappropriate content, cyberbullying, internet addiction and online gaming all of which can affect our physical and mental health.  

Our children appreciate the importance of 'having a voice' and are confident to use it in different ways which include our School Council, Eco Warriors, pupil leaders and strategies such as BLOSSOM, support plans, TRIVE, Jigsaw and mental heath registers. Our pupil voice has created a PSHE curriculum that reflects our community.

Appletree is a 'great place to grow' where both children and staff are all encouraged to access a variety of experiences and opportunities such as trips, visitors, clubs, enhancement days, competitions and training sessions.

We work closely with parents raising awareness of concerns such as anti-bullying and online safety, the importance of looking after our physical and mental health which helps them to keep their children safe and happy and to cope with life's challenges.


Our school follows a comprehensive scheme called ‘Jigsaw’ where teachers follow well structured lesson plans and have resources to hand. As a whole school approach this scheme is a spiral, progressive and an effective scheme of work. Every class has allocated time on their timetable to teach Jigsaw, making it securely and consistently embedded within our school; preparing children for life, where they become more aware and value who they are and how they relate to other people in this ever changing world.

In addition to meeting statutory requirements through Jigsaw,  we strive to meet the needs for Appletree's children. The root of our ethos 'Grow your learning' and its 5 branches 'I am healthy', 'I reach my potential', 'I am happy and safe', 'I have opportunities' and 'I have a voice' reflect our ambition for each of our children. They are our golden thread which run through all areas of our curriculum and are planned into all lessons. If you have the opportunity to visit our school you will see and hear all about our Our BLOSSOM code. This was developed through a family competition and therefore represents behaviours that are important to our children, parents and carers. The BLOSSOM code 'Be respectful', 'Learn from Mistakes', 'Organised and on time', 'Safety first', 'share and support', 'Open your mind and  Manners matter' now promotes our high expectations for behaviour. It is displayed in every classroom and around school and is referred to and celebrated throughout the day by all staff and children. 

We love to hear what our children think and feel, so we talk to the children and identify issues that arise which may create a barrier to learning that are unique to them. Issues have included low self-esteem, lack of resilience and not talking about and sharing our worries. To ensure these issues are addressed securely and consistently across the school,  children take part in whole school initiatives including value of the week, assemblies, teacher’s daily discussions and whole school PSHE themed days. 

Out of school opportunities such as educational visits, festivals, sports events and competitions are provided to children who may otherwise not have these experiences.

We also celebrate national initiatives that keep us safe and healthy such as: Anti-Bullying Week where children come into school wearing odd socks and talk about what makes a good friend as well as what to do if you experience bullying; Mental Health Week where we encourage children to share experiences and talk about mental health; Internet Safety Week to help our children to be knowledgeable, responsible and safe in an ever changing digital world. 

This offers our children a broader and ambitious PSHE curriculum that is embedded securely and consistently across the school. We are proud that it is tailored to all of our children’s needs and provides opportunities way beyond the statutory PSHE curriculum; improving our children’s life chances and their community.



We have the same high expectations of the quality of children's work in PSHE as we do in other curriculum areas. Our strong PSHE curriculum is memorable and builds upon the knowledge children have acquired in previous year groups. 
Our 'Grow your learning' ethos and its 5 branches are the golden threads that runs through our curriculum. The BLOSSOM code ensures that PSHE not only covers statutory requirements but meets the needs of our children at Appletree First School. It is woven through all lessons and it is constantly promoted and celebrated throughout the day. 
Although there is no formal assessment for PSHE, progress and outcomes are assessed and captured through conversations, questionnaires, pupil voice, behaviour, self-evaluation and monitoring. This is used to identify pupils who may need support or intervention and whole school improvements. Recent Government strategies and our assessments highlight that children with SEND were more likely to be working towards curriculum expectations. We have now added a PSHE section onto every child's support plan with a video where children and their parents can express themselves and have their voice heard. From this personalised targets are agreed helping all SEND children to achieve their potential.
Staff at Appletree can be seen to have high expectations for behaviour for learning and apply them  consistently and fairly. This is reflected by our children who have a positive attitude, are resilient and take pride in what they achieve. The relationships between staff, children and parents creates an environment where children feel safe and happy to learn.
In recent surveys
  • 100% of children agreed  'I feel safe at school'. (KS1)
  • 100% of year 1 parents agreed 'My child feels safe at school'.
  • 100% of KS2 children knew the difference between bullying and cyber bullying and said they would know what to do if they thought they were being bullied. Replies included telling a parent, teacher, family member or a friend.
  • 100% of all parents said they would recommend our school.
Children in year 4 leave with the knowledge and skills that empower them and they have a positive outlook of themselves. This along with the opportunities and experiences they have acquired throughout their journey at Appletree means they leave with confidence, independence and are ready for the next stage of their journey. We are confident our children have the ability to continue with their interests, aspirations and to pursue future success.


Whole School Progression  
Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health
At Appletree First School we teach RSE and Health through the Jigsaw Scheme of work. We ensure our RSE policy is updated to be in line with the government's statutory guidelines. The government has made changes to what primary schools must teach for RSE and Health. Therefore we have ensured we are meeting these requirements.
At Appletree we define Sex Education as understanding human reproduction. This part of the statutory curriculum is fully covered from year 5 at Monkseaton Middle School; therefore we do not intend to cover sex education within our first school curriculum. Therefore the following lessons have been removed from our Jigsaw curriculum:
Year 3 - Changing Me - Babies (piece 2), Outside body changes (piece 3), Inside body changes (piece 4)
Year 4 -  Changing Me -Having a baby (piece 2), Girls and puberty (piece 3)
We are sharing our policy and our curriculum so that you are aware of the changes that have been made and how RSE and Health is taught at Appletree Gardens. 
Developing SMSC and Emotional Literacy
Jigsaw Assessment Descriptors
Whole School Enrichment Days
Being Me
Our thread from Nursery to Year 4
This is how we can keep ourselves safe on the internet!
Jigsaw - A guide for parents and carers leaflet