PSHE and Rights Respecting Education
Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education. PSHE includes helping them to deal with critical issues they face every day such as friendships, emotional wellbeing and changes. At Langrish, PSHE is also closely linked with our work on the RRSA through the UNCRC.
At Langrish Primary School, we follow SCARF to deliver a comprehensive programme of lessons. SCARF provides a whole-school teaching framework centred on the ‘Growth Mindset’ approach – promoting positive behaviour, mental health, wellbeing, resilience and achievement. The SCARF values are brought to life through stories of Harold the giraffe and his friends, songs, films, and thought-provoking and fun activities. As children get older, while they still cherish Harold, themes about wellbeing and relationships are explored in greater depth and resources are tailored to their age group. SCARF is also supplemented by additional lessons to strengthen understanding of key themes.
SCARF provides the framework for a whole-school approach to improving children’s wellbeing and progress, based on five values:
SCARF provides a strong foundation for children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural education (SMSC) and development; it is at the heart of the SCARF curriculum. SCARF provides a robust framework for promoting a positive ethos and values cross the school community, contributing significantly to British Values education, both explicitly and implicitly. Content of taught units will vary for each age group but are always under the following categories:
- Me and My Relationships
- Valuing Difference
- Keeping Safe
- Rights and Respect
- Being My Best
- Growing and Changing
At the foot of this page you will find the SCARF yearly overview with a summary of content for each year group and unit. There are also Knowledge Organisers for each unit and year group which will give a greater depth overview of taught content.
The principles of PSHE education are embedded throughout the curriculum. It is taught in weekly sessions and supplemented in whole-school assemblies, with extra activities at teachers’ discretion and used when appropriate. Content from SCARF is also supplemented with content from other providers, in order to meet the needs of the school community (for example, Waves of Wellbeing in EYFS, Clever Never Goes and resources from Hampshire Safeguarding Children Partnership).
At Langrish School, we believe that children's right to be involved in decisions that affect their lives (Article 12 UNCRC) needs to be evident in all aspects of the life of the school. Pupil participation in and through our active whole school parliament has resulted in child led initiatives, such as writing a pupil anti-bullying policy, redesigning a behaviour reflection sheet and influencing a healthy lunchtime menu. These and other initiatives will continue to shape our school.
By putting the UNCRC at the heart of what we do, we are making a commitment to promote and uphold these rights. As adults, we strive to promote participation, show openness, take personal and collective responsibility, be there for all children and believe in children's capabilities and talents. We see our role as one of an activator and advocate.
The use of inquiry and participatory methods in our teaching and learning leads to greater engagement in and enjoyment of learning, as well as increased performance.
Creating a safe learning environment
When setting up any lesson that deals with potentially sensitive subjects, it’s essential to begin by creating a safe, secure learning environment. This will help children feel confident to share their ideas, values and attitudes without fear of negative feedback from their peers. A safe learning environment with clear boundaries also helps teachers to manage discussions on sensitive issues with greater confidence.
The Relationships Education (formerly SRE or RSE) resources within SCARF include specially produced films and guidance for dealing with the particularly sensitive nature of this subject. These cover creating a safe environment, handling sensitive questions and using a question box or ‘Ask it basket’.
Before getting started
In order to establish a safe learning environment, it’s recommended good practice to:
- Link PSHE and emotional health and wellbeing education into the whole-school approach to supporting pupil welfare and safety. The use of SCARF to build a positive, respectful ethos in school can help with this.
- Work with pupils to establish ground rules about how they will behave towards each other in discussion, rather than imposing rules on them. This helps rules to be more meaningful and relevant
- Ensure that ground rules/class agreements reflect our school’s wider policies and practice in relation to managing sensitive issues.
- Provide opportunities for children to ask questions anonymously, by using a Question Box or ‘Ask it Basket’, for example. This enables children to ask questions that concern them without having to do so in front of their peers.
- Offer opportunities for pupils to discuss issues in small groups as well as sharing views with the class; this can help some children to feel more confident.
- Provide balanced information including a variety of views to help pupils clarify their own opinions (whilst being clear that behaviours such as discrimination and bullying are never acceptable in any form).
- Be aware of and sensitive to the needs and experiences of individual children that may have direct experience of some of the issues being discussed.
- Provide information to children about how they can get help and support both in school and outside, as appropriate.
- Always work within the school’s policies on safeguarding and confidentiality, in particular making it clear to children our school policies on disclosure of confidential information and following up concerns in a more appropriate setting outside lessons.
- Depersonalise discussions by using distancing techniques – stories, role-play, scenarios of real situations but with fictional characters and storylines etc.
Setting ground rules or a class working agreement
Although ground rules are most meaningful and effective when developed as a class, there are basic elements that should be encouraged, including:
- Listen to and respect each other
- Use language that won’t offend or upset other people.
- Use the correct terms, and if we don’t know them, we’ll ask for help.
- Comment on what was said, not the person who said it.
- Don’t share our own, or our friends’, personal experiences.
- Don’t put anyone on the spot or ask personal questions
- We have the right to pass.
- Don’t judge or make assumptions about anyone.
What works best
Research by the PSHE Association about what teachers report to be the most effective ground rules that they work best when:
- Written in children’s own words
- Displayed in the classroom
- Monitored by children themselves
- Upheld consistently by the teacher as well as the children, without exception.
At Langrish, all classes begin the year by creating a Class Charter. These are created in collaboration with the children and linked to their rights as described in the UNCRC, in order to ensure all children are included and feel emboldened to participate in class discussions and any other activity.
What is the UNCRC?
In 1989 UNICEF established a set of 54 Articles known as the Convention for the Rights of the Child. The convention applies to every child under the age of 18, without discrimination, whatever their ethnicity, gender, religion, language, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever their family background. Almost every country in the world has signed this convention to uphold the Articles within their country and do all it can to protect children’s rights. The convention underpins everything UNICEF does around the world.
The convention recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with dignity and fairness, to be protected, to develop to their full potential and to participate. Every adult has a responsibility to ensure children’s rights are protected.
What is the Rights Respecting School Award (RRSA)?
The RRSA focuses on children’s rights in schools and takes a whole-school approach to child rights and human rights education. A UNICEF Rights Respecting School is a community where children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted.
By learning about their rights, our pupils also learn about the importance of respecting the rights of others i.e. their responsibilities. Pupils at Langrish are encouraged to reflect on how their behaviour and actions affect those around them which allows us to build and maintain a positive and safe learning environment for all. RRSA links with Fundemental British Values as well as topics covered in PSHE lessons.
To achieve the UNICEF UK Rights Respecting School Award, schools are required to implement four evidence-based standards:
- Rights-respecting values underpin leadership and management
- The whole-school community learns about the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
- The school has a rights-respecting ethos
- Children are empowered to become active citizens and learners
To find out more about what it is like to be part of a Rights Respecting School, please watch our video here:
Where are we on our journey?
- At the start of the year each class create their own Class Charter. Children chose the most important rights they believe should be respected within their classroom and have explained how they will respect these rights
- We make cross-curricular links to Articles within the UNCRC. This gives opportunity to discuss these rights both in relation to themselves and other children around the world.
- Our Behaviour policy is built around the right to be heard and kept safe.
- Assemblies remind children of their rights and how we can respect them in our everyday lives at school.
- Assemblies also celebrate children who have demonstrated excellent knowledge of their rights and ‘Good Citizen’ behaviours throughout the week.
- School policies reflect the Articles of the UNCRC demonstrating the whole school commitment to embedding them within the school ethos
- Our School Council meet regularly to discuss our rights and suggest ways to improve our school further. As a result, pupil voice is very strong throughout the school and this has a positive impact on learning, inclusion and wellbeing. The School Council are also responsible for fundraising and raising awareness of global and environmental issues
- We have a rights respecting display with key Articles shown on the walls as a reminder to everyone within the school
- The children have regular opportunity to keep up to date with issues and news from around the world when they tune into CBBC Newsround for significant world events and take part in a weekly Picture News discussion assembly.
- Children take an active part in their learning by working alongside their peers or adults to celebrate and set targets for improvement
- Children have different responsibilities around the school. Each class has monitors for a variety of jobs around the classroom. Children in Upper Key Stage 2 are assembly helpers, playground leaders and Junior Road Safety Officers. Each year, children from all classes are elected as a School Council members, Arts Ambassadors and Eco Ambassadors.
- We actively support a number of charities throughout the year. Recent charities and fundraising have supported Children in Need, Cats Protection and more!
- We have an established Eco Council in school where children are encouraged to share their thoughts on improvements that can be made in areas of sustainability and improving our school environment.
