Personal Social and Health Education
What is the purpose of PSHE?
The PSHE programme is wide and varied. Its aim is to inspire a respect and love of life and knowledge: to explore and celebrate the qualities that define and unify us all and thus create a confident happy community.
What we do:
Our pastoral care is renowned and is of great importance at St James. We create an atmosphere of love and care where each child can grow in awareness, self confidence and thoughtfulness.
By definition the PSHE education covers a broad range and there are a number of ways in which this is met within the wider school curriculum. In addition many topics are delivered in ‘taught' sessions by the class teacher.
The most important principle in the PSHE is that “Every Child Matters”. There are five imperatives that must be part of a young child’s education if every child is to realise that they are respected and recognised as an individual. These five imperatives are:
• Promoting a healthy life style
• Teaching children how to stay safe
• Teaching pupils the importance of physical fitness, good nutrition and promoting caring relationships.
• Fire safety and safety at home
• Appropriate behaviour
• Safety when out and about
Enjoy and Achieve
• Enjoy all Activities
• Have a positive outlook
• Recognise their talents and develop them
• Access to stillness and quiet
Make a Positive Contribution
• Encourage pupils to contribute to needs of school community, family and local community.
• Fundraising for charity within the school offers opportunity to develop creative ideas and work with others
• Promotes positive behaviour and tolerance of difference within the school
Achieve Economic Well Being
• Work with individual talents and strengths to cultivate greater self confidence and awareness
• Sing, participate in class play
• Work for swimming and gymnastic awards
• Enter music, art, speech competitions
Our guiding principle is that that the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical well being of every child is the priority.
We deliver this level of care with a structured approach. The class teacher remains with the class for at least three years, therby giving the opportunity for a solid relationship between home and school and a strong sense of security for a young child.
Each class has one Philosophy lesson a week when the intention is to stimulate an enquiry into the spirit of the human being and to look at his relationship with the universe. The school supports values such as honesty, compassion and generosity and explores these themes through stories, games, pictures and questions. Children really look at, ask questions and talk about themselves, their feelings and what they understand. They are encouraged to listen to and support each other in this. Every child’s contribution is valid.
At the beginning and end of each lesson children and teachers take the opportunity to be quiet and still for a few moments. This creates a calm atmosphere, a connection with something peaceful and unchanging in today's busy world.
Yr6 have the opportunity to be introduced to meditation if they wish. This is offered through the School of Meditation, which has no religious affliliation.
Once a week there is a ‘Commendations’ Assembly in which children from each class are commended for outstanding effort, behaviour or work. One child in the school is awarded the Head Teacher’s commendation. The teachers use praise as much as possible for positive reinforcement and increasing self-esteem. Inset days with Noel-Janice Norton have helped the staff with this.
Monday Whole school – music and prayer
Tuesday Class Time for Philosophy Lesson (ref Philosophy section)
Wednesday Sanskrit and tales from the Indian epics
Friday Girls Assembly 8.20-8.40am
Boys Assembly 8.40-9.00am
Occaisionally we have visiting speakers e.g. fundraiser from Great Ormond Street Hospital, John Dunn Arctic explorer. Religious festivals from other cultures e.g. Divali, Eid, Hanukah are celebrated with the help of guest speakers.
Links with the Church
Rev. Rob Marshall is the School Chaplain. He conducts Church services at the beginning and end of each term and takes assembly at School 3 or 4 times a term. Father Rob teaches Scripture to Yr 5 and Yr 6. Scripture is taught throughout the school by the Head of the Department or by class teachers.
Children develop self confidence by taking on responsibilities around the School. The Yr 5 boys and girls help in the younger classes, the library and offices during their morning break. Yr 6 boys become prefects and there is a Head Boy and deputies. Children are also given jobs as monitors within classes. Yr 2 children (6 every 3 weeks) become ‘playground friends’ and Yr 5 have special responsibilities to care for the KS1 children in the playground. Children learn about responsibility to a larger extent through the House system and house points in Years 3 – 6.
Buddy System – Year 5 girls and boys have a buddy system. Each has a responsibility to a new Reception child for the year – look after them, walk to Church and one playtime a week.
