PSHE at Kingfisher


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What is PSHE?

PSHE is an essential and valuable element of the school curriculum and under the new guidance issued by the DfE, by September 2020, Relationships Education will be compulsory, alongside Health Education. Current regulations and guidance from the Department for Education state that ‘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.’

As a values-led school, at Kingfisher Special School we aim for the children to become safe, happy learners and through the intent of the PSHE curriculum is for the children to

  • Learn what friendship is, what family means and who the people are who can support them.
  • Develop skills to promote positive relationships with others such as consideration, honesty and treating others with kindness.
  • Develop respect for others through learning how to share, take turns and how to establish personal space and boundaries; understanding the differences between appropriate and inappropriate.
  • Learn how and when to seek help or advice.
  • Learn about the benefits and importance of daily exercise, good nutrition and sufficient sleep.
  • Learn to recognise and name the normal range of emotions that everyone experiences.

At Kingfisher we provide all children with daily opportunities to develop their relationships, physical health and mental wellbeing through a range of activities including:

  • Communication development: Intensive Interaction, PECS, use of Communication Books or Communication Aids.
  • PE: Access to hydrotherapy or swimming, rebound therapy, gross motor development, yoga, bike riding, soft play.
  • Wellbeing: Holistic Stories, Play Therapy, Yoga, Assisted Therapy Dog Visits, SMILES.

PSHE Rationale

High quality PSHE education will aim to develop children’s skills whilst also building knowledge about particular aspects of life. Our PSHE curriculum promotes our school ethos and is underpinned by the school values of ‘Respect, Opportunity, Originality, Trust, Success.’ We believe that our PSHE lessons promote children’s personal and social development, as well as their health and wellbeing; Relationships Education will be effectively taught as an integral part of a broader PSHE curriculum. Our PSHE lessons will provide pupils with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values and skills they need in order to reach their potential as individuals and within the community.

What does PSHE look like for the children at Kingfisher?

All children will be baselined prior to commence of any PSHE or pre-PSHE lessons using the Emotional Development Checklist (see Appendix 1). The baseline assessment allows for children to demonstrate varying levels of knowledge and skills across the three headings identified. Once baselined, staff will be able to teach knowledge and skills specific to children’s stage of development; a child’s social and emotional stage of development may differ from their academic ability. The checklist will them form the assessment element of the PSHE Curriculum.

Flightpath 1 Cognition and Learning – Runways 1-7

Appendix 2 – Developmental opportunities for Learning

Children at the early stages of development may have difficulties making sense of the world around them. They need opportunities to explore and interpret the world around them with adult support. Engagement is a state of being genuinely involved and interested in what they are doing. Children will begin to respond and recognise familiar people, engage in playful interactions and show interest in others around them. Children will partake in activities such as Developmental Movement Play (DMP) and Intensive Interaction which will promote positive mental health through interactions and engagement. Children will begin to develop their ability to make choices and express themselves using their preferred method of communication. Relationships, trust and feeling safe is a key element within Flightpath 1; ‘If children feel safe they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings and grow.’ (Alfie Kohn (1999). “Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes”, p.255, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Flightpath 2 Pre Subject – Runways 8-9: Time for Me

Appendix 3 – Developmental opportunities for Learning

‘Time for Me’ will form part of the Curriculum Offer for children working at Flightpath 2. These lessons will have links within Wellbeing, Sensory and Physical and Communication.

At Flightpath 2 the expectation is that the children have access to a weekly timetabled opportunity to develop their social and emotional skills. At this stage of learning children are NOT necessarily discretely taught PSHE skills; children are to be provided with a range of activities to promote positive wellbeing.

Throughout these sessions children will have opportunity to:

  • Express themselves, their thoughts and feelings.
  • Play alongside and cooperatively with familiar children and adults.
  • Begin to explore new and unfamiliar environments or situations with some independence.
  • Form friendships with others.
  • Express their preferences and interest.
  • Recognise basic feelings within themselves.

Each lesson will follow the same format to ensure the children are cued into this session and to ensure consistency across school:

  • Each lesson will start with a song
  • Children will be offered the opportunity to tell everyone how they feel using whichever communicative method is most suited to them. All feelings are to be accepted, staff are to validate feelings and to ‘say what they see’.
  • A planned activity to promote positive wellbeing and to develop social and emotional skills. Staff will model the social and emotional behaviours they want children to adopt.
  • Mindfulness or relaxation.

Flightpath 3 English – Runways 10-15

Appendix 4 – Developmental opportunities for Learning

For children working at Flightpath 3, PSHE will be planned and delivered by the class teacher in a discrete PSHE lesson once a week. Over the school year each of the three strands will be covered twice to ensure suitable coverage (see Appendix 5). The children will develop their knowledge and skills of:


  • Families and people who care for me.
  • Caring relationships.
  • Respectful relationships.
  • Being Safe.
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing:
  • Mental Wellbeing.
  • Internet Safety and Harms.
  • Physical Health and Fitness.
  • Healthy Eating.
  • Health and Prevention.
  • Where appropriate children will develop their knowledge and skills of:
  • Basic First Aid.
  • Changing Adolescent Body.
  • Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco.
  • Online Relationships.

Our provision is further enhanced through planned enrichment days linked to National Events and awareness days.

