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Gladesmore Community School

Gladesmore Community School


“Supporting young people to navigate the wider world.”

National Curriculum

PSHE holds a significant amount of core knowledge which has to be taught. This content is outlined in the Statutory RSE framework and the National Curriculum for Citizenship.  The PSHE team ensures that this content is covered by our detailed programme of study enhanced by regular visits from outside agencies, assemblies and the contributions of other subject areas. 

Curriculum Intent

Why teach PSHE?

PSHE is an incredibly important and wide-ranging subject in that it lays a foundation for safeguarding and wellbeing, not only whilst pupils are studying at GCS but also beyond our doors — it gives students the core knowledge that they need to thrive, first as young people and then as adults. Even before the introduction of statutory RSE, GCS was committed to PSHE education with a weekly dedicated lesson for each pupil. 

Beginning by acknowledging what pupils already know and understand, PSHE provides an important arena for the centring of children's experiences and their developed understanding of them — at times, pupils’ own lived experiences mean that they are the experts in the room.  Pupils’ exposure to PSHE in primary schools is mixed and so our curriculum needs to reinforce and build on their existing knowledge; its teaching, by Gladesmore School form tutors, therefore means that lessons are necessarily adapted to account for the particular experiences of students and to build on strong relationships established over time.    

As a school, we know that academic knowledge is vital for pupils’ success, but academic success, on its own, is not enough.  If pupils are to achieve their ambitions, they need more than exam results.  PSHE supports our young people to navigate the wider world; not only teaching factual knowledge about wide-ranging issues such as contraception, sexual harassment, gambling, diet and mental health, but also developing students’ empathy with and understanding of others, as well as their own capacity to form and reach reasoned judgements. 

On account of its wide-ranging content, PSHE is taught in themed units focused on aspects of PSHE, e.g. financial education, relationships, careers.  The curriculum is planned in a spiral fashion so that fundamental concepts such as consent, peer-to-peer abuse, online safety or British values are revisited throughout the five years at GCS in a way that is developmental and not repetitive.   
Through such education, PSHE seeks to enable students to have a better understanding of themselves.  Our schemes of learning consciously challenge assumptions and deconstruct stereotypes.  PSHE therefore provides a supportive context for young people to reflect and evaluate, to articulate their own emotions and opinions and to listen carefully to the views put forward by others.  

Support for our students is clearly signposted through our PSHE education, the culture of which promotes student enquiry and the growth of self-awareness; we promote the understanding that asking for help or seeking out further information is both normal and beneficial.  The PSHE team models this inclusive and exploratory approach — and enhances its curriculum — by working actively, when appropriate, with other, external organisations who have specialist knowledge and expertise.

PSHE in our context 

Our PSHE curriculum draws significant strength from the diversity present within our community; we are often able to build on the range of attitudes and behaviours which students bring to it.  Thus, our lessons are planned to take account of such diversity, for example, through the acknowledgement of religious attitudes towards sexual activity without the promotion of a particular point of view.  In this context, it is particularly important that we distinguish between legal and illegal activities and acknowledge where it is acceptable for pupils to express different attitudes, e.g. sex before marriage, and where it is not, e.g. sexual assault or discriminating against pupils who are LGBT+.  

In particular, PSHE is important for pupils in Tottenham.  Some of our families are new to the country and do not have a strong, innate understanding of how British institutions work.  Some families struggle to navigate their way through systems, either because of mistrust or at times on account of a lack of knowledge of how things work.  It is therefore vital that we do not assume core knowledge and that we instead ensure it is taught in areas such as Citizenship, paying particular attention not only to our democratic processes but also to core institutions such as the NHS and the police.    

Similarly, our teachers are acutely aware that some families face very significant challenges.     Unfortunately, our pupils, more often than usual, may be young carers, may be exposed to drug and alcohol abuse or may experience their basic needs not being met.  We therefore place importance on the sensitivity required in teaching PSHE within such contexts, for example, lessons on healthy eating need to consider that some pupils may not have the luxury of choosing to eat fruit from the fruitbowl each day.  Nonetheless, we acknowledge - through our curriculum and teaching - that if we are to work towards breaking the cycle of deprivation, pupils must learn about the importance of a balanced diet, about ways to look after their own emotional health and about the significance of a stable family home.  Schemes of learning focused on all aspects of health clearly contribute to students’ understanding of how they can look after themselves.  

Finally, and most importantly, we want our pupils to be proud of who they are and to be able to build belief that their current circumstances do not define their futures.  PSHE thus needs to expose our students to possibilities — and to encourage them to dream.  Our Careers programme is particularly important in building knowledge of future pathways and exposing students to examples of success.  

Curriculum Summary

Year 7 

  • Personal safety
  • Being healthy
  • Bullying & conflict resolution
  • Citizenship: What is democracy?
  • Healthy relationships
  • Careers: Skills for work

Year 8 

  • Health education
  • Life online
  • Finance & budgeting
  • Careers: The world of work
  • Healthy relationships
  • Citizenship: The role of law

Year 9 

  • Healthy relationships
  • Careers: Transition to Key Stage 4 and beyond
  • Drugs education
  • Citizenship: How are opinions created?
  • First aid
  • Citizenship: Challenging prejudice

Year 10 

  • Healthy relationships
  • Religious Education: Statutory RE
  • Money management
  • Careers: Transition to Key Stage 5 and beyond
  • Health education
  • Citizenship: Making a difference

Year 11 

  • Religious Education: BIG Questions
  • Health Education 
  • Healthy Relationships 
  • Ready for Adulthood 
  • Study Skills 



Gladesmore Community School
Crowland Road
N15 6EB


020 8800 0884