Links with Other Subjects
In English and Drama there are numerous opportunities for speech in front of an audience to develop self confidence. In Science, Geometry and Maths the expression of intangible beauty and order is encouraged and sense of awe and wonder is fostered. In History the culture and traditions of the Country are appreciated including the Monarchy, Church and Parliament. In Geography the children learn about themselves as members of the community and learn about the interdependence of communities in the wider world.
The children are introduced to the public institutions and services in England through a variety of school trips. For example they visit at least three major Cathedrals, witness the Major General’s Parade, or Changing of the Guards, and visit the Globe Theatre. The children go to the Fire Station and are visited at school by the local Police Force.
The Celebration of our Own and other Cultures
At St James we explore and celebrate qualities that define and unify us all. The children are encouraged to respect all religions and cultures in the spirit of harmony and tolerance. As part of the curriculum they meet the best material from a variety of cultures – the music of Mozart, the language of Shakespeare, the teachings of Jesus and the great epics – the Mahabharata, Ramayana and the Odyssey. Divali is usually celebrated and parents are encouraged to organise or help with this and other religious festivals. The older children have also heard about the Czech Scrolls. There are occasional days when traditional food (e.g. from Greece or India) is served.
St James has links around the world – our gap year assistant teachers come from these Schools and help to widen the children’s appreciation of the world. Stories used in Assembly and Philosophy are often from different cultures.
Respect for the Law and Distinguishing Right from Wrong
The school virtues are – harmlessness, magnanimity, never careless and truthfulness. The children are taught to understand and respect these which are provided to show the benefits of right action. Whenever games are played in the classroom, the gym or the sports field, the children are encouraged to respect each other and the rules of the game. Sportsmanship, fair play and supporting one another are made a priority.
Contribution to the Community
Children are encouraged to use their initiative to raise money for charity. On Founders Day last year each class came up with an idea to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. During the past 3 years classes have raised funds for Darfur, St James in Durban, South Africa, RNLI, The British Legion, TAG Soweto, Jeans for Genes, Romania and the local church. Within their own school community children take a responsibility for caring for the environment. Yr4 children look after recycling in the School and are part of the eco squad committee. Children take care of the school garden, Yr5 girls stand quietly on the stairs at the end of playtime to remind others to be quiet. The choir sing carols at St. Mary’s Old Peoples Nursing Home each year and this year sang in the chapel of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
One child from each class is elected to represent the class on the Council. The Council is led by the Head Boy and meets with the Head twice a term. This provides a forum in which the children can be involved in making meaningful decisions that affect their lives at school.
Each class visits the ‘Art of Hospitality’ for a cooking lesson once or twice a term. They learn about healthy eating, fresh food in season. Children are taught to serve their friends and guests. This aspect of service is also an important feature of meal times at school. The children learn good table manners while they sit down to lunch as a class with the class teacher.
The children learn about their bodies and caring for themselves. They hear about personal hygiene, are reminded to wash their hands regularly and brush their teeth. Matron speaks to the older classes about personal hygiene and their changing bodies.
Children learn about personal safety-
Police Force- children hear about approaching policemen if they need help and about stranger danger.
Fire safety - visit to the fire station. Each year the children have training in fire safety at school and at home from a fire officer.
Cycling- helmets, luminous strips
Road safety – look left, look right and left again, then listen
Safety at home – matches, electricity, hot water, ovens, and hobs
We teach PSHE in a variety of ways.
• Whole School assemblies e.g. Exploring feelings of New Beginnings
• Visitors to the School e.g. RNLI, Battersea Dogs Home
• Class trips e.g. Canterbury Cathedral, Fire Station
• Through other subjects e.g. The Monarch in History, or Eating Healthy Food in Science and cookery
• Residential experiences on School trips
• Charity events
• Class activities and discussions – e.g. Philosophy
Recording and Reporting
Children’s efforts and achievements are marked in a variety of ways including:
• Stickers and praise
• House points
• Assembly commendations
• Via end of term reports to parents and during the parent/teacher interviews
• Pupils have personal targets which they may set themselves and assess their own success in meeting them.
An important aspect in the teaching of PSHE is that the contribution of every child is highly valued. Because of the wide range of activities and approaches involved in PSHE there are ample opportunities for all to contribute in some way.
All teachers are involved in some way in the teaching of PSHE. Class teachers teach Philosophy to their classes.
For further information or to view our PSHE Policy (including Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development) you are invited to go to the Junior School Office.