PSHE, RSE, SMSC and Protected Characteristics



Jigsaw holds children at its heart, and its cohesive vision helps children understand and value how they fit into and contribute to the world. With strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health, Jigsaw 3-11 properly equips schools to deliver engaging and relevant PSHE within a whole-school approach. Jigsaw lessons also include mindfulness allowing children to advance their emotional awareness, concentration, focus and self-regulation.


Implementation needs to ensure depth, accurate subject knowledge, detailed planning and building on prior learning. Jigsaw 3-11 offers a comprehensive Programme for Primary PSHE including statutory Relationships and Health Education, in a spiral, progressive and fully planned scheme of work, giving children relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others. 

Jigsaw consists of six half-term units of work (Puzzles), each containing six lessons (Pieces) covering each academic year. 

  • Term 1: Being Me in My World 

  • Term 2: Celebrating Difference (including anti-bullying) 

  • Term 3: Dreams and Goals 

  • Term 4: Healthy Me 

  • Term 5: Relationships 

  • Term 6: Changing Me (including Sex Education) 

Below, there is further detail on each of the puzzles:

  1. Being Me In My World covers a wide range of topics, including a sense of belonging, welcoming others and being part of a school community, a wider community, and a global community; it also looks at children’s rights and responsibilities, working and socialising with others, and pupil voice. 

  2. Celebrating Difference focuses on similarities and differences and teaches about diversity, such as disability, racism, power, friendships, and conflict; children learn to accept everyone’s right to ‘difference’, and most year groups explore the concept of ‘normal’; bullying – what it is and what it isn’t, including cyber and homophobic bullying – is an important aspect of this Puzzle. 

  3. Dreams and Goals aims to help children think about their hopes and dreams, their goals for success, what personal strengths are, and how to overcome challenges, via teamwork skills and tasks. There is also a focus on enterprise and fundraising. Children learn about experiencing and managing feelings of pride, ambition, disappointment, success; and they get to share their aspirations, the dreams and goals of others in different cultures/countries, and their dreams for the world. It’s great for children to have this experience, to think ambitiously, and to have aspirations. (Parent, Dorset first school) 

  4. Healthy Me covers two main areas of health: Emotional health (relaxation, being safe, friendships, mental health skills, body image, relationships with food, managing stress) and Physical health (eating a balanced diet, physical activity, rest and relaxation, keeping clean, drugs and alcohol, being safe, first aid) in order for children to learn that health is a very broad topic. 

  5. Relationships has a wide focus, looking at diverse topics such as families, friendships, pets and animals, and love and loss. A vital part of this Puzzle is about safeguarding and keeping children safe; this links to cyber safety and social networking, as well as attraction and assertiveness; children learn how to deal with conflict, their own strengths and self-esteem. They have the chance to explore roles and responsibilities in families, and look at stereotypes. 

All Jigsaw lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet children’s needs. Changing Me deals with change of many types, from growing from young to old, becoming a teenager, assertiveness, self-respect and safeguarding. Self and body image, puberty, attraction and accepting change are diverse subjects for children to explore. Each year group thinks about looking ahead, moving year groups or the transition to secondary school. Life cycles and how babies are made and grow are treated sensitively and are designed to meet children’s needs. All year groups learn about how people and bodies change. This Puzzle links with the science curriculum when teaching children about life cycles, babies and puberty.  

Every Piece has two Learning Intentions, one specific to Relationships and Health Education (PSHE) (in purple) and the other designed to develop emotional literacy and social skills (in green).

Each lesson is built upon a Charter which underpins the behaviour and respect that is the basis for each lesson (one is provided within Jigsaw, but children and their teacher can write their own to ensure mutual respect and ownership).

The lessons then split into 6 parts, all of which should be included in every session to ensure that the learning follows the optimum progression.

  1. Connect us – This is a game or activity designed to be fun and inclusive and to build and maximise social skills. ‘Connect us’ engenders positive relationships and enhances collaborative learning. It sets the atmosphere at the beginning of each Jigsaw Piece and can be used again at the end should the teacher feel the atmosphere needs to be lifted after some deep work during the lesson. 

  2. Calm me – This section of the Piece helps children gain awareness of the activity in their minds, relaxing them and quietening their thoughts and emotions to a place of optimum learning capacity. This will also engender a peaceful atmosphere within the classroom. It is an invaluable life skill which also enhances reflection and spiritual development. This underpins the mindful approach advocated in Jigsaw Open my mind – The Reticular Activating System of the brain filters the many stimuli entering the child’s mind at any given time. It is designed only to allow in that which is significant. Therefore, it is important to engage this system with the most important aspects of learning intended for each Piece (lesson). If we do this well, it will enable children to filter out activity around them not significant to this learning intention, thereby improving concentration and learning. 

