Learn More About

At RSA, PSCHE allows all learners to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. It aims to help them understand how they are developing physically, emotionally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up in modern Britain. The curriculum aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team working and critical thinking in the context of individual and grouped learning.

The academies values of excellence and kindness run through every lesson and we want all pupils to feel confident to articulate their opinions and feelings within the inclusive PSCHE curriculum no matter what their religion, colour or sexual orientation. Every pupil deserves to feel that they are listened too, respected and that their opinions count.

“Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” Dr Suess.

“Be yourself. There is nobody better than you, then you” Taylor Swift

“You are never too small to make a difference” Greta Thunberg

“The most important part of communication is to listen to what is being said” – Peter Drucker

What are the minimum expectations of the National Curriculum/ Exam Specification?

The PSCHE curriculum aims for all RSA students to by physically, mentally, emotionally and socially ready and prepared for life and work in diverse and modern Britain.

The main aims and values of the PSCHE Curriculum are;

  • Develop knowledge and conceptual understanding through discussion and debate.
  • Develop understanding of how to be physically, mentally, emotionally and socially safe in modern Britain.
  • Learners are equipped with the current knowledge (local, national and international) required to live happily in modern Britain.
  • Learners should challenge existing views and stereotypes within the diverse social context.
  • Develop communication skills through structured debate. Learners should be able to argue and justify effectively.
  • To make a difference to their local community.

Discussion and debate are the common threads that ties every lesson together. The best PSCHE lessons are the ones that organically happen through pupil discussion and debate rather than rigidly sticking to the lesson plan. Teachers become discussion and debate facilitators ensuring that each pupil’s voice is listened to and challenged where appropriate.

What opportunities are offered to enrich the cultural capital of ALL learners?

At RSA we have a holistic approach to PSCHE, in that all faculties contribute. It is engrained in every lesson and not just taught explicitly in a timetabled PSCHE lesson. To support this, we have invested in PiXL to further develop our pupils mentally and emotionally and prepare them for the wider world. PiXL drills down in to specific areas such as Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative and Communication (LORIC) and forms the foundation of our rewards structure at RSA. For example, if a pupil displays resilience throughout any part of their school day, they receive a token which contributes to a reward/ prize at the end of each term. This has proven to encourage pupils to display LORIC values each day and keeps PSCHE at the forefront of their education. The values and PSCHE themes are regularly reinforced in every Maths, English, Science lesson and our pupils understand that to become successful, they must follow and promote these values, in addition to gaining academic achievement.

The holistic approach continues within head of faculty meetings. We are currently looking at ways of how we can address certain PSCHE topics within other subjects. For example, pupil voice has told us that drama can be a powerful media to tackle certain topics so we are working collaboratively to see if we can add ‘knife crime’ and ‘tolerance/ harassment’ to the drama curriculum.

We also understand the importance of developing a pupil’s cultural capital. If pupil can see, feel and experience what good physical and mental health is, they are more likely to understand its importance. Pupil experiences broaden the horizons and aspirations of our students which in turn can develop and improve mental and emotional well-being. The PSCHE team, work closely with each faculty to give each of our pupils a broad depth of positive experiences. For example, the PE department takes each year group to a live sports event once a year. In year 7, the pupils watch the world’s best badminton players complete in the UK Open in Birmingham and in year 8, they are given the opportunity to see Andy Murray et al at Wimbledon. This also includes an overnight stay and visit to Wembley stadium to further develop their cultural capital. In year 9, we take the students to live football match. This may be at a premier league club such as Manchester City or at a local club such as Northwich Victoria. The year 10 and 11 BTEC students visit the Athlete Factory in Chester where they work with former England and British Lions rugby player, Phil Greening.

Other examples include trips to museums, theatre visits, foreign language excursions and ski trips.

In addition to trips outside of the academy, we welcome external businesses, health care professionals, local careers providers, theater companies, and people from a variety of careers to speak to our students. For example, to allow our pupils to explore possible careers we invite people who currently work in those careers to talk to our pupils. Whether that is a corporal from the army or the managing director from Roberts bakery.

