by Alison Harris, 20 February, 2020

How does Jigsaw PSHE support the Church of England Principles and Charter in relation to RSHE?

In November 2019, the Church of England published Principles and a Charter entitled “Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Heath Education (RSHE) in Church of England Schools”. The document sets out several key principles and then provides a Charter which schools can use.

This article sets out how both the ethos and teaching content of Jigsaw PSHE support Church of England schools in delivering RSHE in light of this document.

Church of England Key Principles

Jigsaw PSHE

Church of England schools should ensure that their RSHE curriculum protects, informs and empowers all pupils. It should ensure that children are able to cherish themselves and others as unique and wonderfully made, and to form healthy relationships where they respect and offer dignity to others (SIAMS schedule page 11). It will provide pupils with the knowledge that will enable them to navigate and contextualise a world in which many will try to tell them how to behave, what to do and what to think. It will help them to develop the skills to express their own views and make their own informed decisions.

Jigsaw is a unique, spiral, progressive and effective scheme of work for Personal, Social, Health Education (ages 3-16) aiming to prepare children for life, helping them really know and value who they truly are and understand how they relate to other people in this ever- changing world.

The Jigsaw Charter enables all children to develop the skills to express their own views without fear of judgement by others and supports children in making their own decisions about their choices in life.

Explicit lessons on influences and pressures coupled with the underpinning mindfulness philosophy and ever- present valuing of the individual mean Jigsaw promotes this Church of England principle.

The Church of England welcomes, supports and expects the teaching of Relationships and Health Education in all Church of England Primary Schools. Primary Schools can decide whether they wish to choose to teach some aspects of Sex Education. In Church of England Secondary Schools, Relationships, Sex and Health Education will be taught. Where Sex Education is taught parents will have the right to withdraw their children from that part of the curriculum ‘other than as part of the science curriculum’

Jigsaw PSHE provides bespoke teaching and learning materials for both primary and secondary schools for the teaching of all RSHE. For Primary Schools, support is offered in the form of training and resources to aid open communication with parents so that they can make an informed decision about their right of withdrawal.

We encourage all schools to approach RSHE in a faith -sensitive and inclusive way. Such an approach should seek to understand and appreciate differences within and across the teachings of the faith and other communities the school serves. It should give dignity and worth to the views of pupils from the faith and other communities represented in the school as part of ensuring that the Equality Act of 2010 is applied in the school. It should recognise that there is no hierarchy of protected characteristics in the Equality Act and that sometimes different protected characteristics can be in tension as they cannot necessarily be equally protected at all times.

Jigsaw PSHE encourages schools and teachers to couch their teaching of sensitive issues and their language in a sensitive and age-appropriate manner, whilst still delivering the specified content.

For more information on how Jigsaw PSHE complies and supports the Equality Act of 2010, see our article at

(Equality Act 2010. Available at

4 Decorative Jigsaw Friends


The Church of England Charter states that the school will commit:

Jigsaw PSHE:

To work in partnership with parents and carers. This will involve dialogue with parents and carers through all stages of policy development as well as discussing the resources used to teach their children and how they can contribute at home. It must, however, be recognised that the law specifies that what is taught and how it is taught is ultimately a decision for the school.

Jigsaw positively promotes working with parents and carers. Within the Community Area of our website (password access is given to our schools) there are resources and leaflets for parents and carers explaining Jigsaw PSHE in general and the RSHE materials specifically. PSHE leaders and other school stakeholders can pay a nominal fee to attend regional RSHE training, and PowerPoints and resources are provided free of charge on the Community Area to support schools in hosting parent information workshops. Schools can request that a Jigsaw Consultant co-host this for an additional fee.

That RSHE will be delivered professionally and as an identifiable part of PSHE. It will be led, resourced and reported to parents in the same way as any other subject. There will be a planned programme delivered in a carefully sequenced way. Staff will receive regular training in RSHE and PSHE. Any expert visitors or trainers invited into the school to enhance and supplement the programme will be expected to respect the schools published policy for RSHE.

As detailed above, training is offered for PSHE leaders to then train their staff and run parent information workshops, or Jigsaw consultants can come into school to train staff and/or co-host for parents. This will always be carried out in liaison with the school as to which aspects of the sex education the school has chosen to teach, and which materials they have chosen to use.

