PSHE is one of the cornerstones of our school's offering and we recognise the importance of it in the education of our school community.
The aims of PSHE and RSE at Yew Tree Farm School are to:
Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
Prepare learners for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
Help learners develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
Prepare students for life in the wider world
Help students to feel confident and knowledgeable in settings away from the farm
Allow students the opportunity to ask difficult questions
Our PSHE program is underpinned by the school values of kindness, perseverance, high expectations and developing a sense of identity.
PSHE is a big part of our curriculum offer at Yew Tree Farm School, with half an hour each day focused on the subject. Additionally, our learning expectations, which uphold our behaviour policy, have strong links to the PSHE curriculum.
The Learning Environment
PSHE is taught through open and engaging discussions each day during coffee break around the campfire. Students feel safe and secure with their class group and the teaching staff that they know and trust. PSHE becomes a stabilising part of a student’s routine, and they feel able to reflect on previous topics as well as exploring new learning.
Clear ground rules, based on respect, are discussed and agreed upon by students and staff and reiterated before each session. These will include rules around confidentiality.
The PSHE Curriculum
Each topic will be started by assessing students’ prior knowledge, allowing the scheme of work to be adapted to the needs of the learners, and enabling teachers to make more effective judgments of students’ development and progression in learning. We will determine students’ starting points through open conversations with them, informal quizzes and targeted questioning.
We will ensure that sessions, including those on risky behaviours, remain positive in tone through the safe and secure learning environment and the presence of well known and trusted staff.
We will help students make connections between their learning and ‘real life’ behaviours by using the unique environment and resources available to us on the farm. Additionally, we will plan outings to the onsite tea room and eventually further afield for students to put their learning into practice.
There are strong links between our PSHE curriculum and our Farming curriculum, enabling learning to be revisited frequently and in a real life situation. The fireside PSHE discussion can be continued into the day's Farming session, with students demonstrating their knowledge. Our Farming curriculum covers many of the ethical considerations of raising livestock, as well as managing money, keeping animals healthy, treating them with respect and the process of breeding. Breeding on the farm will be approached inline with our RSE programme, taking into account students’ individual needs and personal situations.
Our curriculum is taught through a ‘spiral programme’, with the learning organised into a series of recurring themes which students experience every year. At each encounter, the level of demand increases and learning is progressively deepened.
For more details about our PSHE curriculum refer to our Progression Map.
We will assess students’ learning and progression against the curriculum aims through targeted questioning, informal quizzes and group discussions. Assessment data is recorded using B squared software and analysed termly to ensure students are making good progress.
Read our PSHE and RSE Policy for more information.