Each year 2Engage theatre company visit RSA to deliver a powerful production to our KS4 pupils that provides them with the tools to spot and stop online and on-street abuse. As mentioned above, this has proven a successful way to acknowledge and communicate a sensitive topic. We also invite people who have lived challenging lives to speak to out pupils. We feel more is learned from talking and listening to a former gambling/ drug/ alcohol addict and our pupils agree. We also recently welcomed singer and songwriter ‘Bronnie’ who spoke to our pupils about LGBT+, diversity and mental health awareness in addition to entertaining our students with 3 or 4 rock songs!

We also work closely with our school nurse Helen Smith. In addition to hosting a weekly drop in for our pupils, she delivers a series of STI/ contraception workshops for our year 9 students. To further develop our SRE education the Betty bus recently visited us to talk to all pupils in years 7, 8 and 9.

To support our work on British values and to give our pupils an insight in to the UK political system, we invited our local MP Esther McVey to RSA for a Q&A session. We also took 25 pupils to the houses of parliament in London.

We take bullying very seriously at RSA and we are a Diana Award Beacon school. We have an anti bullying hub that is ran by fully trained pupil ‘Diana Award’ ambassdors. Last year one of our pupils, Paige Keen, was rewarded for her hard work with a zoom call from Prince William.

How do you ensure the transition to KS4 is successful is a progressive model over 5 years?

As discussed earlier, we have a holistic approach to PSCHE. However, each year group is allocated specific PSCHE time also.

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
1 PSCHE lesson each week Plus form times 1 PSCHE lesson per fortnight Plus form times 1 PSCHE lesson per fortnight Plus form times 1 PSCHE lesson per fortnight Plus form times 1 PSCHE lesson per fortnight Plus form times

To build scholarship and ambition, a 5 year spiral curriculum is in place which builds on key the facts, concepts and skills learners need to develop physically, mentally, emotionally and socially between years 7 to year 11.

The programme of Study incorporates opportunity for retention of knowledge and developing personal opinion and has 6 core themes at the heart of pupil development. They are:


Each of these theme are taught cohesively and fluidly across the curriculum. In every lesson, most, if not all of these themes are touched upon and explored. For example, a lesson may begin with a discussion about environmental concerns within our community but may conclude with a debate about the links to physical and mental wellbeing of the residents of Northwich.

The curriculum is reviewed and amended each year to ensure that it is right for the students in the academy at this current time. The sequencing is developed using pupil and staff voice. Also, as can be seen above, we celebrate national anti-bullying week, national mental health awareness week and national diversity month with specific activities for that week. We act fast on local and national issues also. For example, we provided Black Lives Matter intervention for all of our pupils to address this important topic. Research based evidence also impacts the sequencing and order. For example, crime and punishment is taught in year 10 as research says that 14 is the age where teenagers start to think about engaging in crime.

A major strength is that The HoF works very closely with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) in the planning of the curriculum, and we use CPOMS to act quickly to address any current spikes in behavior that are highlighted via CPOMS or pupil/ staff voice. For example, if we noticed an increase in bullying incidents in year 7 we would act quickly and provide intervention. Likewise, if we saw an increase in knife crime in Northwich we would alter the plan to address the issue swiftly.

Within the planning, and in line with the government’s recommendations, all year groups receive SRE through the ‘About You’ programme. These resources are superb and are differentiated for each year group as they progress from years 7 to 11 and promote open discussions and knowledge retention on topics including puberty, consent, LGBT+ and sexual harassment.

Students can access the curriculum map and all PSCHE resources via Microsoft Teams. The resources are varied and include content from providers such as BBC Teach, CEOP, PSCHE association and ThinkUKnow as well as from subject specialists from within Rudheath Senior Academy. For example the animal rights resources that are delivered in year 9 were created by the a member of staff from the Science department.

What pedagogical approaches are used to ensure high quality learning takes place?

Subject specific research-based practice is utilised fully within the PSCHE curriculum. We use accredited resources such as those from BBC Teach, CEOP, PSCHE association and ThinkUKnow. We follow government guidance, and the differentiated lessons are planned and delivered accordingly. For example, following the DofE’s RSE and Health Education guidance, every year group receives SRE education through following the  ‘About You’ scheme of work that provides year group specific resources that underpin the salient concepts of SRE.

