St Mary's RC Primary School, ManchesterSt Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Roman Catholic Primary School


St Mary’s R.C Primary School

 Primary Curriculum – PSHE



Although PSHE is not a statutory subject, the national curriculum states that PSHE is an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education. The National Curriculum does not provide a specific framework for PSHE to allow teachers to adapt the subject based on the needs of their students. At St. Mary’s we follow the PSHE association programme of study.


At St.Mary’s, through our PSHE and RHE curriculum, we enable our children to become happy, healthy, responsible and caring members of society. Our programme is question based and allows children to develop personally, socially, physically and mentally. We encourage children to have confidence in their own thoughts and believe that anything is possible if they put their mind to it. We promote respect, tolerance and equality for all members of our society. We believe it is important to promote diversity and as part of our PSHE curriculum, we encourage our children to ask questions and explore people and communities that are different to them. 


We intend to teach these key skills through three key areas of learning:

The three key areas of learning are:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living in the wider world



At St Mary’s we teach PSHE through a question-based approach. From Nursery to Y6, children focus on key questions throughout the year that link to one of the three key areas of learning. Our curriculum is structured around an overarching question for each term or half term. In EYFS and KS1 these questions begin as ‘what?’ and ‘who?’ questions and build throughout KS2 into ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ questions. The teaching builds according to age and needs of the pupils throughout their primary school career. Additionally, our PSHE questions are cross-curricular and allow children to explore the key questions through a variety of different subjects.

PSHE should provide a platform where students feel safe to explore ‘Big Questions’ and through our teaching and discussions children will learn how to respond to scenarios as a healthy, responsible and caring members of our society. Teachers will also use their professional judgement to meet the needs of the students they are teaching. For example, when arguments in the playground are a daily occurrence teachers use these in their PSHE sessions as learning scenarios. 


At the beginning of the term/ half term, children explore their termly or half termly question as part of a launch lesson. This allows the children to respond to the question initially without any prior knowledge or teaching. Throughout that term/half term teaching should have taken place to focus on the PSHE question. Once the term/half term is over, children will be asked the question again. This time children should be able to answer the question in more depth and with a better understanding. 


PSHE Clubs at St Mary’s

  • Yoga is provided in Y4 as a mindfulness club which promotes good mental health to the children who take part
  • Well-being warriors – Y5 and Y6 children give up their lunchtimes to promote our three key areas of learning through games and activities for the younger children.
  • Sports – there are a variety of sports clubs offered to children throughout the year promoting good mental and physical health and well-being through physical activity.


Religious Values

The teachings of Jesus are central to every aspect of our learning, so we:

  • Our PSHE lessons teach children to accept everyone equally regardless of race, gender or sexuality. We follow the teaching Jesus taught us ‘love thy neighbour as thy self.’
  • Our question-based PSHE curriculum allows us to focus on the question ‘what would Jesus do?’ This allows children to think about the gospel values of our school.
  • Through our key areas of learning, we are able to draw on key messages from the Bible. Through these Bible references we provide children with the opportunity to explore the ‘Big Questions’ through a faith-based lens.

    Key life skills for learning

    Provide a curriculum  that will equip children with the values, skills and attributes needed to be independent thinkers and courageous learners, so we: 
  • We provide children with the opportunity to become independent thinkers.
  • Children develop confidence through exploring and questioning.
  • Our PSHE lesson teach children to be courageous and ask deep and meaningful questions.

Pupil Premium Grant:

Provide extended opportunities to experience a wide range of sites of historical importance which they might not otherwise have chance to access, so we:

  • Remove the barriers for children accessing any trips that enhance their PSHE curriculum.
  • Plan experiences that children might not usually experience, that allow children to explore their ‘big questions’.
  • Provide children with equal opportunity to join clubs and sports teams throughout school. 

Opportunities to embrace cultural capital

is part of our school ethos, so we:

  • Celebrate diversity within our community. Such as: Black History Month; Day of the dead; ADHD awareness month; Science week; International day for the abolition of slavery; harvest festival
  • Promote talking and learning about mental health through: Social media kindness day; Anti-bullying week; Mental health week
  • Provide children with opportunities to learn about and ask questions to people with different cultural backgrounds. 


Our PSHE curriculum is embedded within every curriculum subject which means that our children have a number of opportunities to be ‘thinkers’ and ask deep and meaningful questions. Children enjoy exploring and expressing their own opinions on a given topic.

Summative assessments in KS1 and KS2 are based on the children’s understanding of the ‘Big Questions’. At the beginning of each term/half term, children are asked to answer the big question without any prior teaching (although they may draw on knowledge from previous years). At the end of the termly/ half termly question, children are asked the same question in the hope that they will be able to answer with a much deeper understanding.

Summative assessment in EYFS, is measured in the same way. However, the children’s responses to the question are recorded by the teacher or TA who is discussing the question with a small group.

Formative assessments take place each lesson through quizzes, whiteboard work, teacher-student discussions. Where a child is showing that they do not have a full understanding of the lesson objective, a quick intervention takes place with the TA. During this 5-10mintue intervention the TA will have a 1:1 or group discussion with the child(ren) that need further clarification of the objective.

Pupil voice is an integral part of measuring impact of PSHE lesson throughout the school. Because our PSHE lessons are very discussion heavy, we rely on pupil voice to measure the impact of learning.


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