What is PSHE education?

Personal , Social, Health & Economic Education enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. It helps them to understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.

We provide our children with opportunities to learn about rights and responsibilities, and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self worth and contribute positively to school life and the wider community.

What do schools have to teach in PSHE education?

The National Curriculum determines that every school needs to have a broad and balanced curriculum to:

  • promote the spiritual, moral, social, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school
  • prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life
  • promote British Values

From September 2020, primary schools in England are also required to teach Relationships and Health Education (RHE) as compulsory subjects and the Department for Education strongly recommends this should also include age-appropriate Sex Education (RSHE).

Schools also have statutory responsibilities to safeguard their pupils (Keeping Children Safe in Education, DfE, 2019) and to uphold the Equality Act (2010).

At West Grove we use the Jigsaw Programme to deliver our PSHE curriculum and the RSHE requirements as recommended by the DfE. Jigsaw is a mindful approach to PSHE that also covers mental health and safeguarding objectives.

What is Jigsaw?

Jigsaw is a whole-school approach with creative teaching and learning activities to nurture children’s development as compassionate and well-rounded human beings, as well as building their capacity to learn.

Jigsaw has two main aims for all children:

  • To build their capacity for learning
  • To equip them for life

Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, compulsory Relationships and Health Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. It is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme at the same time at their own level.

Jigsaw covers all areas of PSHE for the primary phase including statutory Relationships and Health Education. The table below gives the learning theme of each of the six Puzzles (units) and these are taught across the school; the learning deepens and broadens every year.

TermPuzzle (Unit)Content
Autumn 1:Being Me in My WorldIncludes understanding my own identity and how I fit well in the class, school and global community. Jigsaw Charter established.
Autumn 2:Celebrating DifferenceIncludes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and understanding
Spring 1:Dreams and GoalsIncludes goal-setting, aspirations, who do I want to become and what would I like to do for work and to contribute to society
Spring 2:Healthy MeIncludes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices, sleep, nutrition, rest and exercise
Summer 1:RelationshipsIncludes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills, bereavement and loss
Summer 2:Changing MeIncludes Relationships and Sex Education in the context of coping positively with change

What is RSHE?

RSHE stands for Relationships, Sex and Health Education. The focus in primary school is to teach children the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships with particular reference to family, friends and relationships with other children and adults. It includes an understanding of what friendship and family means and how to show respect for others. It also includes the building of healthy online relationships and teaches the children how to ensure relationships are safe.

It is important to explain that whilst the Relationships Puzzle (unit) in Jigsaw covers most of the statutory Relationships Education, some of the outcomes are also taught elsewhere in Jigsaw e.g. the Celebrating Difference Puzzle helps children appreciate that there are many types of family composition and that each is important to the children involved. This holistic approach ensures the learning is reinforced through the year and across the curriculum.

Health education

Health education covers both physical well-being and mental health. It includes learning about emotions and how to manage these.

Health Education in primary schools will cover mental wellbeing, internet safety and harms, physical health and fitness, healthy eating, drugs, alcohol and tobacco, health and prevention, basic First Aid and the changing adolescent body.

The expected outcomes for each of these elements can be found further on in this policy. The way the Jigsaw Programme covers these is explained in the mapping document: Jigsaw 3-11 and Statutory Relationships and Health Education.

It is important to explain that whilst the Healthy Me Puzzle (unit) in Jigsaw covers most of the statutory Health Education, some of the outcomes are taught elsewhere in Jigsaw e.g. emotional and mental health is nurtured every lesson through the Calm me time, social skills are grown every lesson through the Connect us activity and respect is enhanced through the use of the Jigsaw Charter.

Also, teaching children about puberty is now a statutory requirement which sits within the Health Education part of the DfE guidance within the ‘Changing adolescent body’ strand, and in Jigsaw this is taught as part of the Changing Me Puzzle (unit).

Again, the mapping document transparently shows how the Jigsaw whole-school approach spirals the learning and meets all statutory requirements and more.


As outlined by the statutory guidance from the DfE, parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from Relationship Education. Parents can request to withdraw their children from Sex Education during primary school.

If you would like to withdraw your child you must write a letter to the Headteacher.