The focus of each lesson is interaction amongst peers through debate and discussion and this is reinforced during staff CPD. Challenging opposing views and stereotypes is encouraged and lesson planning supports this. Whilst there are opportunities for written reflection via their PSCHE diary, oracy is often the best way for salient topics to be addressed.

Lesson strategies used to build excellence and kindness:

  • Questioning and feedback
  • Modelling (and evaluation) is used to develop understanding of difficult concepts
  • The focus or each lesson is interaction amongst peers through debate and discussion
  • Challenging opposing views and stereotypes is encouraged
  • Long term memory is built over time through retrieval of information from short- and long-term memory: repetition, spaced learning, discussion, debate, interleaving, knowledge drills, mind mapping, sequencing of facts, comprehension questions and writing practice

The PSCHE diary gives pupils another way to articulate their feelings and opinions as some pupils feel more comfortable expressing themselves through writing rather than speaking in front of the class. This has proved a fantastic insight into pupil wellbeing and has also been used to highlight any concerns. For example, if a student has written about a situation / feeling that is a concern, the safeguarding lead (DSL) is informed via CPOMS and suitable intervention is provided.

How is greater depth achieved?

Enrichment opportunities are embedded into the curriculum, offering ALL learners a broader experience of PSCHE within and outside of the academy. Sporting fixtures and trips contribute to the holistic well-being of each pupil. We also enter competitions that specifically target SEND pupils. For example, we were the Vale Royal PAN Boccia champions in 2019. Every student is encouraged to ‘achieve their personal best’ irrespective of their ability, SEND need or economic background.

We understand that introducing leadership opportunities can have a massive impact on self-confidence for all students. In addition to leadership opportunities within lessons, learners will have the opportunity to lead on developing assemblies and projects within their forms. For example, last year each form was tasked to create an assembly that highlighted the consequences of knife crime.

Developing cultural capital within our school community is a major part of how greater depth is achieved within the PSCHE curriculum. Research states that greater exposure to guest speakers (see above), careers fairs, live sport and local / national competitions raises knowledge and passion with each pupil.

High standards in PE education are monitored through half termly curriculum reviews, which consult with progress data to develop intervention strategies and are triangulated against lesson observations, work scrutiny, staff and learner voice. Our pupils are listened too, and actions are taken. For example, in addition to the visits of the local colleges and education providers, our KS4 students asked for ‘real’ people with ‘real’ careers to speak them during assemblies and workshops. We organised this and our pupils relished the chance to quiz each guest speaker.

To encourage competition withing our school community, each faculty provides a series of competitions for our students to engage in with the winning form being crowned RSA Faculty Cup champions.

How are you teaching literacy through your subject?

Working closely with the English Faculty, Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary has been built in to each PSCHE lesson. We understand that we must complicity use the appropriate terminology and language if we want pupils to engage in and have a lifelong understanding of PSCHE. In PSCHE lessons, oracy opportunities for pupils include knowledge drills and peer assessment as well as discussions and debates about each topic.

To ensure pupils know and remember more and to assess the pupils’ cognitive we plan for each pupil to completes a quiz set via Microsoft Teams that asks them for example, what ‘Well-being is’ or what ‘On-line grooming is’. This gives the PSCHE team and DSL instant data that can be used for applying intervention. For example, if we notice that a pupil has poor understanding of what ‘consent’ means we can add intervention to support them.

Further strategies include:

  • Following the RSA literacy policy
  • The effective use of PSCHE linked text delivered via MS Teams or on each notice board.
  • Development of a Tier 2/3 matrix
  • Well planned and differentiated PSCHE lessons that follow the RSA literacy policy
  • Use of GL assessment data to develop cognitive load and discussion points.

How do you ensure the needs are ALL learners are met?

To ensure progress for all learners, lessons are differentiated to allow all learners a chance to excel and achieve. Differentiation may include scaffolding questioning to allow a less confident to begin a discussion with an opinion or may involve small group debates that facilitate total engagement. ALL learners are listened too and concerns about their thoughts and feelings are acted upon.

PSCHE teachers create seating plans using EHCP/ SEND/ GL data and use TA support to develop a healthy and focused environment that makes sure each child feels confidents to articulate their views either orally or via the PSCHE diary.

As explained earlier, a major strength is that The HoF works very closely with the designated safeguarding lead (DSL) in the planning of the curriculum, and we use CPOMS to act quickly to address any current spikes in behavior that are highlighted via CPOMS or pupil/ staff voice. For example, if we noticed an increase in bullying incidents in year 7 we would act quickly and provide intervention. Likewise, if we saw an increase in knife crime in Northwich we would alter the plan to address the issue swiftly.

Assessment and feedback

To ensure pupils know and remember more, regular low stakes testing, and mini quizzes are used along with knowledge drills. Every lesson begins with a knowledge drill which assesses prior learning and all lessons have scaffolded Q&A embedded. Each lesson concludes with a verbal or written reflection to consolidate learning. These assessment opportunities allow feedback to be given verbally or non-verbally through class book comments or by using the chat function on MS Teams.

Feedback and encouragement is delivered verbally in each PSCHE lesson. This allows the pupils to apply it instantly in practice and is used to motivate and engage.

Another major strength is the PSCHE self-assessment matrix. This is a hugely important tool that allows the pupil and teacher to track and monitor the understanding within each class. The matrix gives the opportunity for each pupil to analyse (R.A.G) their understanding across each of the 6 PSCHE themes. It is hoped that each pupil will complete the year with a green matrix. However, if we see gaps (Red) within a strand/ theme we can add intervention rapidly and address the misconception. Within the assessment matrix we also have repeated concepts (sticky knowledge) that recur throughout the curriculum in each year. For example ‘ I know what CEOP is and how to use it’ and ‘I understand who I can talk to if I have a concern about my mental well-being’ are non-negotiables and every child must understand this. If these are ‘amber’ or ‘red’ we add focused intervention.


RSA has an extensive extra-curricular programme that develops physical, mental and social wellbeing and all clubs can be accessed by all students. No one is excluded. The programme changes each term and reflects the pupil voice, upcoming sporting fixtures and environmental conditions.

To reinforce physical, mental, and social wellbeing, pupils are encouraged to perform at least 2 forms of sustained exercise per week. This can be any form of exercise such as walking, running, cycling or swimming and should aim to last at least 20 minutes.

We also encourage pupils to digital detox and allow time to talk to friends and family as well as listening to music, art therapy and watching something funny on TV.

To encourage cultural capital, pupils are asked to watch live sports events with their families either on TV or in person.

What is the subject offer for blended learning?

In line with the academy’s remote learning policy, pupils can access the curriculum map and all PSCHE resources via Microsoft Teams. Should a pupil not be present in the classroom, they can log on remotely to access the resources and video link via Microsoft Teams.

How do you ensure staff development in your curriculum area?

All staff and the wider school staff are expected to make a positive contribution to departmental developments and to stay well read about current pedagogies and practices to support excellence in teaching and learning with and maintain a strong sense of scholarship. Staff development is supported PDT, leadership programmes and sport specific training programmes.

To further develop staff understanding on the pedological approach of teaching PSCHE, all staff receive CPD during the September INSET day. This is reinforced during morning briefing and staff CPD when necessary. The HoF is also quick to address any individual needs that may occur. The HoF also delivers CPD exclusively for NQT’s and RQT’s.

INSET and staff CPD is also regularly used to develop understanding of the key concepts of the 6 themes of PSCHE. As alluded to earlier, the HoF works closely with the DSL and should a spike in an apparent pupil behaviour cause a cause for concern, staff CPD is quickly received so we can support our pupils effectively. This is delivered by external partners or subject specialists withing the RSA team as part of the whole school CPD and coaching programme. For example, as a staff body, we receive regular training about how to recognise abuse and harassment and we all complete a course that teaches us how to spot extremism.

To ensure that staff are prepared and confident to teach each PSCHE lesson, there is often a teacher guidance worksheet that accompanies the lesson resources. Teachers are always encouraged to read through the lesson prior to teaching.

