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Personal, Social, Health, Moral and Religious Education (PSHMRE) at The Priory Witham Academy


All pupils follow The Priory Witham Academy PSHMRE program, which has been planned using the principles of good practice as outlined in The PSHE Association literature.  The Primary Headteacher is responsible for the program in Primary and the Assistant Headteacher in Secondary.

Background to the Strategy

The care of all pupils in the Academy is focused on both academic and pastoral issues. The role of the Academy is to enable all pupils to achieve at their potential. It is important for us to support academic, social and emotional progress by making sure that all the necessary systems and procedures are in place. In addition it is important that all appropriate agencies are working together to support individual pupils where necessary.

The PSHMRE program covers all aspects of the personal, social, health and moral curriculum at an age appropriate level. It is also used to deliver key core aspects of the Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural and British values curriculum ensuring consistency in the coverage and quality of those topics as well as contributing to the overall monitoring and evaluation of SMSC and British Values (see SMSC and British Values Strategy document and schemes of work). The 2014 Ofsted report judgement was that:

                          …the school provides well for pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, both through the curriculum and through a variety of additional activities and experiences.

The inclusion of RE in the delivery of the program ensures that the SACRE curriculum is delivered coherently and within a curriculum that provides a multitude of opportunities to see links with the pupils’ daily and future lives.

PSHMRE Planning and Review

The Secondary PSHMRE curriculum is Year Group based and delivered by Year Directors and experienced Teaching Staff in an allotted one hour lesson every week of the academic year.  In Primary PSHMRE is delivered by the class teachers.  The system has been developed after a thorough review of previous systems which showed inconsistencies in the quality of delivery and engagement by staff.  The Priory Witham Academy believes the consistency achieved by the use of key staff ensures good pupil-teacher relationships are improved still further, topic expertise develops within the team and is rarely lost with staff movement and regular reviews and planning of the themes and topics is easily achievable within a small team.

Regular end of topic reviews by the team take place with resources and delivery of the topic under continuous scrutiny. The schemes of work are detailed and comprehensive helping to ensure a coherent and planned program.

Whilst the program of study is detailed the Academy takes every opportunity to ensure local, national and international events are acknowledged and, when appropriate, used to ensure the pupils understand better the world they live in, for example, the whole Academy voted in a mock EU referendum after whole school assemblies considering both sides of the argument were delivered by staff. The 2016 Ofsted judgement noted that in addition to the PSHMRE program regular extra- curriculum opportunities provided the following:

Leaders ensure that the school provides well for pupils’ social, moral, spiritual and cultural development, both through the curriculum and through a variety of additional activities and experiences. Pupils in the sixth form, for example, have conducted their own presidential election campaigns and pupils in key stage 4 have explored newspapers to consider the impact of biased reporting. Younger pupils shared with inspectors their experiences of charity fundraising and all pupils study a range of different faiths. This range of experiences means that pupils are well prepared for life in modern Britain.

Clubs, activities and trips are planned to contribute to the schemes of work. The curriculum is further developed by a planned and consistent assembly programme.

Monitoring and evaluation of PSHMRE

One of the key corner stones to the monitoring and evaluation of the PSHMRE policy is Pupil Voice. The relatively small size of the Year Groups and the use of Year Directors (who move up through the school with the same year whenever possible) means that the pupils strengths and weaknesses are well known and the curriculum and topic material can be expertly matched to each group. In an external review of pupils’ views of the PSHMRE program (July 2016) It was found that:

  • Pupils were able to recall the Rights of Children “We have a better idea of our rights, for example, to be able to relax and play” and compare their rights with children in Economically Developing countries;  British Values and Morals.
  • A Year 9 pupil described how he was allowed to deliver a planned lesson on the issues arising with puberty; noting that his peers “took him and what he said seriously”; Social.
  • They enjoyed the lessons because the topics were “real”, they were treated as “learners with their own views and could express those views” British Values – respect.
  • A new pupil to the school expressed her view that the relationship she had built with the Year Director meant she felt comfortable in contributing to class discussions; more so than when the program, in her last school, was delivered by tutors who were not interested in the PSHMRE program.

    Further examples of the impact of the SMSC and British Values program are illustrated in the SMSC and British Values Strategy document.

    PSHMRE lessons are included in the systematic monitoring program of lesson observation and learning walks forming part of the Academy Quality Assurance process. The 2016 Ofsted Report commented:

    Pupils are confident and their understanding of how to become reflective and successful learners is developing. They are constantly encouraged to try new things and to challenge themselves.

PSHE update statement

The Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education curriculum at Witham is an integral part of our mission to create ‘True citizens of the world’.  The PSHE curriculum helps students to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. PSHE lessons are delivered through the use of our 5 values days, revisited and retrieved through meaningful form time activities and celebrated in our values week in July.

An integral part of the PSHE curriculum is Relationship Sex and Health Education, as of September 2020 the Department for Education (DFE), has made this compulsory in all secondary schools.  As part of the support offered by the DFE to schools during these challenging times, changes to content and consultation with parents have been extended until the summer 2021 term.  All relevant PSHE documentation will be uploaded in due course.