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PSHE, RSE and Protected Characteristics

PSHE, SRE and Protected Characteristics


At Westhouses Primary School we aim to promote healthy, independent and responsible members of society. We encourage all our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community through class & school councils, fundraising events, supporting nominated charities and involvement in community activities. Our pupils are given opportunities in PSHE lessons and assemblies to develop confidence, self-motivation and an understanding of their rights and responsibilities within our diverse society.



We teach PSHE in a variety of ways: as a discrete subject, through Jigsaw lessons, via assemblies and through other subjects such as RE, History, Geography, Literacy, Maths and Science, as well as through outdoor educational visits, community work and activities.



There is a half termly celebration that is the same for each year group – these are designed to draw out a key theme from each week and reinforce its application; in turn, this ensures the Jigsaw learning is translated into behaviour and attitudes and is not confined to the lesson slot on the timetable.

This theme is introduced every half term by Mrs Whitby in the whole school assembly.

Whole School:

Autumn 1 – Being Me in My World

Autumn 2 – Celebrating Difference (including anti-bullying)

Spring 1 – Dreams & Goals

Spring 2 – Healthy Me

Summer 1 – Relationships

Summer 2 – Changing Me (including sex and relationships education).


Jigsaw is a comprehensive and completely original PSHE Education programme for the whole primary school from Reception through to Year 6 (ages 4-11).

Jigsaw has two aims for all children:

• To build their capacity for learning

• To equip them for life


Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. A variety of teaching strategies are used and are mindful of each child’s preferred learning style. Jigsaw is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time. This enables each Puzzle to start with an introductory assembly, generating a whole school focus for adults and children alike. There is a Weekly Celebration that highlights a theme from that week’s lesson across the school, and encourages children to reflect that learning in their behaviour and attitudes. It also brings in the British Values of: Respect, Democracy, Tolerance, Rule of Law & Liberty.


Being Me In My World covers a wide range of topics, including a sense of belonging, welcoming others and being part of a school community, a wider community, and a global community; it also looks at children’s rights and responsibilities, working and socialising with others, and pupil voice.


Celebrating Difference focuses on similarities and differences and teaches about diversity, such as disability, racism, power, friendships, and conflict; children learn to accept everyone’s right to ‘difference’, and most year groups explore the concept of ‘normal’; bullying – what it is and what it isn’t, including cyber and homophobic bullying – is an important aspect of this Puzzle. Another essential element to this term's learning is Protected Characteristics.


Dreams and Goals aims to help children think about their hopes and dreams, their goals for success, what personal strengths are, and how to overcome challenges, via team work skills and tasks. There is also a focus on enterprise and fundraising. Children learn about experiencing and managing feelings of pride, ambition, disappointment, success; and they get to share their aspirations, the dreams and goals of others in different cultures/countries, and their dreams for the world.


Healthy Me covers two main areas of health: Emotional health (relaxation, being safe, friendships, mental health skills, body image, relationships with food, managing stress) and Physical health (eating a balanced diet, physical activity, rest and relaxation, keeping clean, drugs and alcohol, being safe, first aid) in order for children to learn that health is a very broad topic.


Relationships has a wide focus, looking at diverse topics such as families, friendships, pets and animals, and love and loss. A vital part of this Puzzle is about safeguarding and keeping children safe; this links to cyber safety and social networking, as well as attraction and assertiveness; children learn how to deal with conflict, their own strengths and self-esteem. They have the chance to explore roles and responsibilities in families, and look at stereotypes. All Jigsaw lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs.


Changing Me deals with change of many types, from growing from young to old, becoming a teenager, assertiveness, self-respect and safeguarding. Self and body image, puberty, attraction and accepting change are diverse subjects for children to explore. Each year group thinks about looking ahead, moving year groups or the transition to secondary school. Life cycles and how babies are made and grow are treated sensitively and are designed to meet children’s needs. All year groups learn about how people and bodies change. This Puzzle links with the Science curriculum when teaching children about life cycles, babies and puberty.



How would children and their learning benefit if they could be aware of their thoughts and feelings as they happen, in the present moment, on purpose with no judgement?


This is what mindfulness means.