Rights Respecting Schools Award (Level 1)
Our steering committee (including: pupils, staff, a governor and community representatives) have been working towards the Level 1 Rights Respecting Schools Award, which we are delighted to say we have now achieved. The full report is attached below, but we are particularly proud of the following points:
- School Leaders have a clear commitment to the principles and values of the UNCRC and the Rights Respecting work is giving children a voice.
- Pupils are able to site a range of rights and show good understanding that rights are universal and unconditional. They are also able to apply their understanding of rights in different contexts.
- Parents and governors are supportive of the school's rights respecting work; one parent explained that for pupils it was, 'such a positive thing to have a voice.'
- The school's ethos is underpinned by high levels of respect which was very evident throughout the assessment period.
- Pupils are supportive of and courteous to each other.
- One Year 6 pupil explained that an understanding about rights helps to resolve any disagreement and is becoming 'entwined into our everyday lives.'
- When asked, pupils said they felt safe at school and were able to describe ways in which this was achieved.
Click here for more information on the UNICEF website.
Langrish Primary School is one of more than 4,000 Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools across the country that embed children's rights in their ethos and culture.
Having achieved Level 1 of the RRSA the decision was made to continue our Rights Respecting journey with the Hampshire Team overseeing RRE, and this meant that we were awarded Engagement level at the outset. We have had several opportunities to contribute towards activities locally. These have supported our understanding and implementation of the Rights on the UNCRC. These have included the Hampshire 2050 Project, hosting the Primary EARA group meetings, welcoming visitors from Toronto who looked at how we introduce the Articles on the UNCRC in Early Years, and more recently we contributed two pieces of artwork towards the Climate Crisis Art Project outside Winchester Cathedral. Our aim is to achieve Hampshire's RRE Advocate level which recognises our work for the rights of the child within the school and wider community.
October 2021: News Update!
We are very pleased to announce that Langrish School has been awarded the Advocacy Award for Rights Respecting Eduction from Hampshire which recognises the journey we have been on over the past five years. The full report is attached at the bottom of this page.
EARA (Equality and Rights Advocates) Group Journey
Our EARA group joined the other Hampshire EARA groups for their termly meeting at Springwood Junior School this month. Before Christmas, each group had been challenged to create their own mission statement to help pupil’s within their schools understand their role. Our group volunteered to share their mission statement as part of a longer presentation, in which they also showed their knowledge of the UNCRC’s rights and initiated a discussion with their audience through a rights quiz!
The main focus for this month’s EARA meeting was based around art, in particular, how art can be interpreted in different ways and how it can make you feel. Many pieces of art work were shown during the morning, including a picture of a lion. The children were then asked to draw or doodle how they were feeling that day, e.g. a boat on level water was drawn to show calmness or doodles were drawn to shown nervousness. On their return to Langrish, our EARA group then planned an assembly for each Key Stage to share their discussion and encourage everyone to reflect on how they could use art to represent their emotions. Each class was then challenged to complete a drawing of their choice to represent their feelings.
As an Advocate School, our EARA group were invited to open the Inclusion and Diversity County Conference. They shared what it was like to be part of a Rights Respecting school and what difference this means for our school. They presented beautifully despite not knowing any of the delegates. Their presentation slides are below. Well done team!
We have had the privilege to take part in a Commission of inquiry by Hampshire County Council aimed at understanding what people who live in the county think that Hampshire should look like in the future.
Ten pupils from KS2 attended two sessions with an advisor from the Children’s Services team and were given the opportunity to talk about what they want Hampshire to be like in 2050 and what might prevent this from happening.
The second session was filmed for use in the Commission meeting and for publication on Youtube.
You can view the web version of the film on Environment and Place at:
Some of the children involved expressed their opinions about the opportunity to participate in the commission:
‘I felt that by listening to my opinion, it would help to change things’ - Year 3
‘I felt that they were really interested in what children had to say and how we could have a say in the future’ - Year 3
‘It was useful because we got to think about what we wanted to leave for our descendants’ - Year 5
‘I felt like I was being listened to and I knew what I could do when I am older if I don’t have a good environment’ - Year 5
‘It was useful that I was listened to and to know that I could make a change about what happens in the future’ - Year 5
‘I think it will be really useful to them to know some children’s opinions on what is happening and the future’ - Year 4