Teaching Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) as a fundamental part of the curriculum.

At Ark Castledown we know that the key to being a well-rounded member of society is being able to form effective and fulfilling relationships. We recognise that mental health and its management is becoming a key issue in today’s society. All children will have the opportunity to learn to manage emotions and stress in safe and positive way through the teaching of practical strategies.  Children will leave us with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values and skills they need to reach their potential as individuals and within the community. 

RSHE will be taught using the Jigsaw Scheme that enables pupils to build on their prior learning by revisiting some themes to further develop knowledge, values and skills in an age and stage-appropriate manner.  Some themes are repeated as children move through the school to enable a deeper exploration of the related issues.

We invited parents and carers to attend a virtual parent’s information session in November 2020. In this, our subject lead talked through our proposed RSHE Policy, our approach to teaching and the curriculum content to be delivered to our pupils. Parents and carers were then invited to share their views via an online survey. We recieved 61 responses which were overwhelmingly positive. A full overview of the feedback can be viewed here:

Parent Consultation Summary of Feedback 2021

The vast majority of RSHE is compulsory. There is no right to withdraw from Relationships Education or Health Education.

Parents and carers are only able to request that their child is excused from Sex Education, taught outside of the national curriculum for science. If a parent wishes their child to be excused from some or all of the non-statutory Sex Education, they should discuss this with the Principal, making clear which aspects of the programme they do not wish their child to participate in. The Principal will outline to parents/carers the benefits of receiving this important education and any detrimental effects that withdrawal might have on the child. This could include any social and emotional effects of being excluded as well as the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in the classes rather than what was directly said by the teacher (although detrimental effects may be mitigated if the parents/carers propose to deliver sex education to their child at home instead).

Once a decision has been made, parents/carers must inform the school in writing stating their reasons as to why they would like their child withdrawn. Once these discussions have taken place, except in exceptional circumstances, our school will respect a parent/carers’ request to have their child excused from non-statutory sex education. The school will document this process. Please also read RSHE A Guide for parents and carers Leaflet below.


Curriculum overview 2022 - 2023

Jigsaw - The mindful approach

This  programme helps us to deliver emotional literacy, social skills, mindfulness and spiritual development in a cohesive, comprehensive and creative way. Each class from Reception to Year 6 has a weekly lesson that promotes these very important aspects of learning. The lessons are supported by video clips, powerpoint presentations, music and discussions as well as a class mascot!

The whole school follows the same theme every half term pitched at the appropriate level. The themes are:-

  • Being Me in My World
  • Celebrating Difference
  • Dreams and Goals
  • Changing Me
  • Relationships
  • Healthy Me