RHE (Relationships and Health Education)
Relationships and health education comes under the umbrella of our personal, social and emotional development in school. As early adopters of the new statutory curriculum, we taught the full expected new curriculum from September 2019. Within this weekly lesson pupils are taught about life in the wider world, health and wellbeing, and relationships.
We are incredibly proud of the personal and social development, within our ‘hidden’ curriculum, that holds equal importance to academic success in each of our pupils. We feel primary school should be just as much about the kind of people we want to be, and that our academic success gives us more opportunities for how we progress that in future.
Leadership and intent of RHE at West Rainton
As headteacher of West Rainton Primary School, I am incredibly proud to lead on our RHE provision. The social, moral, spiritual and cultural development of our pupils is just as important to me as the grades they get, and the new RHE curriculum allows us to enhance that even further with formal, structured lessons.
Please see my full pen profile as subject leader here:
The content of our RHE curriculum has been mapped out carefully after extensive local authority-led training for subject leads. Whole-school staff training was carried out over three twilight sessions in 2019. Full governing body training was held in late spring 2019 and the evaluation of our pilot year remains a termly agenda item for our curriculum committee. Our policy and mapping was created over a year of consultation with parents, staff and pupils, alongside a small sub-committee of our governing body meeting termly to evaluate our progress.
You can see the subject policy and curriculum mapping for RHE here:
How RHE is taught at West Rainton
Children at West Rainton Primary receive 40 minutes of specific RHE activities in two 20-minute sessions per week. Each term, the entire school, from our nursery two-year-olds to our year six pupils, cover objectives from the same overarching theme. This enables us to carry out whole-school activities such as assemblies, projects or events with a common theme. It also allows the subject lead to monitor delivery and progression in a clear and seamless way.
In 2020/21 academic year, RHE will form an even more integral part of our curriculum as we work to minimise the impact of a global pandemic on our children. Extensive curriculum planning took place in June/July 2020 to ensure all staff were able to report on the knowledge of their current classes and individual challenges as well as the provision they felt needed to be in place for the coming year. To that end, our RHE timetable was restructured to put well-being as the priority unit in the autumn term of 2020. Additional opportunities such as a ‘My school, My planet’ project and our ongoing Relax Kids provision will enhance the mental well-being support for our pupils on their return to school.
For some pupils with special educational needs, the RHE curriculum can provide an additional support into personal and social development as it allows us all to explore our emotions and to verbalise our wants and needs. The curriculum in our school, fosters a safe forum and the opportunities to discuss our vulnerabilities, and our rights and responsibilities in staying safe and finding our voice. Some pupils may require additional support to understand some aspects of the curriculum and this would be carefully planned through discussion with the school SENDCo and the parents/carers of the child.
RHE does not always fit into neat little 20-minute lessons, however. After all, our pupils are continuously developing their social, moral, spiritual and cultural skills and knowledge across all aspects of school. Our teaching staff skilfully maximise these opportunities to demonstrate to our children how this progress is a constant within their lives.
The school makes regular use of wider partnerships and community to support the teaching of RHE, such as working alongside health professionals, business partners and those who help to keep us safe.
Evidence scrapbooks in each class demonstrate the journey our children go on throughout their primary years. The children are very proud of their input into these documents. In 2020/21 these scrapbooks will also be used to evidence the revisiting of objectives missed during the partial closure in line with consistent school marking and feedback policy.
The impact of RHE at West Rainton
It is very important to us that our children know why we teach what we do. As part of this, we try to foster a growing awareness of where the subject can progress to in terms of secondary and further education and potential career paths.
The subject of RHE, and the skills learnt within it, is fundamental to all aspect of future life. It sets the foundations for being a well-rounded citizen with a strong sense of self-awareness and the confidence and empowerment to voice our wants and needs in life. Being able to do this for ourselves, also makes us more aware of the interactions between ourselves and others.
Particular careers where this would be significant would be the health and care sector working in any role that supports other people’s wellbeing.
Below, you can see just a few examples of our RHE provision: