At Appletree, 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.
We recognise when children’s physical, emotional and mental health is good they are more likely to be able to: enjoy life, deal with stress and difficult times so that they can achieve the best that they can, learn and thrive at school and navigate their way around the world they grow up in and succeed at everything they do.
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. Community is at the heart of Appletree. Sadly, we are aware that North Tyneside is in the lowest 10 authorities for deprivation, it has lower professional occupations and it has the highest male suicide rates in England and Wales. 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; These figures have increased since lockdown. 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. The internet has become a great tool for learning, sharing and connecting with friends and family; especially during the Covid pandemic. But it's not without risks for our children including inappropriate content, cyberbullying, internet addiction and online gaming all of which can affect our physical and mental health.
Amazing Appletree is a great place to grow where both children and staff are encouraged to talk about our mental health and well-being. We want to provide children with a toolbox of strategies to cope with different feelings and situations to help them achieve the best possible outcomes and to cope better throughout life’s challenges. We work closely with parents raising awareness of concerns such as internet safety and mental health and support them to help keep their children safe, happy and to succeed in life.
In addition to meeting statutory requirements through Jigsaw, we strive to meet the PSHE needs for Appletree's children. We monitor and 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 afternoons where children of all ages come together in different classes to share experiences and ideas and take part in different activities.
Out of school opportunities such as educational visits, festivals, sports events and competitions and attending the Queens Commonwealth in London are provided to children who may otherwise not have these experiences.
We also celebrate national initiatives such as: road safety where we have competitions judged by the local community ‘lolly pop lady’; 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 provided opportunities way beyond the statutory PSHE curriculum; improving our children’s life chances.