Merrow School is an inclusive school and we believe firmly that it is essential that our approach to teaching PSHE/RSE is accessible to all learners, regardless of background, languages spoken and for children of diverse family make-ups.
The Jigsaw programme has two main aims for children:
- To build their capacity for learning
- To equip them for life
Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, compulsory Relationships and Health Education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. It is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time at their own level. There are six Puzzles (half-term units of work) and each year group is taught one lesson per week. All lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs. Our Jigsaw curriculum contains all the requirements of the National Curriculum. Every Jigsaw lesson includes mindfulness practice. Mindfulness is being able to observe your own thoughts and feelings as they happen, in the present moment, applying no judgement. Jigsaw teaches children to understand their thoughts and feelings through the Calm Me time exercises (using the Jigsaw Chime) and Pause Points (using Jigsaw Jerrie Cat). This helps to develop their awareness, and their capacity to be mindful human beings. Learning is thus enhanced as emotions and behaviour are self-regulated
PSHE/RSE needs to be supportive of our Christian ethos and support work in Assemblies as well as fit with our school values of kindness, respect and responsibility; we also use Early years Picture News to support children’s language development and to help them gain greater understanding of views from beyond our own immediate community.
As we begin to implement Opal Play (part of PE Grant) we hope to improve the relationship skills of the children; this is also supported by our buying in of The Sport Project Mentor once a week.
Children with high levels of need in their social, emotional and mental health development are given opportunities to attend ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support) sessions with our trained ELSA teaching assistant. These sessions are planned to specifically meet the individual or group’s needs, ranging from anger management, emotion coaching, and social skill groups. Children’s progress is monitored throughout these sessions and in class to see the impact they are having on the child’s holistic development. Where the need is evident in individual classes, some teaching assistants also run extra nurture groups to support the emotional well-being of key children/groups.