The Intent of our HRE Curriculum
At St Margaret Mary’s we are dedicated to creating an environment that has Christ’s teachings at the centre of all we do. We are devoted to the spiritual, intellectual, emotional and physical growth of our children, shaped by the belief that every child bears the image of Christ. We are inspired by Jesus to be the very best we can be. We look after one another and show respect and love through our relationships with one another. Jesus is invited into our hearts. In the Beatitudes, Jesus invites us to lead a full life with him by explaining what makes people blessed or happy. This is about understanding how loving our neighbour enables us to be happy too. Therefore, having a good relationship with ourselves and the other people in our lives makes us grow and flourish and we respect that everyone is a unique and beautiful part of God’s creation. We are all children of God, called to grow in love for him through the person of Jesus Christ and to spread the Good News through the action of the Holy Spirit.
The Implementation of our HRE Curriculum
At St Margaret Mary’s we follow the Life to the Full programme as published by Ten:Ten Resources. This is an ambitious, evolving programme of work that offers a fully-integrated and holistic programme in Relationship Education that truly enables children to ‘live life to the full’ (John 10:10). This programme will be taught independently, however it will be supported in cross curricular lessons, and fundamentally embedded in the ethos of the school through assemblies, classroom discussions and the centering of all relationships in school on the person of Jesus Christ.
The programme adopts a spiral curriculum approach in which pupils will revisit the same topics at an age-appropriate stage through their school life. As a child goes through the programme year-after-year, the learning will develop and grow, with each stage building on the last.
Early Years Foundation Stage:
Children explore our uniqueness in real terms, including celebrating difference and individual gifts, talents and abilities. They learn how to look after their bodies by considering what constitutes a healthy lifestyle and be able to name different body parts. Children will expand their vocabulary by applying names to different family/friend relationships, consider positive/negative behaviour in relationships and learn to look to Jesus as their role model for a good friend. They will learn to resolve conflict and the importance of asking for forgiveness when necessary.
Key Stage 1:
Children are taught that we have differences and similarities. They learn the names of body parts and discuss the importance of having a healthy lifestyle. They are introduced to the natural life stages from birth to death. The begin to develop language to help describe feelings and emotions and strategies for managing these. Children are taught to identify the Special People in their lives who they love and can trust, how to cope with various social situations and dilemmas, and the importance of saying sorry and forgiveness within relationships. We also explore the risks of being online by incorporating the ‘Smartie the Penguin’ resources from Childnet, the difference between good and bad secrets, and teaching on physical boundaries (incorporating the PANTS resource the NSPCC). Children also learn about the effects of harmful substances (including alcohol and tobacco), some basic First Aid and what makes a 999 emergency and what they should do if in an emergency situation.
Lower Key Stage 2:
Children explore similarities and differences between people, and that by working together we create community. They are taught to respect and look after their bodies, use the correct name for genitalia and discuss some of the changes that occur during puberty. The sessions here help children to develop a more complex appreciation of different family structures and there are activities and strategies to help them develop healthy relationships with family and friends; here, they are also taught simplified CBT techniques for managing thoughts, feelings and actions. We have also incorporated some excellent NSPCC resources, as well as teaching on bullying and abuse through a series of animated stories. Children will also learn in greater depth about the effects of drugs, alcohol and tobacco and how to make good choices concerning these as they get older.
Upper Key Stage 2:
Children develop an appreciation of physical and emotional differences, and have a more complex understanding of physical changes in girls and boys bodies during puberty. They will learn how to make good choice that have an impact on their health. The sessions aim to equip children with strategies for more complex experiences of relationships and conflict; this includes sessions that help children to identify and understand how to respond to spoken and unspoken pressure, the concept of consent and some practical demonstrations of this, and further teaching on how our thoughts and feelings have an impact on how we act. The programme also explores the risks of sharing and chatting online at a level more appropriate to Years 5 and 6, and a more complex understanding of different forms of abuse. Finally, the children will explore their relationship with the wider world. Here we explore how human beings are relational by nature and are called to love others in the wider community through service, through dialogue and through working for the Common Good.
The Impact of our HRE Curriculum
The impact of our HRE curriculum provides our children with a chance to reflect, learn and apply these crucial skills taught within the program and beyond. To recap, through our curriculum, we teach our children to:
- Stay safe physically, mentally and online
- Understand how to be healthy
- Build self-esteem, resilience and problem-solving strategies
- Understand how to develop and maintain positive and healthy relationships
- Have respect for themselves and others
The scheme of work also includes opportunities to link to British Values and SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development).