PSHE isn’t a statutory subject in primary schools. This means that there is no set programme of study or learning objectives that pupils have to fulfil.
However, the Department for Education (DfE) makes it clear that PSHE is an ‘important and necessary’ part of children’s education.
There are three core themes of primary school PSHE:
1. Health and Wellbeing
2. Relationships (also called Relationships and Sex Education: RSE)
3. Living in the Wider World: economic wellbeing and being a responsible citizen.
Health and Wellbeing
This area of PSHE teaches children:
- What is meant by a healthy lifestyle
- How to maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing
- How to manage risks to physical and emotional health and wellbeing
- Ways of keeping physically and emotionally safe
- How to manage change, transition and loss
- How to make informed choices about health and wellbeing, and where to get help with this
- How to respond in an emergency
- To identify different influences on health and wellbeing
Pupils will learn things like the importance of personal hygiene; the physical differences between boys and girls; road safety, cycle safety and online safety; people who help us; how to talk about their feelings; and the benefits of physical activity.
- How to develop and maintain a variety of relationships, within a range of social and cultural contexts
- How to recognise and manage emotions within relationships
- How to respond to risky or negative relationships, including bullying and abuse
- How to respond to risky or negative relationships and ask for help
- How to respect equality and diversity in relationships
Children will learn to recognise that their behaviour can affect other people; to listen to other people and work and play cooperatively; to identify special people in their lives (parents, siblings, friends) and how they should care for each other; what physical contact is acceptable; and what to do if they’re being bullied.
Living in the Wider World
Through this theme, children learn:
- About respect for themselves and others, and the importance of responsible actions and behaviour
- About rights and responsibilities as members of families, other groups and citizens
- About different groups and communities
- To respect equality and diversity, and how to be a productive member of a diverse community
- About the importance of respecting and protecting the environment
- About where money comes from, keeping it safe, and the importance of managing it effectively
- The part that money plays in people’s lives
- A basic understanding of enterprise
Children will learn how to make and follow group, class and school rules; what protects and harms the environment; how to make choices about spending or saving money; ways in which we are all unique and the things we have in common; about basic human rights; and to respect national, regional, religious and ethnic identities.