  3. Tell me or show me – This section of the Piece (lesson) is used to introduce new information, concepts and skills, using a range of teaching approaches and activities. 

  4. Let me learn – Following Piaget’s learning model, after receiving new information/concepts, children need to manipulate, use, and play with that new information in order for it to make sense to them and for them to ‘accommodate’ it into their existing learning. 

  5. Help me reflect -Throughout Jigsaw, children are encouraged to reflect on their learning experiences and their progress. By reflecting, children can process and evaluate what they have learnt, which enables them to consolidate and apply their learning. They are also asked to stop and become aware of their thoughts and feelings in any given moment in Pause Points (brief pauses within the lesson where the children can have a couple of moments to just stop and be to consider whether what they are learning may be particularly meaningful to them). 

  6. Closure – Each Piece needs safe closure. This will always include the teacher praising the children for their effort, positive attitude and achievement, as well as giving one or two sentences to summarise the key learning points for the children. 


By the time children leave us they will: 

  • demonstrate kindness and respect towards themselves and others. 

  • have the courage and ability to try new things, challenge themselves and persevere.  

  • take responsibility for their actions. 

  • have a good understanding of how to stay safe, healthy and how to develop good relationships.  

  • have an appreciation of what it means to be a positive member of a diverse, multicultural society.  

  • demonstrate and apply the British Values of Democracy, Tolerance, Mutual respect, Rule of law and Liberty. 

  • be on their journey preparing them for life and work in modern Britain. 

  • be equipped to ‘reach for the stars’. 

PSHE, RSE, Protected Characteristics, SMSC, British Values and Personal Development

We follow  Jigsaw, the mindful approach to teaching the PSHE curriculum, from Reception to Year Six.  This is a whole-school approach that builds social skills, grows emotional literacy, enables good mental health and nurtures children’s positive relationships with themselves and others. 

See how the Jigsaw mindful approach to PSHE works by reading the documents below.

For an overview of what learning is covered in each year group, please see below.

The Jigsaw curriculum includes Relationships and Health Education and fully meets the updated guidance, please see below.

Promoting the Protected Characteristics at Tregony Primary School

The Equality Act became law in 2010. It covers everyone in Britain and protects people from discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Everyone in Britain is protected. This is because the Equality Act (2010) protects people against discrimination because of the protected characteristics that we all have.


 Under the Equality Act (2010), there are nine Protected Characteristics:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender reassignment
  • Race
  • Religion or belief
  • Marriage or civil partnership
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Pregnancy and maternity

At Tregony Primary School, we actively promote these in our curriculum and work to embed them into our school culture, as part of PSHE lessons and in the wider curriculum. Each year group, use pre-selected books to read to and discuss with children as part of teaching them about protected characteristics. Please see our books and how teaching pupils about protected characteristics is embedded in the Jigsaw PSHE Curriculum.


Jigsaw, our PSHE curriculum, takes a multi-faceted approach to the teaching of protected characteristics. Equality and diversity are promoted within the PSHE curriculum, during school assemblies, in science and where applicable, other subjects too. The school has its ‘Three Rs’ of ‘Respect, Resilience and Responsibility’.  Our reading material both in the library, book corners and the texts we study, has been selected carefully to prevent unconscious bias and to raise and respond to issues relating to protected characteristics.


Our inclusive approach starts with children in Nursery and Reception (ages 3-5) and continues to develop through the age ranges. Jigsaw establishes ground rules that are fundamental to creating and maintaining an inclusive and safe teaching and learning environment. Establishing such an environment for both our pupils and teachers is important for PSHE education lessons – especially those focusing on equality and the protected characteristics as it


 • enables them to feel comfortable exploring values and attitudes

• enables them to express their own opinions and consider the views and opinions of others, without the fear of negative feedback, and only if they choose to.


Jigsaw establishes a safe, open and inclusive learning environment based on trusting relationships between all members of the class, adults and pupils alike. To enable this, ‘ground rules’ are agreed and referred to as ‘The Jigsaw Charter’. This creates a space where pupils can feel safe and their wishes are taken seriously by all. Pupils choose whether they speak or not and their right to pass is upheld and respected. Pupils are taught to respect the privacy of others and to do their best to keep what is said confidential during lessons, although it is recognised that complete confidentiality is impossible as adults teach children that any information relating to safeguarding concerns must be reported.


