PDW including RSE

At Hill West Primary School we believe that a strong personal development and well-being (PDW) education is important to help our pupils develop into well-rounded members of society, who able to make a positive contribution to their community. At Hill West Primary School, our PDW curriculum is strongly linked to our Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) policy, our relationships, health and sex education (RHSE) policy and our commitment to UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all taught under the umbrella of Personal Development and Well-Being.

The vision for pupils, staff and others linked to our school is to always look to achieve our personal best in every aspect of school life.

  • Our school is one where everyone is encouraged and supported to achieve their personal best.
  • Our school is welcoming, inclusive, has a real community feel and is a place where everyone is valued.
  • Our pupils and staff treat each other equitably, fairly, with kindness and with mutual respect. At all times, staff and pupils are encouraged to show a high regard for the needs and feelings of others through their actions and words.
  • Our pupils and staff are enterprising and approach challenges with a ‘can-do’ attitude.
  • The needs and interests of all pupils, irrespective of gender, culture, ability or aptitude, will be promoted through an inclusive and varied PSHE curriculum at our school.
  • Our environment is safe and clean with everyone sharing responsibility for it.
  • Our culture is one of continuous improvement, creativity and enthusiasm.

At Hill West we know that pupils must be provided with an education that prepares them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. A key part of this relates to relationships and health education, which must be delivered to every primary-aged pupil. Primary schools also have the option to decide whether pupils are taught sex education and as you know we have built this into our personal development and well-being curriculum. 

Relationships and sex education is defined as teaching pupils about healthy, respectful relationships, focusing on family and friendships, in all contexts, including online, as well as developing an understanding of human sexuality.  Health education is defined as teaching pupils about physical health and mental wellbeing, focusing on recognising the link between the two and being able to make healthy lifestyle choices.

By the end of primary school, pupils will know:


  • That families are important for them growing up because they can give love, security and stability.
  • The characteristics of healthy family life, commitment to each other, including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives. 
  • The characteristics of healthy family life, commitment to each other, including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives.
  • That others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.
  • That stable, caring relationships, which may be of different types, are at the heart of happy families, and are important for children’s security as they grow up.
  • That marriage represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of two people to each other which is intended to be lifelong.
  • How to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed.


  • How important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends.
  • The characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences, and support with problems and difficulties.
  • That healthy friendships are positive and welcoming towards others, and do not make others feel lonely or excluded.
  • That most friendships have ups and downs, but that these can often be worked through so that the friendship is repaired or even strengthened, and that resorting to violence is never right
  • How to recognise who to trust and who not to trust.
  • How to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable.
  • How to manage conflict.
  • How to manage different situations and how to seek help from others if needed


  • The importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), make different choices, or have different preferences or beliefs.
  • Which practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships.
  • The conventions of courtesy and manners.
  • The importance of self-respect and how this links to their own happiness.
  • That in school and wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority.
  • About the different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders to report bullying to an adult, and how to seek help.
  • What a stereotype is, and how they can be unfair, negative or destructive.
  • The importance of permission-seeking and giving in relationships with friends, peers and adults.

On-line Relationships

  • That people sometimes behave differently online, including pretending to be someone they are not.
  • That the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others online, even when we are anonymous.
  • The rules and principles for keeping safe online.
  • How to recognise harmful content and contact online, and how to report these.
  • How to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information.
  • The risks associated with people they have never met.
  • How information and data is shared and used online.

Being Safe

  • What sorts of boundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others – including in a digital context.
  • About the concept of privacy and the implications of it for both children and adults.
  • That it is not always right to keep secrets if they relate to being safe.
  • That each person’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact.
  • How to respond safely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts, including online) who they do not know.
  • How to recognise and report feelings of being unsafe or feeling bad about any adult.
  • How to ask for advice or help for themselves and others, and to keep trying until they are heard.
  • How to report concerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and confidence needed to do so.
  • Where to seek advice, for example, from their family, their school and other sources.

