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Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

PSHE Letter to Parents/Carers 12th September 2023 

At Bankside we understand that our children are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way. This drive to keep our children informed, aware and responsible is a key factor in our Personal, Social and Health Curriculum (PSHE).

In addition, the Government has made Relationships Education compulsory in all primary schools in England and Relationships and Sex Education compulsory in all secondary schools, as well as making Health Education compulsory in all state-funded schools from 2020. The key decisions on these subjects have been informed by a thorough engagement process, including a public call for evidence that received over 23,000 responses from parents, young people, schools and experts and a public consultation where over 40,000 people contacted the Department for Education.

At Bankside our guiding principles have been that all of the compulsory subject content must be age appropriate and developmentally appropriate. It is  taught sensitively and inclusively, with respect to the backgrounds and beliefs of pupils and parents while always with the aim of providing pupils with the knowledge they need of the law.

We are clear that parents and carers are the prime educators for children on many of these matters. Bankside Primary School complements and reinforces this role and we see ourselves as second parents and build on what pupils learn at home as an important part of delivering a good education. These curriculum aspects are the legal entitlement of every child. This includes biological aspects of animal growth and reproduction that are essential elements of National Curriculum Science. Parents do not have the right to withdraw their child from any part of any subject which forms the National Curriculum.

We are proud to be recognised as a lead school and our and have been cited on having outstanding provision to support the personal development and pastoral needs of our pupils and community.

In our school, we ensure 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.

Teaching about mental wellbeing is central to these subjects, especially as a priority for education for your child is their happiness. We know that children and young people are increasingly experiencing challenges, and that young people are at particular risk of feeling lonely. We teach mindfulness and lessons about emotional health and emotional literacy to support their understanding of wellbeing The content of our lessons will give them the knowledge and capability to take care of themselves and receive support if problems arise.