Throughout Jigsaw, the mindful approach to PSHE, students are encouraged by staff to ask questions, to find someone who can help them, and ultimately to help themselves by becoming more independent; in terms of content, the Puzzle ‘Celebrating Difference’ is the most pertinent of units for teaching about the protected characteristics, as it focuses on similarities and differences and teaches about diversity, such as disability, racism, gender, family composition, friendships, and conflict. Children learn to accept everyone’s right to ‘difference’, and most year groups explore the concept of ‘normal’. Bullying – what it is and what it isn’t, including cyber and homophobic bullying – is an important aspect of this Puzzle. The ‘Relationships’ puzzle also has a wide focus, looking at diverse topics such as families, friendships, equality in relationships, and love and loss – all of which can help to deliver the vital messages behind the Equality Act. A vital part of this puzzle is about safeguarding and keeping children safe; this links to cyber safety and social networking, as well as attraction and assertiveness; children learn how to deal with conflict, their own strengths and self-esteem. They have the chance to explore roles and responsibilities in families and look at stereotypes. All Jigsaw lessons are delivered in an age- and stage-appropriate way so that they meet pupils’ needs and can help them understand the wider world. The Jigsaw curriculum aligns to the Equality Act.


Another way we embed a culture of developing pupils’ understanding of the protected characteristics is by learning about and advocating equality and diversity. One way we do this is through the literature we use. Our books ensure that gender and gender identity, religion, race, sexual orientation, disability and age is explored. The focus of the literature is to notice, celebrate and develop resilience around diversity. Through discussion, children are encouraged to show respect and develop their understanding of diversity.


The grid below shows how particular Jigsaw lessons address themes relating to protected characteristics:


Protected Characteristic

What this refers to

Links to Jigsaw


Where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (for example 32 year olds) or range of ages (for example 18 to 30 year olds).

Celebrating Difference Ages 10-11 Piece 3: Power Struggles

Gender Reassignment

The process of transitioning from one gender to another.

Celebrating Difference Ages 5-6 Piece 6: Celebrating Me. Ages 7-8 Piece 5: Gender diversity Ages 8-9 Piece 1: Judging by appearances Ages 10-11 Piece 2: Understanding difference


Marriage is no longer restricted to a union between a man and a woman but now includes a marriage between a same-sex couple. Same-sex couples can also have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must not be treated less favourably than married couples (except where permitted by the Equality Act).

Celebrating Difference Ages 7-8 Piece 1: Families

Being pregnant or on maternity leave

Pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Celebrating Difference Ages 3-4/4-5 Piece 3: Families Ages 7-8 Piece 1: Families


A person has a disability if she or he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Celebrating Difference Ages 10-11 Piece 5: Celebrating difference

Race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin

Refers to the protected characteristic of Race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

Celebrating Difference Ages 9-10 Piece 2: Racism

Religion, belief or lack of religion/belief

Religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (such as Atheism). Generally, a belief should affect your life choices or the way you live for it to be included in the definition.

Celebrating Difference Ages 9-10 Piece 1: Different Cultures


A man or a woman.

Celebrating Difference Ages 6-7 Pieces 1&2: Boys and Girls

Sexual Orientation


Whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.

Changing Me Ages 10-11 Piece 4: Boyfriends and girlfriends



At Tregony School, children learn about British Values through assemblies, PSHE and the wider curriculum.  We also ensure that the children are 'living' these values in school. We hope that through the promotion of British Values, children will have:


  • An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
  • An appreciation that living under the rule of law protects individual citizens and is essential for their wellbeing and safety
  • An understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
  • An acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour
  • An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating discrimination


Some ways in which we teach or provide experiences for children are:



Democracy is embedded at the school.  Pupils are listened to by adults and are taught to listen carefully and with concern for each other, respecting the right of every individual to have their opinions and voices heard.  Pupils have the opportunity to share their opinions and ideas through our School Council and regular pupil voice.  The elections of the School Council members are based solely on pupil votes, reflecting our British electoral system and demonstrating democracy in action. The children also have the opportunity to develop oracy skills through debate.  The History curriculum teaches children about how democracy was not always evident in the past and how this affected society.


