Useful Links

Useful Links



What is our curriculum and intention?

PSHE/RSE should empower young people, build self-esteem, offer a positive and open view of sex (and sexuality), and support mutual acceptance and respect of others. It should develop the positive skills our young people require to be successful in adult life.

What we teach in the classroom will help our pupils foster lifelong aspirations, goals and values. PSHE is a chance to give every child and young person an equal opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive now and in the future.

At Darwen Aldridge Community Academy, we believe that a high quality PSHE provision establishes the foundation for our students’ futures by providing and encouraging opportunities to explore the wider world and foster positive interactions with others. Essentially, we provide the chance for every student to have the tools to make safe and informed decisions for their future.


What is our learning journey?

Our learning journey is designed to give students an initial understanding of the world and themselves in Year 7 and build up sequentially to match their age as they progress through Key Stage 3. There are opportunities throughout that will provide a greater depth of knowledge, and a greater level of topical awareness.

Overall, our journey will:

  • Provide students with what they need to know to be safe, healthy and manage their lives, academic, personal and social as well as off and online.
  • Enable students to be independent and to take care of themselves, as well as empower them to know where to receive support if problems arise.
  • Build young people who are resilient, happy, successful, productive, kind, generous and honest.
  • Support student wellbeing by providing them with mechanisms to cope during stressful periods and support them in developing their ability to learn and avoid distractions.
  • Encourage debate and curiosity in the world around them, developing a deeper understanding of their place in the community and the impact that has.


PSHE Learning Journey

RSE Learning Journey

Why this? Why now? Why have we sequenced our curriculum this way?

We seek to develop a broad and rich curriculum that encourages an environment where discussions and exploration can happen safely. The curriculum must be sequenced to build the provision unit by unit, and year by year, to provide an age-appropriate provision. Each teaching unit is clearly mapped out so teaching staff, and students, are clear about what they should know and how they will show it in each lesson.

The PSHE/RSE curriculum has been mapped out and audited against the PSHE Association Programme of Study. It uses their recommended thematic model. The thematic model breaks the curriculum into three main strands: relationships, living in the wider world, and health and wellbeing.

Students are given opportunities to debate and discuss challenging topics, where differing opinions can be shared and understood. Within these discussions, teachers should act as facilitators to manage the debate and ensure each student has an equitable allocation. Being able to consider other viewpoints, despite disagreement, is a fundamental part of our intent.

To compliment the core learning, the curriculum and wider opportunities, there should be a clear focus to motivate and stimulate curiosity in each unit and provide opportunities for students to understand the jobs/futures the topic could lead too.


What will you typically see in our PSHE lessons?

Long-term learning: Students to be made aware of the significance of this unit of work and specific lessons in relation to prior and future learning. Students are prompted to make links between prior key knowledge and skills in this scheme and those they have already studied.

Checking for understanding and mark making (ACMO): Comprehension questions; think, pair, share; cold call; questioning; class discussion; mini whiteboards with a 3, 2, 1 reveal; low-stakes quizzes. Live modelling and guided practice: I Do (a metacognitive approach), We Do (under the visualiser or on the board), You Do (independent work with scaffolding); exploration, and debates.

Explicit teaching of vocabulary: I say, you say; exploring the root and etymology of specific words; using key vocabulary within sentences; using key vocabulary in different formations and contexts; deliberate teaching of tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.

All learning is rooted in an atmosphere of open discussion and debate, where opinions are encouraged and flourish to learn together.


How do we assess progress in our subject?

We will assess if the curriculum is having a positive impact primarily through the use of student voice. This provides a clear understanding of the direction students feel they need more guidance and support in. We use this, along with parent and teacher voice to inform gap planning opportunities. Within lessons, small low stakes quizzes will take place to assess understanding at regular intervals.

Wider school information, and local context is used to inform the impact the curriculum has. By analysing internal safeguarding data, Public Health England, Trading Standards, etc. a wider strategic picture can be understood, and the curriculum adapted as necessary.


At the end of each academic year, the curriculum is reviewed and reflected upon to ensure the model and sequencing is still fit for purpose, in line with the local context. This regular reviewing provides a curriculum pathway that promotes success for all students, and fully meets our curriculum intent.


How do we extend and enrich our curriculum?

Guest speakers are invited to DACA to compliment the teaching and learning that takes place. Additionally, we look for opportunities to involve our pupils positively in the local community with activities taking place on-site and beyond.


How does our subject relate to further education and careers?

PSHE can lead onto multiple topics within DACA and beyond, with students able to critically evaluate and analyse sources and texts, or to hold empathetic discussions and debates on challenging and topical areas

Areas such the below would be potential future pathways:

  • Citizenship 

  • Philosophy

  • Sociology


  • Psychology


  • Law

    If you would like more information about the PSHE curriculum, please contact the Head of Department, Mr R Swailes via email: