Helping you piece together PSHE in your school – HES and Jigsaw!

The Health Education Service are working together with Jigsaw PSHE to offer all Birmingham schools a local package of support and training to accompany the comprehensive primary Jigsaw PSHE resource.

Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in one scheme of learning.  Teaching strategies are varied and are mindful of preferred learning styles and the need for differentiation.  Jigsaw is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (puzzle) at the same time.  This enables each puzzle to start with an introductory assembly, generating a whole school focus for adults and children alike.  There are also weekly celebration opportunities and the whole scheme is underpinned by the practice of mindfulness – enabling children to benefit from being aware of their thoughts and feelings as they happen, in the present moment, on purpose and with no judgement.  This supports the regulation of emotion and builds emotional resilience which in turn enhances focus and concentration.  Mindful children (and adults) can more readily choose their responses to situations rather than react while caught up in thought-flows and emotions.

If schools buy the Jigsaw package through the Health Education Service (and school subscribe to the service), they will receive:

  • £150 discount on the Jigsaw pack costs
  • Free centre-based half-day introductory training (Autumn 2016)
  • Free centre-based one-day SRE training (Spring 2017)
  • Half-termly ‘Puzzle’ launch updates e-mailed to you
  • An optional subsidised series of centre-based one-day training sessions (£75) each over the 2016-17 year addressing
    • Active Learning Techniques
    • Successful PSHE Curriculum Management
    • Understanding drugs and alcohol use, to teach about it more effectively
    • Exploring mindfulness further

Schools who are not currently subscribing to the HES will still benefit from the free introductory training and may still attend the SRE training and the optional series of other training sessions but at a slightly higher cost.

To explore how these teaching resources can impact on your children’s learning, well-being and on your whole school community, come along to the free briefing session on:

Monday 16th May, 1.30-3.30pm at HES Training Centre, 8 Midland Croft, Tile Cross, Birmingham, B33 0AW.

To book, follow this link:,491/view,listevents/?option=com_advancedopenportal&view=showevent&id=85a77fdc-d2bb-deb5-2dd8-5666c1b77ea6

For more information on subscribing to the Health Education Service visit



Primary PSHE Subject Leader Network Meeting – June 9th

We are delighted to offer a new subject leader network for Primary PSHE teachers and co-ordinators. The aim of the termly sessions is to provide an opportunity for subject leaders to keep up to date with current thinking about the development of PSHE nationally and in their setting. By the end of the session participants will have reflected on current practice and considered new or different pedagogical approaches and subject content in the teaching of PSHE.

As educators we know that PSHE, and all of the social and emotional learning it encompasses, is vital for the healthy growth and development of our children.  Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education wrote a letter to the Education Select Committee on 10 February 2016 once again reinforcing that PSHE is seen as important:

“I want PSHE to be at the heart of a whole-school ethos that is about developing the character of young people. I want it to be tailored to the individual needs of the school and for programmes to be based on the best available evidence of what works. I want senior leaders to ensure that it has the time in the curriculum and the status that it deserves within school and I want it to be taught by well-trained and well-supported staff”.

And yet PSHE remains non-statutory.  With no “National Curriculum” implications for PSHE schools have a lot of creative freedom in what they teach, and when.  Flexibility and responding to local need is really important, but can leave staff feeling they are working alone, sometimes without investment in training and resources comparative to their colleagues leading on core statutory subjects.

At the Health Education Service we want to redress that balance and give PSHE subject leads the opportunity to come together on a termly basis to discuss central themes in PSHE education, share some really good practice and resources, question practice and policies and look at how to raise the status of PSHE across the curriculum.

As a school who has worked with us on PSHE related programmes recently, we want to invite you to join us at our first meeting and will value your input as we are hoping to create a community of PSHE leads across the city who can work together to ensure that this important aspect of education receives the commitment and recognition that it deserves.

Over these termly meetings we will be looking at issues including:

  • Update on programmes of support offered by HES: Jigsaw; PSHE Modelling; PSHE consultation; Be Healthy; Health for Life; RSE resources
  • Update on status nationally: PSHE and SRE
  • Discussion on Academisation and whether SRE will be followed – in NC (Science and Citizenship in KS3 and 4) but NC does not have to be followed by academies – implications for safeguarding and health and well-being for our students.  Implications on SMSC, British Values, Equalities Act 2010 etc. if not taught.
  • Sharing of good practice – innovative resources, teaching styles
  • Sharing of PSHE association new resources etc.
  • Q and A session – open to all
  • Discussion on staff training – what is it that staff need?  Can we collaborate to offer this across schools?
  • Raising the status of PSHE – linking it to SMSC, British Values, Prevent, Safeguarding (and other aspects which are statutory – i.e. in Literacy address a PSHE topic, then assess literacy levels and PSHE knowledge, skills and attitudes towards topic at the same time = time saving in a busy timetable)
  • Assessment in PSHE – what, when, how?

Cost: As an introductory offer, the half day summer and autumn sessions will cost £60 each for schools subscribing to the Health Education Service, and £75 for those that don’t.

When and Where: 9th June at 9.00am-12.00pm. at Health Education Service Training Centre, Midland Croft, Tile Cross, B33 0AW

Booking:  Book online at,491/view,listevents/?option=com_advancedopenportal&view=showevent&id=1387c586-d2ce-9765-60a6-570b80a8a37b

“Translating” safeguarding policy into child-friendly language – a valuable use of time for a child-centred school.

If you say your school is a listening school, that’s fantastic.  You are aware that not everybody’s life is like The Waltons and are prepared to invest time and money in supporting the most vulnerable.  To have detailed policy to make clear to staff, parents and other stakeholders that you listen to emotional and/or safeguarding concerns is also great.  But to truly be a listening school, children need to know that they can tell and that an adult will listen.  So the question that remains is this: how do you communicate your safeguarding policy and listening school ideals into child-friendly language?

The rationale behind spending some time in “translating” your policy and national statutory guidance into language children understand is obvious.  If the children in your care understand what abuse is, they may be more likely to be able to talk about it and that can make your job much easier when you are trying to ascertain whether a child is being abused and whether you should be referring to children’s social care.

The language we as adults use makes sense to us, but not necessarily to our students – and for those working in primary education the linguistic gap is all the greater.  Let’s take an example.  Emotional abuse is described in Keeping Children Safe in Education 2015 as “The persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child’s emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or ‘making fun’ of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child’s developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another. It may involve serious bullying (including cyberbullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children”.  Not exactly succinct, or even totally clear is it?

So what could we use in our daily interactions with children?  With very young children you could talk of adults being very mean if they say unkind things to children as grown-ups should know and behave better as they know it makes people sad if they are mean.  You could go on to describe how there are lots of kind people around who would help if you were feeling sad because this had happened to you.  For different ages, you would of course adapt the language and the depth of message given.

The idea is clear so I won’t go on to describe how to word child-friendly descriptions of other forms of abuse (see the contact details at the bottom of this article if you require further support).  What might be less clear is how to ensure these messages are all-pervasive in a busy classroom environment.  Schools may sometimes say that they have “done” internet safety because “we did a lesson on it and we still have a poster on the wall”.  This is frankly worrying – what about the child who was absent that lesson, the child who didn’t really understand as they see internet communication between someone at home and “strangers” daily or the child who has simply forgotten?  One-off lessons on safeguarding topics, whether as part of a PSHE curriculum or elsewhere, will never fully protect our children.  Rather we should aim for a truly “listening school” where there is opportunity for individual conversations with a trusted adult at different times of the school day to discuss concerns (and preferably not a child stopping to talk to you at lunch when you are tidying up the morning session and setting up for the afternoon one, trying to mark books and grab a coffee and a sandwich too – such a busy environment is not necessarily conducive to disclosing or hearing what was said).

Children need to know the adults are there, that the adult will stop what he or she is doing to listen and the adult will act in the child’s best interest.  We claim this in our child protection and safeguarding policies for any interested party.  Yet we sometimes forget that policies are only useful up to a point – if we forget to make them meaningful to our true stakeholders, which is the child at the centre of the concern.  It is a requirement of Ofsted that you have a safeguarding policy that all pupils understand. It might be that you have your usual policy but ensure that a section of it is written in a way that children can understand. This might say no more than ‘If you ever feel worried or frightened the grownups at school are here to help. Come and talk to us and we will help you’. There should be displays which include this safeguarding message around the school, for example in the assembly hall and the toilets. Clear messages including the details of Childline, the NSPCC’s Underwear Rule or even posters stating ‘It’s good to talk’ can also be useful. In addition to this safeguarding processes and policies should be discussed in assemblies and in group discussions. You could do question and answer sessions in assemblies showing different scenarios in pictures and asking ‘Is this child safe?’.

At Services for Education we have a team of advisers who can help you and your staff with any safeguarding issues, including policy design and implementation.  We run DSL training courses for schools and also come into schools to deliver whole staff safeguarding training.  We also have a group of advisers who can support PSHE curriculum design to ensure the messages of safeguarding are clearly implemented across the curriculum to empower staff and students to truly be a listening school.  If this article has made you consider how your policy is translated for students and you wish to discuss any support options please contact, in the first instance, Jo Perrin on .