Appleby Primary School follows the Jigsaw PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education) scheme for all ages from Nursery to Year 6. Jigsaw supports children with a range of barriers to learning including emotional needs, SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), social skills and mental health. Our PSHE lessons are based on a whole-school approach, where units of work for each half term are suitably delivered and adapted to each age group, but each having similar objectives for the children to work towards achieving. Six units of work, referred to as ‘puzzles’, are visited across an academic year, meaning that a new puzzle begins at the start of every half term. The range of themes explored in our Jigsaw lessons enables children to build their social skills, improve their emotional literacy, support their mental health, build positive relationships with themselves and their peers as well as providing a level of challenge to all.
Appleby Primary School supports Jigsaw’s ‘mindful approach’ to the teaching of PSHE; we understand the importance of recognising and acknowledging feelings and thoughts of all kinds and provide opportunities to share and discuss these both within and outside of our Jigsaw lessons.
The Jigsaw PSHE scheme fulfils each of the requirements of the statutory Relationships and Health Education curriculum (as announced by the Department for Education in England in 2019, as implemented from September 2020).
Jigsaw lessons at Appleby Primary School refer to the Jigsaw Charter to reinforce expectations of all children during our PSHE learning time. The Charter is a set of positive statements that the children are asked to verbally agree to at the beginning of each puzzle. It is used as a consistent and gentle reminder for children to treat all others with respect regardless of differing opinions, to have the option to pass if they do not wish to answer a particular question, and to only use names if they are sharing a positive or kind story with others. Each class in our school is designated a ‘Jigsaw Friend’, a puzzle piece character designed to keep learning about sensitive issues safe. The Jigsaw Friends are also used as a talking tool, where passing them along to the person that wishes to speak next reinforces our beliefs about respect and turn-taking and provides opportunities for confidence-building when speaking in front of others.
Jigsaw PSHE lessons are divided into sections to manage the children’s cognitive load and introduce new content gradually.
PSHE is not only delivered in lesson time, but also during assemblies. Our children have weekly singing assemblies where they are given the opportunity to listen to the corresponding songs from each puzzle, embedding the positive messages from their lyrics into their learning and singing them as a whole school. Assemblies at the start of each half term introduce new puzzle pieces and give our children the opportunity to learn as a school community and understand that the themes we explore in PSHE are relevant to all.
PSHE is a positive way of increasing children’s confidence in our school. The children enjoy Jigsaw lessons and express positive attitudes towards our learning activities and to the Jigsaw characters that help to guide them through each puzzle. Our children enjoy working in groups to achieve goals together and are supportive of each other when they are successful.
The mindful approach to PSHE is beneficial in managing the cognitive load of our children, something we consider to be an essential component of successful learning. Providing children with sufficient time to become aware of their thoughts and feelings allows them to focus on what is important in that moment and let go of what is not.
The Jigsaw Charter is an important way of including all children in PSHE, regardless of ability, faith or background. It has allowed children with lower levels of confidence to join in and have a go in a safe and positive learning environment. The children in our school show empathy towards others and express a range of ways in which we can support individuals and communities in our locality as well as in the wider world.