That RSHE will be delivered in an inclusive way that gives dignity, respect to all that make up our wonderfully diverse society, including the LGBT+ community. It will be taught in a way that is sensitive to the faith and beliefs of those in the wider school community and will seek to fairly explain the tenets and varying interpretations of religious communities on matters of sex and relationships. It will value the importance of faithfulness as the underpinning and backdrop for relationships. It will encourage pupils to develop the skills needed to disagree without being disagreeable, to appreciate the lived experience of other people and to live well together.

Jigsaw provide a downloadable PDF document which explains how Jigsaw sensitively educates children aged 3-11 about LGBTQ relationships. This leaflet is intended for Parents and Carers of children attending Primary Schools that teach using Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE / Health and Well-being, as part of the curriculum.

The document clearly explains what is taught about LGBTQ relationships during lesson-time and how Jigsaw PSHE supports the school in meeting its statutory curriculum obligations regarding education, safeguarding, relationships and health education for 3-11 year-olds. This work is done in the context of valuing every child and every child’s family context.

That RSHE will seek to build resilience in our pupils to help them form healthy relationships and resist the harmful influence of pornography in all its forms. It will give pupils opportunities to reflect on values and influences including their peers, the media, the internet, faith and culture that may have shaped their attitudes to gender, relationships and sex. It will promote the development of the wisdom and skills our pupils need to make their own informed decisions.

Throughout Jigsaw PSHE, the focus is on healthy relationships. This is evident in our teacher training as well as the materials that the children will encounter in their lessons.

Influences such as peers, media and the internet and its contents are discussed, and children are allowed and encouraged to form their own moral standpoint about the dangers of being compelled to behave in any way by outside influences.

Children are taught how to be assertive and resist such pressures, enhancing their resilience and ability to stay safe and get help if needed.

That RSHE will promote healthy resilient relationships set in the context of character and virtue development. It will reflect the vision and associated values of the school and develop character and virtues such as honesty, integrity, self- control, courage, humility, kindness, forgiveness, generosity and a sense of justice. It will encourage relationships that are hopeful and aspirational.

Although non-denominational in character, the values embedded within Jigsaw PSHE fully embrace and support those shared by Church of England schools. The morals, ethical discernment and care for each other and the world that children learn throughout the Jigsaw Programmes can align with Church of England Christian values.

Aspects that all children work on within the first unit of the year (Being Me in My World) require them to examine their own beliefs in what is right and wrong and how to be a good friend. Within a church school setting, this could easily be linked to the Christian virtues listed. This is continued throughout the year and is very evident in the Relationships unit and in the Weekly Celebration theme highlighting a behaviour or attitude linked to specific values.

For further details about the support Jigsaw provides for character and values, see our article “How do Jigsaw Programmes (including Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE 3-16, Resilience and Engagement Scale and Toolkit and Jigsaw Families) support the 2018 SIAMS inspection framework?

That RSHE will be based on honest and medically accurate information based on reliable sources of information, including about the law and legal rights. It will present a positive view of human sexuality. It will distinguish between different types of knowledge and opinions so that pupils can learn about their bodies and sexual and reproductive health as appropriate to their age and maturity.

Jigsaw PSHE has bespoke teaching and learning materials and resources which support teachers in ensuring the factual nature of RSHE is accurate.

Jigsaw PSHE regularly updates materials and these updates available to registered users.

To take a particular care to meet the individual needs of all pupils including those with special needs and disabilities. It will ensure that lessons and any resources used will be accessible and sensitive to the learning needs of the individual child. We acknowledge the potential vulnerability of pupils who have SEND but recognise the possibilities and rights of SEND pupils to high quality relationships and sex education.

All Jigsaw PSHE units (Puzzles) come with suggested activities and differentiation for pupils with SEND. In saying that, the safe ethos of the Jigsaw classroom (with the use of the Jigsaw Charter) will ensure that every child has the right and chance to speak and be heard. The open-ended and discursive nature of the lessons ensures that those children with SEND will still be able to access the materials and outcomes as appropriate, but teachers will need to be responsible for differentiating to meet their students’ needs.

To seek pupils’ views about RSHE so that the teaching can be made relevant to their lives. It will discuss real life issues relating to the age and stage of pupils, including friendships, families, consent, relationship abuse, exploitation and safe relationships online. This will be carefully targeted and age appropriate based on a teacher judgment about pupil readiness for this information in consultation with parents and carers.

The scenarios contained within the second edition of Jigsaw PSHE ages 3-16 ensure that teachers can discuss and select those most appropriate to their pupils. All topics listed within the Charter are addressed age-appropriately and can be discussed at parent workshops. There is a particular focus on on-line safety, safeguarding and relationships throughout.


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