Staff are also welcomed to attend the talks from external providers and guest speakers. For example, many staff attended the gambling addiction workshop to learn more about this growing issue.

We understand that many PSCHE teachers are not subject specialists and may require tailored CPD. To understand this, we are in the process of a CPD audit where each staff member can analyse and R.A.G their strengths and areas of development with the PSCHE curriculum. This allows for a more targeted CPD approach and will highlight any whole school gaps in staff knowledge.

How does your curriculum celebrate diversity including gender and BAME representation?

Rudheath Senior Academy holistically ensures that every curriculum area and every lesson celebrate diversity and that all genders and BAME are represented. Within PSCHE, every year group receives lessons that celebrate diversity. Diversity dialogue is not just restricted to ‘Diversity Month’ but is immersed in well planned and differentiated lesson plans throughout the academic year.

The PSCHE faculty works closely with the 5 other faculties to ensure that diversity is represented across the school. This may be by inviting guest speaker from different cultures or genders or by using people from across society as examples within a lesson.

To celebrate diversity, RSA, changes its badge on the website to reflect the diverse neighborhood of Northwich. The design is chosen form entries made by our students.

The impact of a well-structured, varied and relevant PSCHE curriculum taught by enthusiastic and well-trained professionals will be a culture open and frank discussions about each other’s physical, mental and social well-being as well as debate about local and national issues. Pupils will accept and explore contrasting viewpoints with relish, passion and enthusiasm.

Pupils will strive to be their ‘personal best’ in each lesson and want to improve their PSCHE knowledge and understanding so they are socially confident and prepared for life. The happy and self-confident pupils will enjoy and look forward to PSCHE lessons and be willing and able to take an active part in group discussion and debate.

At RSA, PSCHE will allow all learners to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. It will aim to help them understand how they are developing physically, emotionally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up in modern Britain. They will develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team working and critical thinking in the context of individual and grouped learning.

The academies values of excellence and kindness run through every lesson and we want all pupils to feel confident to articulate their opinions and feelings within the inclusive PSCHE curriculum no matter what their religion, colour or sexual orientation. Every pupil deserves to feel that they are listened too, respected and that their opinions count.

We will know if our intent is being achieved if we have a) a mostly green self-assessment matrix, b) maximum participation in lessons and extra-curricular clubs / interventions and c) less incidents being recorded on CPOMS.

Whilst at RSA we also want each and every child to have the opportunity to;

  • Listen to inspirational talks by guest speakers or career professionals.
  • Play competitive sport against their classmates and peers from another school.
  • Attend workshops or presentations that celebrate diversity.
  • Participate in a ‘Faculty Cup’ competition receive a medal.
  • Understand more about further education and career opportunities within each faculty.
  • Develop new skills in extra-curricular clubs.
  • Develop resilience and self-esteem through trips and residentials.

These benefits will be seen across the whole school curriculum and within the wider local community.

Quality assurance

To ensure that all students are provided with a challenging yet fun PSCHE curriculum that meets the local demands alongside the intent, each PSCHE teacher will analyse the information and data from the self-assessment matrices, PSCHE diaries and CPOMS record to monitor pupil progress and intervention. We will know if our intent is being achieved if we have a) a mostly green self-assessment matrix, b) maximum participation in lessons and extra-curricular clubs / interventions and c) there will be less incidents being recorded on CPOMS.

Pupil voice opportunities and parent consultation evenings will allow us to further check the appropriateness of the curriculum as will the motivation/ engagement of our pupils. Informal and formal conversations and teacher observation will provide further evidence. We want our pupils to be happy and feel prepared for the world today.

In addition to this we will;

  • Review the curriculum during half termly PSCHE CPD.
  • Triangulate evidence from the teacher, pupils and CPOMS.
  • Conduct departmental learning walks and lesson observations.
  • Meet PSCHE / form representatives from each form to gauge quality and appropriateness of the curriculum.
  • Liaise with local PSCHE specialists/ Head of department to monitor local developments and trends.
  • Administer audits to check resources, NC developments and staff CPD requirements
  • PSCHE diary review
  • Amend the faculty improvement plan (FIP) and budget plan to reflect pupil needs.