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St Michael's C of E VA Primary School

‘Life in all its Fullness’

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St Michael’s PSHE Executive Summary


Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) Vision

‘Life in all its Fullness’


At St Michael's we want to give our children the best possible primary school education so that they are ready to access their next phase of education and can confidently experience our school vision of 'Life in all its fullness' both now and in the future.


Our approach is shown in the 'Life in all its fullness' Curriculum Tree. The tree and the curriculum drivers were established following workshops with parents, governors, school staff and pupils. We explored our ambitions for the St Michael's pupils and the life experiences we want to provide during primary school education so that they are well prepared for their next stage in education and to enable them to lead a fulfilling life.



We believe that our pupils need to feel safe, loved and cared for, as represented on the roots of our Curriculum Tree – family, school, community, church – so that they have a strong sense of belonging and of their intrinsic worth.


Curriculum Drivers and Values

Our curriculum drivers, which have been linked with our Christian values, support us to develop pupils' personal, social, spiritual and moral education.


CD1: People Skills - Communication and Confidence (value of friendship)

Self-esteem and confidence: We believe that our children need to have good self-esteem and a highly developed emotional literacy in order to experience positive relationships and have the confidence to achieve in life. We teach the children to appreciate the uniqueness and value of each individual through the use of publications such as  'Valuing all God's children' and through our Collective Worship and assemblies.


Emotional literacy: Children are taught to have a good understanding of their own emotions through the use of the Zones of Regulation, and to have empathy and respect for others.


Equality and celebrating diversity: We celebrate diversity across the curriculum, starting in the Reception class through the area of Knowledge and Understanding of the World and building on this through PSHE, RE, history, geography, art and DT lessons as the children move through the school. 


Positive wellbeing and mental health: We use the 5 Ways to Wellbeing to help children to talk openly about mental health and to share practical strategies to enhance our wellbeing.


Behaviour: We use a therapeutic approach to behaviour. Children understand that 'Life in all its fullness' does not mean that life will always be perfect and that mistakes will still happen. We use 'reflect and repair' to support children to learn from mistakes and to make better choices next time. The anti-bullying message is carefully woven through the curriculum and through assemblies.


CD2: Learning Skills – Attitude and Aspiration (value of wisdom)

Learning to learn: Children are taught ‘how’ to learn; to try new things, to ask questions, to persevere, to be resilient and reflective, to problem solve, to learn strategies to help them focus and to manage their time effectively. We use the language of growth mindset to support all pupils to embrace challenge.


Motivation: The curriculum is taught in an engaging, purposeful context, using ‘real life’ situations wherever possible, so that children enjoy their learning.


Learning vocabulary: Children are taught new vocabulary through our decoding, prosody, comprehension approach to the teaching of early reading skills. Key vocabulary is identified in each curriculum subject area and built upon year on year. Children are taught the language to use to enable them to 'disagree well'.


Aspiration: We work to broaden children’s horizons by nurturing their interests and increasing their awareness of current and future opportunities through our Dreamcatcher assemblies.


Wisdom: The children hear about words of wisdom of famous people, as well as from the parents who lead our Dreamcatcher assemblies and the Year 6 children as they leave primary school. These are displayed around the school for children to read.


CD3: Creativity – Culture and Enrichment (value of perseverance)

Extra-curricular clubs: The arts, music and sport offer enrichment and add an extra dimension to life, including opportunities for self-expression, performance and competition. We have a range of extra-curricular clubs to provide opportunities for new experiences and to nurture talents and interests e.g. French club, choir, sports clubs, gardening club, art club.


Enrichment calendar: Each class has at least one ‘out of school’ visit or an 'in-school' workshop per term, linked to their current curriculum learning, to help to embed new knowledge in the long-term memory and to increase cultural capital. Subject leaders arrange at least one whole school enrichment event in their subject e.g. art week, to support children to see whole school progression, to reflect on and build upon past experiences and to provide motivation for new learning.


Curriculum creativity enhancement: We have chosen to follow particular curriculum schemes of work which allow children to demonstrate their skills in a way of their choosing e.g art and DT and to ask questions e.g. history and geography. External professionals enhance our offer e.g. tenor horn teacher, sports coaches. All children have the chance to perform to an audience e.g. Reception and KS1 Nativity, Year 3/4 spring performance, Year 5/6 summer production, Year 6 jazz week and leavers' concert. Children are inspired by drama workshops, performances by professional musicians and workshops delivered by writers and poets.


Heritage: We celebrate the heritage, traditions and culture of the unique community of St Michael’s through dedicated Roman and Victorian heritage weeks. The learning is planned so that the children's knowledge is built on year after year as they progress through the school.


Music and sport within the local area: Children have the opportunity to experience music making with other children in the area through events such as the Jubilee Concert at St Albans Abbey, SAPSMA festivals, maypole dancing at St Michael's folk night, Christmas events. They also have the opportunity to compete in local sports events such as tag rugby festival, district sports, inter-school football matches.