Rule of Law

The importance of laws whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout our school day, through our school assemblies and as part of our behavioural expectations and routines. We encourage our pupils to distinguish right from wrong and help them to understand that living under the rule of law protects individuals.  Our pupils are taught the values and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from the Police etc. also help to reinforce our messages. Our restorative justice approach helps us to resolve conflicts.



Tolerance of Difference Faiths and Religions


Tregony ensures tolerance of those who have different faiths and beliefs through religious education studies and PSHE.  Children and staff from all faiths have the opportunity to share their celebrations and religious beliefs during assemblies.  The school also welcomes local faith leaders to lead assemblies.


Mutual Respect


Respect is promoted across the school and it is embedded in all that we do as one of our ‘Three Rs’.  Pupils know and understand that respect is expected and shown to everyone, no matter what their role or the differences we may have.  The core values of Respect, Resilience and Responsibility influence our work every day both in and out of the classroom.


Our school frequently participates in learning activities which promote mutual respect including visits to local nursing homes, supporting local and global charities, involvement with groups of people in our community such as the church and Age Concern group. 


The school also promotes openness and honesty to ensure a safe environment. Pupils are confident to discuss their differences and expect to be respected. Pupils with SEND are able to, if they wish, share their needs to enable others to better understand them.  A wide and varied range of extra-curricular clubs are offered after the school day.  These clubs provide another opportunity for mutual respect to be secured in the attitudes of our pupils, both amongst those participating from their own setting, and any visiting staff or teams.


Individual Liberty


Within school, pupils are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment.  As a school we educate and provide boundaries for our pupils to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. We support pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence - a focus on oracy and the ability to debate and share one's thoughts is a priority.  Our pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely; examples of this can be clearly seen in our PSHE lessons.


The Promotion of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development


SMSC stands for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education. It is not taught as a lesson, rather it is part of Religious Education, Physical Education, Personal, Social and Health Education and part of the ethos and culture of the school which children experience on a daily basis. SMSC is a key means of promoting British values and counteracting the development of religious extremism. The resource below, demonstrates the many ways we promote SMSC at Tregony School.


 Tregony Primary School teaches personal development in a wide range of ways throughout the children’s school lives. For example:


  • It is taught in discrete lessons (please see links to our curriculum maps)
  • It is taught with cross-curricular links in other lessons, such as English, physical education and religious education
  • Staff members consistently model how to be a good citizen who uphold the school cultures
  • Assemblies (whole school and special visitors)
  • Specialist staff working with individuals and groups
  • E-Safety lessons in computing and assembly
  • Celebrating positive learning attributes with weekly certificates and termly awards
  • A range of after school clubs
  • Well thought through transitions throughout the school and beyond
  • Focusing on mental and physical health
  • Pupil council
  • Celebrating different languages, cultures and religions
  • Outdoor activity trips

Tregony Primary School Personal Development Programme


Our personal development curriculum includes the following strands.

▪ relationships education

▪ sex education (this is optional for primary schools and there is no

statutory content defined here)

▪ health education – physical health and mental well-being

▪ other elements commonly included in PSHE: pupils’ wider safety,

economic understanding, understanding of technology and media

▪ citizenship

▪ development of character, confidence and resilience

▪ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development

▪ wider opportunities for pupils

▪ British values

▪ inclusion and equality of opportunity

All areas are additionally linked to the school’s PSHE and RSE curriculum.


PD in the Early Years


PSED is one of the three prime areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Each prime area is divided into early learning goals, for PSED these are:

  • Self-Regulation - Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly; - Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate; Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.
  • Managing Self - Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge; Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly; Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.
  • Building Relationships - Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others; Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers; Show sensitivity to their own and to others' needs

Useful Websites


  • Pop ‘n’ Olly – LGBT+ education for primary schools
  • Mind – To provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.
  • Bullying – Advice and support for children and young people experiencing bullying
  • CAHMS Resources – Resources to support mental health and wellbeing.
  • Childline – A counselling service for children and young people.
  • BBC Bitesize – PSHE and citizenship videos to help children’s understanding.
  • NCPCC’s Pantosaurus – A video to help children stay safe and keeping their private parts private.
  • NSPCC – Information and support for child abuse
  • Mind – Mental Wellbeing resources for young people. 
  • Growth Mindset – Should you tell your kids they are smart or talented? Professor Carol Dweck answers this question and more, as she talks about her ground-breaking work on developing mind-sets. She emphasizes the power of “yet” in helping students succeed in and out of the classroom













Curriculum Grids