Personal, Social, Health & Cultural Education (PSHCE)

What is PSHCE?

PSHCE stands for ‘Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education. The acquisition of skills, attitudes, values and understanding is essential to ensure the entitlement of all pupils’ spiritual, moral, cultural and social (SMSC) development and for their preparation for opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. Successful PSHCE education is achieved through formal and informal learning and from experiences throughout the school, including the direct an indirect teaching of the British Values. Pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of experiences across and beyond the curriculum contributing fully to the life of Usworth Colliery Primary School and communities. In doing so they recognise their own worth, work well with others and become increasingly responsible for their own learning. They reflect on their own experiences and understand how they are developing personally and socially tackling many SMSC issues that are part of growing up. Children learn to understand and respect our common humanity, diversity and differences so that they can go on to form effective fulfilling relationships, that are an essential part of life and learning.

What are British Values?

In 2014, the Department for Education published a set of guidelines on promoting a set of ‘British Values’ in schools to ensure that pupils’ would leave their education prepared for a life in modern Britain. It was agreed that these 4 values would be:

  • Democracy,
  • The rule of law,
  • Individual liberty,
  • Mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and for those without faith.


At Usworth Colliery, working together is at the forefront of our school’s ethos. We maintain the teaching of these British Values in a variety of ways.

What does a PSHCE lesson look like?

As you walk around Usworth Colliery, you may not see a PSHCE lesson being taught in the traditional way. As a staff, we understand that PSHCE needs to be taught at the point of learning and that opportunities to discuss PSHCE can arise at any point during the school day. PSHCE is taught discretely through and in other subjects and curriculum areas; through pastoral care and guidance carried out by the class teacher or the THRIVE behaviour team; in dedicated PSHCE activities and school events or through assemblies (whole school, class or key stage).

The four main knowledge, skills and understanding to be taught within PSHCE lessons are in four interrelated sections:

  • Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of pupils’ abilities.
  • Preparing to play an active role as citizens.
  • Developing a healthy safer lifestyle
  • Developing good relationships and respecting the differences between people.


The PSHCE long term plan clearly shows which year groups are dedicated which areas (where appropriate) and the progression of subjects from EYFE, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Also included on the long term plan are residential experiences, visits and special days in school which provide opportunities for children to plan and work together and develop and maintain relationships under different circumstances. They can discover new qualities and characteristics through volunteering, participating and reflecting on new experiences. The links between Health Promoting Schools Award (the National Healthy School Standard) PSHCE, pastoral care and guidance are important. All year groups are also expected to teach a strand of Health, Sex and Relationship Education to ensure our children learn essential life skills for building positive and respectful relationship with those around them, both off and online.

What does a PSHCE rich classroom look like?

All of ou classrooms at Usworth Colliery Primary are warm, welcoming and inviting. We achieve together by being the best that we can be. On the walls and in the corridors you will see evidence of the work of the School Council or Head Boy and Girl. During break and lunch times, a devout team of ‘Anti-Bullying’ coaches will be ensuring that no child is left out or feels unwelcome. Children at our school are “…delightful. They offer visitors a warm welcome, are unfailingly polite and look after each other in a most considerate manner.” (pg. 1, OFSTED Inspection 2017). Class Twitter pages are rife with the achievements of the children, promoting self-esteem and a love of learning.

In order to create and maintain a curriculum that it broad, rich and deep, teachers are encouraged to develop a repertoire of flexible, active learning methods such as:

  • Effective starting and ending strategies,
  • Encouraging higher order questioning skills,
  • Climate building and ground rules,
  • Agenda setting,
  • Working together,
  • Information gathering and sharing as well as independent problem solving,
  • Working with feelings and imagination and understanding another point of view,
  • Ensuring time for reflection review and evaluation


How do we evidence PSHCE?

As some PSHCE lessons are not taught in the traditional way, here at Usworth Colliery we use ‘floor books’ to evidence our teaching. Floor books are invaluable in a subject like PSHCE – there is no right or wrong way to evidence teaching and they are an excellent way for staff to display documentation throughout the year and also record conversations they have had with pupils’. Evidence can range from the child-led (questions, post-it notes, thought showers…etc) to the adult-initiated (photos, videos, media).

What do OFSTED think?

During the last inspection, OFSTED observed that:

  • Adults are especially successful in promoting pupils’ self-esteem and self-worth. Positive and enabling relationships exist across the school between pupils and staff. This means that pupils feel valued and are well equipped to tackle new and unfamiliar situations. Pupils are extremely polite, friendly and sociable. They speak confidently and respectfully with visitors.” (page 6)
  • Values such as tolerance and respect are well developed.” (page 6)
  • Pupils are proud of their school and of each other’s achievements. They respond promptly to teachers’ requests, displaying positive attitudes to their learning.” (page 6)


Long Term Plan

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Anti-Bullying at Usworth Colliery

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