Personal Development and Relationships Education: a Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Scheme National Quality Award PLC


Name of school or partnership: Welsh Network of Healthy Schools Schemes (WNHSS) National Quality Schools: Cwmaman Infants School; Blaengwawr Primary School; Dolau Primary School; Llwynypia Primary School; Penygraig Infants School; Penygraig Junior School

Name of lead person: Ann Quirke

Role of lead person: Healthy Education Settings Coordinator, Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Schemes

Lead person e-mail address: Ann.Quirke@wales.nhs.uk

Lead person telephone Number: 01685 351 459

Local Authority(ies): Rhondda Cynon Taf

Phase(s): Primary


Context and background to case study:

In a recent publication Estyn reported:

“The content and delivery of healthy relationships education vary too widely in schools across Wales. Overall, schools do not allocate enough time or importance to this aspect of personal and social education.” (A review of healthy relationships education, Estyn, 2017).

The Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Team have noticed through the process of schools achieving the WNHSS National Quality Award, schools need advice, support and guidance to achieve the Personal Development and Relationships (PDR) health topic and ultimately to meet the Welsh Assembly Government Guidance: Sex and Relationships Education in Schools (019/2010, 2010) and the PSE and Foundation Phase Frameworks. It was found that schools were not effectively delivering lessons on how to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate touching in the Foundation Phase and the reasons for the physical and emotional changes which take place at puberty, to include conception, pregnancy and birth by the end of Key Stage 2.

It is felt that this has also been highlighted as a safeguarding issue in that if children and young people do not receive healthy relationship education then they are not fully equipped to move from childhood into adolescence and adulthood or to make informed decisions to keep themselves safe and healthy.

However it is recognised that PDR education is broad and is used to describe the range of learning experiences and support that schools provide for pupils to develop safe, respectful personal relationships. This includes taking responsibility for their behaviour in their personal relationships and how to recognise inappropriate behaviour. This explains why there is a need for a graduated, age appropriate whole school scheme of work which is progressive from Nursery to Year 6.


Nature of strategy or activity

A Professional Learning Community (PLC) made up of the Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Team and schools in RCT that have achieved the National Quality Award has been created to develop a scheme of work and series of lesson plans (at least three per year group) utilising existing resources such as the Sense interactive CDs and the Growing Up online resource.

The scheme of work has been developed to enable teachers to deliver high quality healthy relationships education in primary schools across Cwm Taf. The knowledge and skills pupils in Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 will gain from this series of lessons will help to build their resilience, confidence and self-esteem to empower them to develop and maintain healthy relationships as they move through childhood into adolescence.

In the future the group will design a parental letter and leaflet to inform parents of the schools policy and scheme of work.

The Cwm Taf Healthy Schools will disseminate the scheme of work containing the lesson plans for Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 to schools across Cwm Taf as part of the planned training programme.


Impact on provision, teaching and learning and/or leadership:

All schools are in agreement that adopting the exemplar scheme of work has strengthened their school’s practice ensuring that they meet the relevant parts of the PSE and Foundation Phase frameworks and the Welsh Assembly Government Circular (019/2010, 2010) Sex and Relationships Education in Schools as well as the PDR health topic of the National Quality Award.

The PLC has enabled new ways of working that has opened up and shared practices with other schools.

Staff reported that through this process there has been a realisation of how important the content of the lessons are for safeguarding and that they feel far more confident with delivering this topic.

Staff are in agreement that the lessons have contributed to the pupils knowledge and understanding of PDR. This has resulted in raised standards in pupil confidence and awareness of how to keep themselves safe.

The training provided by the Cwm Taf Healthy Schools Scheme has increased staff confidence to cascade the training to staff and to deliver the lessons to pupils.


Where is the effective practice recognised?

This effective practise has been recently recognised at two separate schools by the NQA Verifiers who are externally contracted by Work to Health stating:

“PANTS (developed by the NSPCC for helping to keep children safe) is an excellent programme to teach pupils in Year 1 about appropriate and inappropriate touch. This is part of the schools Personal Development and Relationships programme, which is reviewed bi-annually in staff meetings, at the curriculum council and parent council. It is well received by governors, parents and staff. Training and support is given to staff who can observe lessons as a way of sharing good practice.”

And

The school’s approach to sex and relationships education (SRE) is exemplary and teachers from both the Infant and Junior schools form part of a professional learning community (PLC) to continue to develop and share their skills and resources. Staff have received extensive training in the use of the Making Sense of Growing up and Keeping Safe CD (SENSE) and the Growing up Resource. They have developed a detailed SRE scheme of work in collaboration with the Infants school, which is used to deliver a graduated programme of SRE from Foundation Phase to Year 6, using the SENSE CD, Growing up, and the NSPCC PANTS resource. Parents and governors are very supportive of the programme and no pupils have been withdrawn.

“As you can see from my report, the school excels in so many aspects. We were particularly impressed with their exemplary good practice in relation to SRE