How Jigsaw compares to SEAL and the PSHE Framework

by Web Manager, 28 July, 2014

1. How is Jigsaw PSHE different to SEAL?

SEALSEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning) is an explicit, structured, whole-curriculum framework and resource for teaching social, emotional and behavioural skills to all pupils. It was launched in 2004 and worked on a rolling two-year programme, with suggested activities for Foundation, Years 1&2, 3&4 and 5&6 combined. SEAL was not designed to be used as a scheme of learning for PSHE Education as it does not fulfil the DfE’s PSHE Education Programme of Study. SEAL helped to deliversome aspects of the PSHE Education curriculum but could not be used exclusively. This is because SEAL does not cover the essential elements of the PSHE Education curriculum, namely SRE (sex and relationships education), drug and alcohol education and citizenship. Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning.

SEAL does not have specific lesson plans that are straightforward and easy to use: they require some additional planning to develop into a lesson. Jigsaw has been developed for busy teachers to be able to pick up and teach without additional planning; all of the necessary resources for each lesson are included in the folders.

Jigsaw PSHE is an up-to-date, comprehensive and completely original scheme of work for the whole primary school from Years F1 and 2 through to Year 6. It ensures SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) development opportunities are mapped throughout. All of these pieces of learning are brought together to form a cohesive picture, helping children to know and value who they are and understand how they relate to other people the world. There is differentiated support for SEN, assessment.

The table below shows how SEAL and Jigsaw PSHE differ on a range of important aspects.



Jigsaw PSHE

PSHE Education curriculum

Does not meet all PSHE Education curriculum requirements: excludes SRE, drug and alcohol education, and citizenship.

Meets all PSHE Education curriculum requirements, including SRE, drug and alcohol education, and citizenship.

SMSC development

Does not cover SMSC development explicitly as per current Ofsted guidelines.

Full coverage of SMSC development in accordance with current Ofsted guidelines, mapped across all year groups:

Emotional literacy

Based on five social and emotional aspects of learning, SEAL ensures they build on the good work the school is already doing and adapt to fit in with the school’s own unique character.

The development of the five social and emotional aspects of learning is contributed in every single lesson. It is mapped on every lesson and balanced appropriately across each unit and year group.

Lesson plans

Comprehensive lesson plans are not provided. Teachers are expected to build ideas from the materials into their medium-term plans.

Comprehensive, developmental lesson plans are provided for all year groups from F1/2 to 6.

Relevance for children

Written in 2004, SEAL is still relevant for many children to help them develop their social and emotional skills.

Written in 2013, Jigsaw is relevant and up-to-date, covering all aspects of the PSHE Education curriculum and more, including cyber and homophobic bullying, internet safety, body image, self-esteem, financial capability, health education, and relationships and sex education.

Ease for teaching staff

Some additional time and effort required to ensure all aspects of PSHE Education were added to the SEAL activities.

Very easy format and structure to follow, Jigsaw has been written for busy teachers to be able to pick up a short time before the lesson and deliver it simply and effectively.


No assessment guidance or framework.

Fully comprehensive assessment tasks, with easy-to-follow marking criteria.

Reporting to parents/carers

No reporting framework in place.

Each unit’s assessment task and attainment descriptors assist teachers in reporting meaningful learning progress to parents/carers.

Training and support

No training and support available for staff CPD.

A full programme of training and support is available for all school staff using Jigsaw (chargeable separately). Please ask for details.


 2. What needs does Jigsaw PSHE meet?

Jigsaw has been written as a PSHE Education universal, core provision for all children; inclusivity is part of its philosophy. Teachers will need, as ever, to tailor each lesson to meet the needs of the children in their classes. To support this differentiation, many Jigsaw lessons suggest creative learning activities that allow children to choose the media with which they work and to give them scope to work to their full potential. To further help teachers differentiate children in their classes with special educational needs, each unit includes a P-level grid with suggested activities for children working at each of those levels.

The structure of a Jigsaw lesson aims to meet every child’s needs. The Connect Us section is designed to maximise social skills, to engender positive relationships and enhance collaborative learning. Explicit skills are taught through Jigsaw lessons, but maximum benefit will be achieved if these are both modelled and reinforced throughout every school day.

The Calm Me section aims to still the children’s minds, relaxing them and quietening their emotions to a place of optimum learning capacity. This will also engender a peaceful atmosphere within the classroom. It might take some time before children can do this successfully, as many children live in continually noisy and hectic environments. It is an invaluable life skill which also enhances reflection and spiritual development.

Jigsaw supports the emotional development of children, helping them to become independent individuals and learners, who are supportive and respectful of other people, and who know how to fulfil their aspirations.


 3. How will Jigsaw PSHE work in the classroom?

As a comprehensive scheme of learning, Jigsaw is fully equipped to work in any classroom. There are 6 Puzzles (half-term units of work) each with 6 Pieces (lessons). Each Piece has two Learning Intentions: one is based on specific PSHE learning (covering the non-statutory national framework for PSHE Education but enhanced to address children’s needs today); and one is based on emotional literacy and social skills (covering the SEAL learning intentions but also enhanced). The enhancements mean that Jigsaw is relevant to children living in today’s world as it helps them understand and be equipped to cope with issues like body image, cyber and homophobic bullying, and internet safety.

Every year group studies the same Puzzle at the same time (sequentially ordered from September to July), allowing for whole school themes and the end of Puzzle product e.g. a display or exhibition (like the Garden of Dreams and Goals) to be shared and celebrated by the whole school.

Teaching strategies are varied and are mindful of preferred learning styles and the need for differentiation.

Jigsaw PSHE can be used with small groups outside the formal classroom, as the activities and learning intentions easily be translated to other settings. There will be further resources available in the coming year for small group facilitators to use in conjunction with the Jigsaw lesson plans.


Joanna Feast – Jigsaw PSHE Consultant

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