CD4: Exploration – Discovery and Adventure (value of respect)

Respect for all: We introduce children to a wide range of different religious, customs, beliefs and cultural traditions through our assemblies and our RE curriculum. Children have the opportunity to reflect on their own and others' beliefs and learn to have respect for the beliefs and practices of others. Children learn about festivals and celebrations in class lessons and in assemblies.


Exploration of the local area: All pupils have the opportunity to visit local places of interest that are linked to their curriculum learning, such as places of worship, the library, the Verulamium museum and amphitheatre, the St Albans museum, the local park.


Outdoor learning: Each class has two 6-week blocks per year of learning in our Forest School to carry out some of the practical elements of the DT curriculum outdoors. Teachers take learning outside whenever this would enhance the learning experience of the children. We use the school garden and reflection areas to provide opportunities for all members of the community to reflect and to connect with nature.


Environmental awareness: The Eco Council meets fortnightly to address actions in the eco action plan. Regular assemblies provide updates to the whole school. Executive summaries for Knowledge and Understanding of the World (Reception Class) and for Geography and Science outline the curriculum areas that focus on environmental issues, so that learning is logically sequenced and built upon.


Making a difference: Children can represent their class on the school council, Collective Worship group, eco-council and as health and wellbeing ambassadors, sports ambassadors, buddies and house captains. All children consider their own legacy as part of the annual Legacy Week each summer term. Year 6 children tell the younger children what they have learned during their time in primary school. Fund raising events inspire the children to do something to make a difference to others.


Implementation of the PSHE Vision through the

PSHE Curriculum

Our PSHE vision is achieved by:

  • a high-quality curriculum with a clear programme of study which incrementally develops pupils’ knowledge and skills and supports consistency and progression across the school. We have chosen ‘Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE’, as our chosen teaching and learning programme and we tailor this to the St Michael’s children’s needs.
  • reference to the mapping document: ‘Jigsaw 3-11 and statutory Relationships and Health Education’, which shows exactly how Jigsaw, and therefore St Michael’s School, meets the statutory Relationships and Health Education requirements.
  • ensuring the most up-to-date teaching materials and support for our teachers which the Jigsaw programme provides
  • a curriculum which highlights the ‘taught knowledge’ and the ‘social and emotional skills’ which pupils will learn in each year group
  • a curriculum which is relevant to children living in today’s world as it helps them understand, and be equipped to cope with, issues like body image, cyber and homophobic bullying, and internet safety.


Relationships and Health Education – statutory requirements

The Department of Education Guidance 2019 states,

“The Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education Regulations 2019, make Relationships Education compulsory for all pupils receiving primary education. They also make Health Education compulsory in all schools except independent schools.” (DfE Guidance p8)


“In primary schools, we want the subjects to put in place the key building blocks of healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online. This will sit alongside the essential understanding of how to be healthy.”


“These subjects represent a huge opportunity to help our children and young people develop. The knowledge and attributes gained will support their own, and others’ wellbeing and attainment and help young people to become successful and happy adults who make a meaningful contribution to society.” (Secretary of State Foreword – DfE Guidace 2019 p 4-5)


At St Michael’s Primary School, we value the contribution that PSHE plays in children’s development as human beings, to enable them to understand and respect themselves and others, to empower them with a voice and to equip them for life and learning. We include the statutory Relationships and Health Education within our wider PSHE Programme.


Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from Relationships Education, as this is a statutory part of the curriculum. In Relationships Education the key themes that will be taught include:

  • Families and people who care for me
  • Caring friendships
  • Respectful relationships
  • Online relationships
  • Being safe


Sex Education

Sex Education refers to Human Reproduction. The PSHE lessons that explicitly teach this are the Jigsaw Changing Me Puzzle (unit) e.g. Year 4, lesson 2 (Having a baby), Year 5, Lesson 4 (Conception), Year 6, Lesson 4 (Conception, birth).

Although parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from Relationship Education, ‘Parents have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some or all of sex education delivered as part of statutory Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)’ DfE Guidance p17.


The school reminds parents of this right by letter in the summer term, before the ‘Changing Me’ Puzzle is taught. If a parent is considering withdrawing their child from the non-statutory part of the RSE curriculum, we welcome the opportunity to discuss parent concerns, although parental decision is final. Parents should put a request for withdrawal in writing to the Headteacher. A copy of withdrawal requests is placed in the pupil’s education record. Provision and curriculum linked activities is made for those children being withdrawn.


Parents are made aware through our RSE policy that schools are legally required to provide a broad and balanced curriculum. Sex education topics can arise incidentally in other subjects, such as Science, and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions.


Long Term Planning

PSHE is taught every week throughout the school year. We have chosen to follow the Jigsaw scheme of work because it offers a clear programme of study which meets our vision and which brings together PSHE key knowledge, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development. All year groups work on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time.


There are six ‘Puzzles’ that are designed to progress in sequence from September to July. Each ‘Puzzle’ has six Pieces (lessons), which work towards an ‘end product’, for example, The School Learning Charter or The Garden of Dreams and Goals.