How could being mindful help to address the emotional health and behaviour issues so often acting as barriers to learning?



  • to be aware of your thoughts and feelings as they arise

  • to be able to focus your mind on what you choose to focus it on both outside of you and within you.

    Thoughts and feelings motivate and determine actions/responses/behaviours. If we are caught up in thoughts and feelings and are not aware of them as they happen, the responses that follow may not be under our control, and may not be in our best interest or appropriate in the situation.

    If a child can be aware of their thoughts and feelings as they arise and have been taught and practised how to use interventions e.g. breathing (Calm Me) techniques, they can choose to regulate/ manage their thoughts and feelings by using these interventions. They can effectively press the ‘pause’ button and consider whether to allow that chain of thoughts to continue or to change its direction, thus potentially choosing the response, action/ behaviour that will be motivated by it.

    If thoughts and feelings are left unchecked they will lead to responses/actions/behaviours (e.g. fight/ flight/freeze responses), and some of these may not be conducive to learning either for the child or their classmates.

    If I can see my thoughts as they arise and intervene, I can press the ‘pause’ button and consider my response.

    Mindful children can more readily choose their responses to situations rather than react while caught up in the thought-flows and emotions, saving behaviour issues from happening, helping concentration and lessening stress and anxiety.


In Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, mindfulness is developed in 3 main ways:


a)  through the ‘Calm Me’ time in each Piece (lesson). This consists of breathing techniques, awareness exercises and visualisations, enabling children not to empty their minds but to quiet them and become aware of the activity within them and manage it positively


b)  through the taught curriculum. Lessons (Pieces) help children
to explore their thoughts and feelings, to expand their emotional vocabulary, explore thoughts-feelings-consequence sequences, build their confidence and express themselves in a safe environment.


c)  through the ‘Pause Points’ in lessons (Pieces) which ask children to ‘Stop and look inside’ to practise observing their thoughts and feelings relating to what they are learning about in that lesson.



All classes take part in a series of lessons concerning health education, sex and relationships education.  Sex and relationships education is a crucial part of preparing children for their lives now and in the future, as adults and parents.  The teaching programme uses Jigsaw material.  Inclusive to this is education around LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and trans-sexual).  Discrete lessons are not taught around LGBT but it may form part of discussions around family relationships.  All of the SRE is delivered to ensure children acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to accept their own and others sexuality in positive ways, showing mutual respect and responsibility, free from abuse.


Year 5 & 6 pupils all receive lesson on puberty/period and how babies are made and born. 


Parents/carers were consulted when the scheme was introduced in 2018 and again in April 2023. Parents are also informed prior to the delivery of RSE sessions and are invited to come and view the resources used and discuss the content with the teacher and headteacher. 


Parents have the right to withdraw their child from SRE education. If you wish to do so please consult with the headteacher,  Mrs Whitby, before you withdraw your child. 




It is important that all children gain an understanding of the world they are growing up in, and learn how to live alongside, and show respect for, a diverse range of people. 

The Equality Act 2010, identifies the ‘protected characteristics’ as:

  • age

  • disability

  • gender reassignment

  • pregnancy and maternity

  • race

  • religion or belief

  • sex

  • sexual orientation

At Westhouses, we have a well-considered approach to the teaching of the protected characteristics, in order to:

  • eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation

  • advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

  • foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it

The documents below show how this philosophy is an integral part of school life and is embedded into our curriculum. In addition to this planned approach, we react and respond to any incident as it arises within school, the community or is in the news.

In our PSHE Jigsaw scheme, there is a strong focus on Protected Characteristics in Autumn 2, in the topic of Celebrating Difference. However, there are many other links throughout the scheme - please look at the documents below. Children also explore these characteristics throughout the year through fortnightly assemblies from the No Outsiders website and also through story as outlined  at the bottom of the page.



We strive to provide our pupils with opportunities to learn about their rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Children will be able to navigate their world and develop positive relationships with themselves and others. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community. We aim to have a positive impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for all pupils.


Detailed schemes of work are available in school if parents wish to look at them, but we cannot publish them on this website due to copyright.

Protected Characteristics Books Overview

Protected Characteristics and the Jigsaw Scheme

Scheme of Learning Summary