The focus at Edward Pauling Primary School is on teaching the fundamental building blocks and characteristics of positive relationships, with particular reference to friendships, family relationships, and relationships with other children and with adults.
This starts with pupils being taught about what a relationship is, what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them. From the beginning of primary school, building on early education, pupils are taught how to take turns, how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect, the importance of honesty and truthfulness, permission seeking and giving, and the concept of personal privacy.
Respect for others is taught in an age-appropriate way, in terms of understanding one’s own and others’ boundaries in play, in negotiations about space, toys, books, resources and so on.
From the beginning, teachers will talk explicitly about the features of healthy friendships, family relationships and other relationships which young children are likely to encounter. Drawing attention to these in a range of contexts should enable pupils to form a strong early understanding of the features of relationships that are likely to lead to happiness and security. This will also help them to recognise any less positive relationships when they encounter them.
The principles of positive relationships also apply online especially as, by the end of primary school, many children will already be using the internet. When teaching relationships content, teachers will address online safety and appropriate behaviour in a way that is relevant to pupils’ lives. Teachers include content on how information and data is shared and used in all contexts, including online; for example, sharing pictures, understanding that many websites are businesses and how sites may use information provided by users in ways they might not expect.
Our children are taught to be sensitive and caring and understand that we are all different. This is the same for our families too.
A growing ability to form strong and positive relationships with others depends on the deliberate cultivation of character traits and positive personal attributes in the individual. In a school wide context which encourages the development and practice of resilience and other attributes, this includes character traits such as helping pupils to believe they can achieve, persevere with tasks, work towards long-term rewards and continue despite setbacks. Alongside understanding the importance of self-respect and self-worth, pupils should develop personal attributes including honesty, integrity, courage, humility, kindness, generosity, trustworthiness and a sense of justice. This is achieved in a variety of ways including by providing planned opportunities for young people to undertake social action, active citizenship and voluntary service to others locally or more widely. Our curriculum intent (SCHOOL BAG) is discussed constantly with our pupils and helps build these virtues.
Relationships Education also creates an opportunity to enable pupils to be taught about positive emotional and mental wellbeing, including how friendships can support mental wellbeing.
Through Relationships Education (and RSE), our school teaches pupils the knowledge they need to recognise and to report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. This is delivered by focusing on boundaries and privacy, ensuring young people understand that they have rights over their own bodies. We also cover understanding boundaries in friendships with peers, and also in families and with others, in all contexts, including online.
Pupils know how to report concerns and seek advice when they suspect or know that something is wrong. At all stages it is important to balance teaching children about making sensible decisions to stay safe (including online) whilst being clear it is never the fault of a child who is abused and why victim blaming is always wrong. These subjects complement Health Education and, as part of a comprehensive programme and whole school approach, this knowledge supports safeguarding of children.
By the end of their time with us, pupils should know:
Families and people who care for us
These are taught both directly through the PSHE curriculum, but also link to the Computing curriculum and other events such as participation in the NSPCC 'Speak Out. Stay Safe.' campaign or talks from the police, fire brigade, etc.