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At Framwellgate School Durham, we strongly believe that our PSHE curriculum, and its delivery, underpins and reinforces the wider culture of our school. As well as this curriculum being taught in weekly dedicated lessons, it is delivered in a variety of other ways: through assemblies, via external speakers and ‘drop-down’ sessions/workshops, and through whole-school events such as Mental Health Awareness Week, Diversity Day and Holocaust Memorial Day. Key aspects of the curriculum are also revisited and consolidated in different subject areas as part of the wider curriculum.  

Our curriculum aims to provide students with the following: 

  • A sound understanding of their roles and responsibilities as citizens - of the school, the wider community and the wider world – now and in the future; 
  • A strong sense of social and moral justice and empathy for others; 
  • The opportunity to consider wider societal and personal issues; 
  • The knowledge and ability to keep themselves healthy, physically, mentally and emotionally, and to keep themselves safe from risks and harm 
  • The ability to develop critical thinking and to make safe and informed decisions. 
  • The opportunity to develop personal and social skills which will help to prepare them for the wider world and employability;  

In line with the Government’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education Guidance, FSD has committed to developing students’ awareness in three key areas, including: 

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing  
  • Relationships   
  • The World We Live In  

The Curriculum Leader for PSHE works closely with other school staff to plan, implement and deliver the PSHE curriculum, ensuring that its effectiveness is evaluated regularly and that it is adapted to reflect updates in statutory curriculum requirements and the changing needs of all or some of our students.

The impact and effectiveness of the curriculum and its delivery will be measured in the following ways: 

Student voice: through a student panel, face-to-face from a cross section of year groups in Years 7 to 11, and via whole-school TEAMS forms;  and via baseline ‘before’ and ‘after’ knowledge for topic areas. The student panel will also be asked for their views on the delivery of sessions. 

Staff voice: regular feedback, via TEAMS forms and face-to-face, on usefulness of resources, engagement of students and confidence levels of staff regarding specific topics. 

Learning Walks: drop-ins during delivery of dedicated PSHE lessons.  


The PSHE Curriculum

Core Theme Overviews 

It is essential that students’ experience of PSHE education is not simply a series of ‘one-off’, disconnected sessions focusing only on factual content. Topics in the PSHE curriculum are therefore grouped thematically, under three broad ‘core themes’, and delivered though a ‘spiral’, developmental model. The aim is that knowledge and understanding is broadened and deepened throughout the academic years, and that cross-curricular links are made wherever possible and appropriate. Topics are tailored to each year group to ensure that they are aimed appropriately at the developmental stage of students; topics and their content are revised regularly to ensure they are suitable for our students and relevant to wider society.  

Topics come under the following 3 Core Themes of the PSHE Curriculum: 

Core Theme 1 – Health & Wellbeing 

This Core Theme covers mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, enriching understanding of what mental ill health can look like, healthy coping mechanisms that can be used to manage mental ill health and how to promote positive mental wellbeing in yourself and others. The topics develop further into looking at the links between physical and mental health and the impacts this can have on emotional wellbeing now and in the future.  

Core Theme includes: anti bullying; mental health & wellbeing; exercise; healthy diet and lifestyle; diversity in the media. 

Core Theme 2 – Relationships 

This Core Theme covers the development of healthy relationships and incorporates the statutory requirements of Sex and Relationships Education. The topic explores how to build healthy relationships with family and peers before looking at romantic relationships, consent, contraception/pregnancy choices and development of the family unit. The aim is to equip students with knowledge to make informed choices, behave in a respectful and appropriate manner and understand the law around Sex, Relationships and Media. 

Core Theme includes: sex and relationships education (SRE); community; relationships; the abuse of power 

Core Theme 3 – Living in the Wider World 

This Core Theme covers the development of students as part of their wider community. It addresses awareness global issues, different cultures and of how developmental stages can influence personal change and students look to enhance their understanding of broader topics and gain practical and useful understanding of topics covered to develop healthy discussion, make informed and appropriate decisions and contribute positively to their local  and wider community. 

Core Theme includes: personal finance; the legal system; social justice; medical ethics; careers; values and global education; personal safety; diversity and awareness. 

There are also five National Curriculum ‘target links’ that underpin both the PSHE and the wider school curriculum: 

  • Healthy and safe 
  • Emotional health 
  • Anti-bullying 
  • Citizenship 
  • Values, including diversity and equal opportunities 

Safeguarding requirements 

The PSHE curriculum also makes students aware of, and allows them to explore issues around, the following SAFEGUARDING issues: 

  • Child sex exploitation 
  • Domestic violence 
  • Female genital mutilation 
  • Forced marriage
  • Substance misuse 
  • Knives and gang activity 
  • Radicalisation and extremism 
  • e-safety 
  • Relationships (including sexual relationships) 
  • Water, fire, roads and railways  

Students are told explicitly how to access support in relation to all of the issues above 

In line with the recommendations in the PSHE and Wellbeing Framework Update, further emphasis has also been placed on the following issues in the curriculum: 

  • British laws 
  • British values 
  • Consent/Coercion 
  • Cultural and religious tensions 
  • Extremism 
  • Human Rights – including the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of the Child 
  • Mental Health 
  • Responsibility for gaining consent 
  • Shame and ‘honour’-based violence 
  • The destructive influence of gender-based double standards and victim blaming 

Essential Skills and Attributes developed through the Programme of Study 

The curriculum also aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop essential personal and social skills, as well as other skills and attributes which will prepare them for the wider world and for employability.

Additional Resources & Support 

Below is a list of websites that can be used for additional resources, to enhance your awareness of your topic or as a knowledge bank/resource for students.  


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Amanda is Chair of the Excel Academy Trust Board. Amanda became a parent governor in 2009 and has enjoyed several responsibilities across this time including being Chair of the Achievement and Standards committee, a member of the Excel Academy Audit committee, and most recently has been appointed as a Member of the Excel Academy Partnership. Her career started out with the Halifax Building Society where she worked as a mortgage advisor for 20 years, before entering the political arena. Amanda is a County Councillor for Durham County Council, representing Framwellgate and Newton Hall ward. Amanda was formerly a student at Framwellgate School Durham, where she met her husband and many other friends, as well as taking on the responsibility of being Deputy Head Girl. Amanda is passionate about the school and local area and is actively involved in the school at every opportunity.

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