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What is PSHE?

PSHE (or personal, social, health and economic education) has three core themes:

  1. Health and well-being
  2. Relationships
  3. Living in the Wider World (economic well-being, careers and the world of work) 

What is RSE?

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) is a compulsory element of the school curriculum (DfE 2019), alongside Health Education. Our RSE policy was developed in collaboration with students, parents/carers, staff and governors and can be found in the policy section of the website

By the end of secondary school, students are expected to have been taught about:

  • Families
  • Respectful relationships, including friendships
  • Online and media
  • Being safe
  • Intimate and sexual relationships, including sexual health
  • Mental well-being
  • Internet safety and harms
  • Physical health and fitness
  • Healthy eating
  • Drugs, alcohol and tobacco
  • Health and prevention
  • Basic first aid
  • Changing adolescent body

Why are PSHE and RSE Important?

Our ambitious, spiral PSHE curriculum has been designed to meet statutory requirements and the needs of Highworth students. PSHE and RSE is delivered directly across Focus Days and Refocus Days, and indirectly via Mentor Period and assemblies. 

Both the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010 require schools to provide a ‘balanced and broadly-based curriculum’ which promotes ‘the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life’. Schools also have duties in relation to promoting pupil well-being and pupil safeguarding (KCSIE 2023), community cohesion (Education Act 2006), and addressing and preventing, prejudice based bullying (Equality Act 2010).

PSHE and RSE play an essential role in helping students to lead confident, healthy and responsible lives as individuals and members of society. This means gaining the knowledge and skills to live healthily and deal with the personal, social, health and economic situations they may face as they approach adulthood.

PSHE and RSE give students opportunities to reflect on their experiences and how they are developing. It helps them to understand and manage responsibly a wider range of relationships as they mature and to show respect for the diversity of and differences between people.

They also develop students’ well-being and self-esteem, encouraging belief in their ability to succeed and enabling them to take responsibility for their learning and future choice of courses and career.

PSHE and RSE are about helping students feel ready for the world beyond school, able to proactively problem solve, make informed and independent choices, aware of how they are influenced by social media and friends in all areas of life including health, finance and relationships.

How Does PSHE and RSE Fit With the Highworth vision?

Our school motto is what we encourage our students to do and at Highworth we promote a community where all members are:

  • Reflective: creative and innovative
  • Eager: for life-long learning
  • Aiming: to achieve their full potential
  • Considerate: confident, independent individuals
  • Happy: in a caring, respectful community

The school aims to provide an understanding that positive, caring environments are essential for the development of positive self-image and that individuals are in charge of and responsible for their own bodies and behaviour. Students are encouraged to develop confidence, self-awareness and respect for themselves and others which will enable them to develop their own values and moral standards. This in turn, will enhance their ability to acquire the knowledge necessary to make informed decisions in managing relationships.

How Are PSHE and RSE Delivered in the School?

Focus Days

At Highworth, the RSE content is resourced and delivered in Years 7-13 through the Personal, Social and Health Education programme (PSHE).

The primary means of delivering PSHE is through Focus Days, days in which a Year Group is off timetable and explores a theme connected to the three core themes:

  1. Health and well-being
  2. Relationships
  3. Living in the Wider World (economic well-being, careers and the world of work)

This model includes planned lessons, factual knowledge and input from outside agencies and health professionals. All content is delivered at an age appropriate time and all sessions aim to build on one another over the course of all years of study so that students have the opportunity to reflect on and extend prior learning.

The content taught will reflect the law (including the Equality Act 2010) as it applies to relationships, so that students clearly understand what the law allows and does not allow, and the wider implications of the decisions they may make.

Details of Focus Days can be found here.


PSHE is also covered within the academic curriculum, where appropriate, and with more focussed support, where needed, through the Student Support Managers and Directors of Learning, with the option of referrals to external agencies where applicable.

Careers and Employability Programme 'SIRIUS'

We have recently developed a new Careers and Employability Programme ‘SIRIUS’ at Highworth. In addition, we provide personal guidance careers interviews with an external provider, have an in-house careers manager and a strong Alumni network ensuring we are linking curriculum learning to careers and provide strong encounters with employees and employers. Please click here for more information.

Whole School

It is an expectation at this school that all staff can, and should, contribute to the PSHE programme. It is also an expectation that all students can share in positively enriching the experiences of their peers whilst at Highworth.