Puzzle name


Autumn Term 1:

Being Me in My World

Includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising Learning Charters

Autumn Term 2:

Celebrating Difference

Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work

Spring Term 1:

Dreams and Goals

Includes goal-setting, aspirations, working together to design and organise fund-raising events

Spring Term 2:

Healthy Me

Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices

Summer Term 1:


Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills

Summer 2:

Changing Me

Includes Sex and Relationship Education in the context of looking at change


PSHE in the Early Years Foundation Stage

PSHE is fundamental to all aspects of the EYFS curriculum. The EYFS curriculum documents ‘People Skills: Our Values’ and ‘People Skills: Zones of Regulation’ provide an overview of the key aspects of learning covered in Reception Class. Reception Class also have a weekly whole class lesson in line with the other year groups, using the relevant puzzle piece of the Jigsaw Scheme of Work.


Medium Term Planning

Each PSHE unit is informed by a medium term plan which outlines the taught knowledge and the social and emotional skills which the pupils will learn, the National Curriculum coverage, prior learning, intended outcomes and end points of learning including assessment criteria.


Short Term Planning

The short term plans include:

  • Clear learning objectives
  • Success criteria
  • A reminder of previous learning
  • Presentation and main teaching and learning activities
  • Assessment information – progress and understanding
  • Key vocabulary


Measuring the Impact of the PSHE Vision and Implementation


Expected impact

Pupils will:

  • Leave primary school equipped with a range of knowledge and skills to enable them to succeed in the next stage of their educational journey and indeed to become well-rounded, confident and resilient adults


Formative Assessment

The curriculum is designed in such a way that children are involved in ongoing dialogue and evaluation about their learning.


Summative Assessment

Summative assessments are made twice each year (February and June) based on the progression of skills and intended outcomes for each unit.



Subject leaders monitor provision in PSHE through:

  • observations and learning walks
  • teacher/subject leader discussions
  • pupil voice activities


Subject Leader Action Plan

Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.


Continuing Professional Development

EYFS Leader receives updates on latest research on the teaching of PSHE through association with Herts for Learning.


Subject Leader meets termly with other PSHE Subject Leaders in the St Albans Consortium of Schools Subject Cluster Groups to share ideas and good practice.


The Senior Leadership team has regard to any research and good practice when monitoring provision in PSHE at St Michael’s. Key messages are shared with staff and practice is adapted to reflect the most recent research.


The PSHE Executive Summary is reviewed annually.


Latest revision: April 2024


Subject Leaders:

Fiona Crooks (Deputy Headteacher)

Lorraine Claridge (Lower School Lead Teacher)

At St Michael's, we strive for children to explore their knowledge and understanding of emotions, positive actions and healthy relationships to ensure they can play a positive and successful role in today's diverse society. To implement this across our school we follow the Jigsaw scheme which is an innovative whole-school, lesson-a-week scheme of work. By the time our children leave this school they will have built on their knowledge from Reception to Year 6. We all teach the same 'puzzle piece' (topic) every half term. Below, you can find more information about each 'puzzle piece' and a snapshot of the expected learning from each year group every half term. 

Autumn 1 - Being Me In My World: A sense of belonging; Welcoming others; Building the positive and nurturing ethos of the class/school; Being part of a school community, a wider community, a global community; Rights and responsibilities; Working and socialising with others; School Council and pupil voice; The Learning Charter: rights, responsibilities, rewards and consequences.

Autumn 2 - Celebrating Difference: Similarities and differences – diversity; Appearance, disability, racism, power, friendships, conflict; Accepting everyone’s right to ‘difference’, regardless of their circumstances or choices; What is ‘normal’?; Bullying – what it is and what it isn’t, including cyber and homophobic bullying.

Spring 1 - Dreams and Goals: Hopes and dreams; Goals to success; Learning and personal strengths; Challenges – team work skills and tasks; Overcoming obstacles; Enterprise and fundraising; Experiencing and managing feelings of pride, ambition, disappointment, success; Aspirations – jobs and careers; Dreams and goals of others in different cultures/countries; Dreams for the world .

Spring 2 - Healthy Me: Emotional 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).

Summer 1 - Relationships: Families; Friendships; Love and Loss; Memories; Grief cycle; Pets and animals; Safeguarding and keeping safe; Attraction; Assertiveness; Conflict; Own strengths and self-esteem; Cyber safety and social networking; Roles and responsibilities in families; Stereotypes; Communities; Wider communities

Summer 2 - Changing Me (RSE LESSONS): 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 Years 4, 5 and 6. 

Please find below some relevant and useful documents regarding the teaching of RSE through the Jigsaw scheme - 

Zones of Regulation

At St. Michael’s Primary School, we recognise the importance of promoting positive mental health and emotional wellbeing to our students and their families. We aim to create an open culture around the discussion of mental health and wellbeing and to empower our children be able to regulate their emotions. Alongside out Jigsaw Scheme we we aim to teach our pupils to identify emotions in themselves and others and provide them with bank of strategies to help regulate their emotions and improve their wellbeing.  This is taught through our  Zones of Regulation curriculum.

Click on the link below to find out more about Mental Health and Wellbeing in our school.

Words Of Wisdom from our year 6 leavers