by Jan Lever, 16 February, 2018

Jigsaw PSHE Promoting Healthy, not Violent Relationships

The Jigsaw Approach is one of mindfulness and positivity, teaching children about the benefits of positive relationships, positive mindsets and positive interactions, and growing their self-awareness and self-worth so they believe they deserve to be respected, as do others.

As such, there is ample opportunity in lessons and across the school day for children to learn how best to treat others and themselves, leaving little room for negative relationships and ways of being, which might be demonstrated through violence and disrespect.

The Jigsaw ethos permeates every aspect of the Programme and helps create and reinforce a positive and caring whole-school community.

Teaching explicit topics (e.g. domestic violence, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, FGM)

Jigsaw chooses to lay the foundations, in the primary years, for the development of positive, healthy relationships, empowering children to recognise and speak up about relationships which may not feel comfortable or healthy. Children living in violent or abusive situations are also empowered, we hope, without having to confront specific lessons describing personal situations which may be similar to their own.

Therefore, Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, does not cover such explicit concepts as domestic violence, violence against specific groups e.g. girls and women, in its universal curriculum, choosing rather to add such explicit topics/lesson plans to the Community area of the Jigsaw PSHE website for teachers to use at their discretion.

The Celebrating Difference Puzzle has a focus on anti-bullying in every year group and addresses issues of similarity and difference, for example, disability and race, but again emphasises acceptance and respect.

We focus on how to create healthy, positive relationships, what to do if you’re worried about something, your rights as a child, who can help, and so on. In the Relationships Puzzle, we also consider how to break friends or deal with power dynamics, equipping children with the knowledge and skills, underpinned by the self-worth, that will enable them to ask for help if they recognise an unhealthy relationship close to them.

Jigsaw has a very strong safeguarding thread running throughout, especially explicit in the ‘Relationships’ and ‘Changing Me’ Puzzles.

The PSHE Association’s Programme of Study states that domestic abuse should be taught in KS4, which for some people may
feel too late; however, teaching children about healthy, positive relationships, and keeping themselves safe physically and emotionally, is how we have chosen to cover these topics in Jigsaw.

In Year 2, children are taught about privacy, which parts of their bodies are private, about acceptable and unacceptable touch, keeping secrets and people to trust, which can help children to express more easily if anything or anyone makes them feel uncomfortable or worse.

There are also numerous opportunities for children to talk about themselves safely in the classroom – during circle times – or to a trusted adult, about anything they might be worried about or have questions about. Children are reminded about this in all Jigsaw lessons as this can form part of the Jigsaw Charter. (Note: teachers understand their mandatory safeguarding responsibilities and the duty to report to police any case where an act of female genital mutilation appears to have been carried out on a girl under the age of 18, see www.gov.uk/government/publications/mandatory-reporting-of- female-genital-mutilation-procedural-information.)

In essence, teaching about safety and relationships as part of PSHE (and particularly RSE) contributes to how schools approach the safeguarding of pupils. It helps them to recognise when they and others are at risk, and equips them with the skills, strategies and language they need to take appropriate action. This is crucial to fulfilling statutory duties in relation to safeguarding pupils as well as to meeting Ofsted expectations.

The mapping grid below shows how a variety of Jigsaw lessons equip children with the skills and knowledge they need to form, promote and protect healthy, positive relationships, now and in the future.

Grid image 1 for lessons equipping children with the skills and knowledge they need to form, promote and protect healthy, positive relationshipsGrid image 2 for lessons equipping children with the skills and knowledge they need to form, promote and protect healthy, positive relationshipsGrid image 3 for lessons equipping children with the skills and knowledge they need to form, promote and protect healthy, positive relationships

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