Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE is an original and comprehensive scheme of learning, which integrates personal, social, health and economic education with an emphasis on emotional literacy, mental health and SMSC, especially spiritual development.

Children are at the heart of Jigsaw

Jigsaw aims to help children know and value who they really are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.

Play the embedded video above.

parallax layer

What do we mean by a mindful approach?

Jigsaw teaches children to become aware of their thoughts
and feelings throughout the programme, relating this
to the PSHE subject matter being studied.


Picture by Scarlett

The Calm Me time at the beginning of each Piece (lesson)
develops mindfulness using breathing techniques,
awareness excercises and visualisations,
tried and tested activities which are enjoyable for children
and teachers alike.

parallax layer

Adopting a whole school approach - a winning formula

Although Jigsaw can be used in individual year groups, it performs even better when applied as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same Puzzle (theme) at the same time.

This enables each Puzzle to be launched with a whole school Jigsaw assembly (including one of our original songs), generating a whole school focus and highlighting key learning messages. The children then work through the Pieces (lessons) of that Puzzle at their own level in each year group for the following 6 weeks.

Each Puzzle culminates in an ‘End of Puzzle Outcome’ e.g., a Garden of Dreams and Goals, enabling every member of the school to take part and feel valued.

Weekly celebrations add a focus on specific behaviours or attitudes, helping the learning of the lessons to permeate every aspect of children’s life at school.

The Jigsaw Approach

Diving deeper into Jigsaw

Introduction to the Jigsaw Structure

Jigsaw consists of six Puzzles (half-term units of work) containing six 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 the other is based on emotional literacy and social skills (covering the SEAL learning intentions but also enhanced). These enhancements mean that Jigsaw is relevant to children living in today’s world as it helps them understand and be equipped to cope with modern issues such as body image, cyber and homophobic bullying, and internet safety.

  • Each Puzzle starts with a whole school assembly and an original song for that Puzzle.
  • Each year group studies a parallel Piece of the same Puzzle at the same time (sequentially ordered from September to July), allowing for whole school themes.
  • Teachers have access to all the resources appropriate for the particular Piece that the children are working on: film clips, images, PowerPoint, PDF’s, story books & links to online resources, etc.
  • There are game and activity suggestions with printable resources provided in PDF format that can be re-used for future lessons.
  • All year groups can participate in an end of Puzzle outcome, e.g. a display or exhibition (like the Garden of Dreams and Goals) which may be shared and celebrated by the entire school.
  • Teaching strategies are varied and are mindful of different learning styles and the need for differentiation.

Jigsaw raises self-awareness, group awareness, collaboration skills, teamwork experience, respectfulness, etc., preparing children for the wider world and their position in it.

The Jigsaw Puzzles

Being Me in My World
Being Me in My World Foundation 2 (Piece 2)
Includes understanding my place in the class, school and global community as well as devising Learning Charters.
Celebrating Difference
Celebrating Difference Year 2 (Piece 6)
Includes anti-bullying (cyber and homophobic bullying included) and diversity work.
Dreams and Goals
Dreams and Goals Year 3 (Piece 5)
Includes goal-setting, aspirations for yourself and the world and working together.
Healthy Me
Healthy Me Year 4 (Piece 2)
Includes drugs and alcohol education, self-esteem and confidence as well as healthy lifestyle choices.
Relationships Year 5 (Piece 3)
Includes understanding friendship, family and other relationships, conflict resolution and communication skills.
Changing Me
Changing Me Year 6 (Piece 1)
This puzzle includes sex and relationships education in the context of coping positively with change.

The Bookshelf



Download or Open the Jigsaw Approach for ages 5-11

Download or Open the Jigsaw Approach for ages 3-5

Further reading: How to Prepare to teach about Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
(Published by the PSHE Association)

What are the benefits of the Jigsaw Programme...

Happy Children Learn

…for the children?

  • creates learning experiences they look forward to
  • establishes a safe learning environment
  • offers accurate information
  • builds skills essential for life and relationships
  • equips them for a diverse world
  • gives resilience and inner strength
  • develops spiritual peace

…for the teacher?

  • short-cuts planning time
  • high quality resources
  • differentiation ideas
  • guides through the most sensitive issues
  • enhances children’s concentration
  • improves behaviour
  • increases children’s learning capacity

Primary School teachers interviewed about Jigsaw PSHE by ScreenPLAY. Also see Jigsaw the Movie for more video.


…for the headteacher?

  • comprehensive PSHE programme
  • maps SMSC
  • contributes to British Values
  • consistency, continuity and progression
  • diversity, respect, positive behaviour
  • assessment process
  • assemblies included

…for the PSHE subject leader?

  • provides an overall structure of lesson planning and approach for PSHE for the whole school
  • gives an assessment framework with attainment descriptors for every Puzzle
  • covers all aspects of PSHE
  • allows monitoring through Jigsaw Journals
  • includes Sex and Relationships Education
  • ongoing support from the Jigsaw Team


parallax layer

SMSC and British Values

with Jigsaw PSHE
This comprehensive PSHE programme offers many opportunities for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, as well as contributing significantly to all strands of the British Values agenda.

Jigsaw does all of this in abundance. SMSC is mapped on every lesson plan and balanced across each year group.

British Values are mapped in separate documents which you can download from this site.

Each lesson plan has an Emotional Literacy / SMSC circle like this one in the top-right corner of the lesson plan to indicate the key areas covered.