Mental Well-being

  • That there is a normal range of emotions, e.g. happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise and nervousness.
  • The scale of emotions that humans experience in response to different experiences and situations.
  • How to recognise and talk about their emotions, including having a varied vocabulary of words to use when talking about their own and others’ feelings.
  • How to judge whether what they are feeling and how they are behaving is appropriate and proportionate.
  • The benefits of physical exercise, time outdoors, community participation, and voluntary and service-based activity on mental wellbeing and happiness.
  • Simple self-care techniques, including the importance of rest, time spent with friends and family, and the benefits of hobbies and interests.
  • How isolation and loneliness can affect children and that it is very important they discuss their feelings with an adult and seek support.
  • That bullying (including cyberbullying) has a negative and often lasting impact on mental wellbeing.
  • Where and how to seek support (including recognising the triggers for seeking support), extending to who in school they should speak to if they are worried about themselves or others.
  • That it is common to experience mental ill health and, for the many people who do, the problems can be resolved if the right support is made available, especially if accessed early enough.

Internet safety and harms

  • That for most people, the internet is an integral part of life and has many benefits.
  • About the benefits of rationing time spent online.
  • The risks of excessive time spent on electronic devices.
  • The impact of positive and negative content online on their own and others’ mental and physical wellbeing.
  • How to consider the effect of their online actions on others.
  • How to recognise and display respectful behaviour online.
  • The importance of keeping personal information private.
  • Why social media, some computer games and online gaming, for example, are age-restricted.
  • That the internet can also be a negative place where online abuse, trolling, bullying and harassment can take place, which can have a negative impact on mental health.
  • How to be a discerning consumer of information online, including understanding that information (inclusive of that from search engines) is ranked, selected and targeted.
  • Where and how to report concerns and get support with issues online.
  • That mental wellbeing is a normal part of daily life, in the same way as physical health.

Physical health and fitness

  • The characteristics and mental and physical benefits of an active lifestyle.
  • The importance of building regular exercise into daily and weekly routines a nd how to achieve this, for example by walking or cycling to school, a daily active mile, or other forms of regular, vigorous exercise.
  • The risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, including obesity.
  • How and when to seek support, including which adults to speak to in school if they are worried about their health.

Healthy eating

  • What constitutes a healthy diet, including an understanding of calories and other nutritional content.
  • The principles of planning and preparing a range of healthy meals.
  • The characteristics of a poor diet and risks associated with unhealthy eating, including obesity, and other behaviours, e.g. the impact of alcohol on diet or health.

Drugs, alcohol and tobacco

  • The facts about legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks, including smoking, alcohol use and drug-taking.

Health and prevention

  • How to recognise early signs of physical illness, such as weight loss or unexplained changes to the body.
  • About safe and unsafe exposure to the sun, and how to reduce the risk of sun damage, including skin cancer.
  • The importance of sufficient good-quality sleep for good health, and that a lack of sleep can affect weight, mood and ability to learn.
  • About dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene and dental flossing, including regular check-ups at the dentist.
  • About personal hygiene and germs including bacteria and viruses, how they are spread and treated, and the importance of hand washing.
  • The facts and science relating to immunisation and vaccination.

Basic first aid

  • How to make a clear and efficient call to emergency services if necessary.
  • Concepts of basic first-aid, for example dealing with common injuries, including head injuries.

Changing adolescent body

  • Key facts about puberty and the changing adolescent body, particularly from age 9 through to age 11, including physical and emotional changes.
  • About menstrual wellbeing and key facts relating to the menstrual cycle.

Sex Education

Although not statutory to deliver sex education outside of the science curriculum at primary level, the DfE recommends that all primary schools should have a sex education programme in place.  At our school, we do teach pupils sex education beyond what is required in the science curriculum.  This is tailored to the age, and physical and emotional maturity of pupils, and ensures that boys and girls are prepared for the changes that adolescence brings, drawing on knowledge of the human life cycle.  We teach about the main external parts of the human body, how it changes as it grows from birth to old age, including puberty, and the reproductive process in some plants and animals.