Incidental Skills and Opportunities

  • Following routines including classroom routines and personal care routines
  • Developing relationships with staff and peers
  • Knowing how to keep themselves safe
  • Being able to ask for help
  • Practising appropriate behaviour in different situations
  • Communicating preferences and making choices
  • Developing independence through taking on appropriate responsibilities for example, collecting the register

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Spiritual Development  

Through PSHE children will gain self-confidence in their own abilities to communicate with others, share their emotions and explore the environment around them. Children will develop their imaginations through the enjoyment of interacting with other children and adults. PSHE helps children to consider and respond to questions of meaning and purpose in life, to consider and respond to questions about the nature of values in society.  Through Relationship Education children can begin to gain an understanding of the world around them and their place within it. Children will gain self-confidence in their own abilities to communicate with others, share their emotions and explore the environment around them.

Moral Development

Children will learn effective communication enabling them to share their feelings and show respect for others and their feelings. Children will acquire an understanding of the difference between right and wrong and of moral conflict, a concern for others and the will to do what is right. They will be able to reflect on the consequences of their actions and learn how to forgive themselves and others. They will develop their knowledge, skills and understanding, qualities and attitudes they need in order to make responsible moral decisions.  Through Relationship Education children will learn how to follow rules about safety. Children will learn effective communication enabling them to share their feelings and show respect for others and their feelings.

Social Development

Through PSHE children will learn to work and play together.  Two way interactions will be encouraged from early stages of communication through to co-operative play.  Children’s ability to understand the world around them will be improved and they will begin to take turns and share resources with less adult support. PSHE helps children to develop their sense of identity and belonging by preparing them for life as responsible citizens in an increasingly diverse world.

Through Relationship Education children will develop essential communication and social skills enabling them to work as a team and include their peers in discussion and debate. Children’s ability to understand the world around them will be improved and they will begin to understand agreed codes of behaviour including honesty and democracy. Children will learn self-respect through communication experiences.

Cultural Development

PSHE helps foster children’s awareness and understanding of a range of beliefs and practices in the community and the wider world, and by exploring issues within and between faiths. This will develop their understanding of the cultural contexts within which they and others live.

Through Relationship Education children will explore themes about relationships across cultures and religions.

Outdoor Learning

Using outdoors environments or bringing the outdoors in can promote positive mental wellbeing, researchers at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City have found that there are significant mental health benefits to be gained from participating in outdoor activities.

Spending time in green space or bringing nature into your everyday life can benefit both your mental and physical wellbeing. For example, doing things like growing food or flowers, exercising outdoors or being around animals can have lots of positive effects.’  (

Ideas include:

  • Collect natural materials, for example leaves, flowers, feathers, tree bark or seeds.
  • Arrange a comfortable space to sit, for example by a window where you can look out over a view of trees or the sky.
  • Grow plants or flowers.
  • Take photos of your favourite places in nature.
  • Listen to natural sounds, like recordings or apps that play birdsong, ocean waves or rainfall.
  • Get creative. Draw or paint animals or nature scenes.
  • Eat outdoors. Have a picnic in a local park, or simply sit in a garden.

Gender Neutrality

PSHE will promote gender neutrality and will avoid any stereotyping due to the sex of a person.  Children will be exposed to a range of activities in a non-gendered way and staff will model the expectations.

Children are so open-minded and ready to listen, they have no set views and they are fluid in their ideas and understanding and readily accept, given the opportunity to do so. To support them, teachers need to be ready with songs, books and examples in their repertoire and jump at any opportunity to challenge preconceived views in young children.’ (Dana: Educate & Celebrate Best Practice nursery teacher –

Staff will challenge stereotypes to give children a breadth of learning experiences and to ensure no child feels like certain options are closed off to them including:

  • Song; staff may adapt songs ie: Daddy Finger, Mummy Finger to represent the families of the children in class.
  • Small-world play areas; will contain a mixture of non-gender-specific resources.
  • Books.

In our teaching of Relationship Education, attention is paid to ensure gender-neutral resources and content and gender stereotypes are avoided. Children will have opportunities to explore the diversity of the world and the people who live in it.

Kingfisher Action Team (KAT)

The KAT (Kingfisher Action Team) is a group of children who act as advocates for their peers. They meet to discuss any issues brought to them and also lead on whole school projects such as Jeans for Genes day.

The KAT:

  • Represent the views and needs of all pupils across the school.
  • Discuss any issues raised by or for pupils and plan how they will work together to address this issue (via KAT referral form).

Pupil Voice

The basis for pupil voice is found in Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which sets out the right of children to express an opinion and to be included in decisions that involve and affect them. We want to nurture a culture where all children feel listened to, valued, respected and empowered.

Pupil participation at Kingfisher Special School will happen in a variety of ways.

Some of these are:

• Groups such as school council or KAT.

• Fundraising, links with charities and with the wider community.

• Contributing to their Personalised Planning Meeting (PPM). Children will contribute to their PPM; staff will provide suitable communication methods to allow children to participate as fully as possible.

Computing and E-Safety

Internet access in school is designed expressly for children to use and includes filtering arrangements appropriate to the age and needs of the children ensuring children remain safe. Internet access will be planned to enrich and extend learning activities. Access levels will be reviewed to reflect the learning needs of the children.

Total Communication

Children will have use of appropriate and relevant resources to enable them to maximise their learning and be able to communicate in all aspects of the curriculum. For example, the use of symbols and signing to support their learning, switch access and Alternative and Augmentative Communication tools.

Home Links

It is vital that home and school links are strong when Relationship Education themes are being taught. Contact may include phone calls, face to face meetings or SeeSaw as examples. Parents and carers no longer have the right to withdraw their child from Relationship Education and so we, as a school, should endeavour to explain what is being taught and why we are teaching it. Annual parental workshops will be offered on the themes of online and internet safety, puberty and safety in the home