In the area of Personal, Social and Health Education we follow the Revised Curriculum for Northern Ireland: Personal Development and Mutual Understanding. The PDMU curriculum is drawn up in a spiral manner, where similar content is revisited at each Key Stage. However, the strategies, approaches and information adopted at each Key Stage reflect the differing needs and abilities of
those children. Therefore, the knowledge and skills gained from PDMU accumulate as children progress through the Key Stages. PDMU is taught in distinct weekly lessons, which follow seven units over the school year which enable the children to deepen their understanding progressively throughout their time at Silver Springs.
Our PDMU curriculum focuses attention on children’s emotional development, health and safety, relationships with others and development of moral thinking, values and actions. We want every child to become personally, emotionally, socially and physically effective and ultimately lead healthy, safe and fulfilled lives becoming confident, independent and responsible citizens, making informed
and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives.
Through our PDMU programme, we teach children about risks and how to protect themselves from danger, because we know that this can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. Research tells us that young people are less likely to endure substance abuse, crime and mental health issues later in life, if they are taught about risk and protective factors in school. Research also shows
that teaching emotional and social health in the classroom leads to increased attachment to school and improved academic performance. Supporting our children to engage positively in classroom relationships and healthy social interactions means that they are more likely to achieve above average academically.
Our SRE programme (developed alongside and following GAET guidelines) is integral to our PDMU curriculum and further develops our pupils’ self-awareness, self-esteem and confidence to enable them to develop positive relationships and make positive decisions in their lives. Whilst prioritising for younger children the emotional, social and cultural development, it teaches children in older year groups about relationships, sexual health, sexuality, healthy lifestyles, diversity and personal identity in an age appropriate way. RSE involves a combination of sharing information, and exploring issues and values. RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.
The aims of relationships and sex education (RSE) at Silver Springs are to:
• Provide a framework in which sensitive discussions can take place
• Prepare pupils for puberty, and give them an understanding of sexual development and the importance of health and hygiene
• Help pupils develop feelings of self-respect, confidence and empathy
• Create a positive culture around issues of sexuality and relationships
• Teach pupils the correct vocabulary to describe themselves and their bodies
We will support children to ask questions in an emotionally safe environment, helping to dispel myths and provide them with the information and self-assurance necessary to make informed decisions in an ethical way that are right for themselves and for others. It builds up knowledge and skills which are particularly important today because of the many different and conflicting pressures on young people.