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PSHE at Northampton School

PSHE or Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is taught at Northampton School throughout Year 7 (and eventually to all year groups) in a weekly lesson by a small specialist team of teachers. The programme is overseen by Mrs Wilkins, Assistant Headteacher with input from our Director of PSHE at Northampton School for Boys, Miss Kennedy.

Our delivery of PSHE focuses on scenario based learning and non-judgemental approach so that our students can explore issues confidently and curiously. Our PSHE curriculum is enhanced by our Personal Development week which, this year, will take place in the summer term. This is where students can experience a “deep dive” into different areas of PSHE and Personal Development and hear from inspirational outside speakers.

At NS, PSHE will be delivered in a spiral curriculum, building on previous knowledge in an age-appropriate manner, following seven key themes. Students build on previous learning each year in order to give them the knowledge and skills needed to make informed and safe decisions about themselves and others as part of preparing them for life in modern Britain.

The seven themes that our student study are:

PSHE Table

Assessment in PSHE:

Students use two forms of assessment in PSHE; self-assessment, where students track their own progress and make judgements about their knowledge and skills, and teacher assessment, where their teacher assesses their understanding of key concepts and their use of PSHE skills.

Students are measured and measure themselves against “I can” statements relating to the unit of work being studied. Using these statements, a judgement is reached on their working grade; Grade 1 – Working Beyond, Grade 2 – Working At or Grade 3 – Working Towards.

Relationships and Sex Education (RSE)

Current regulations and guidance from the Department for Education state that all Secondary schools must deliver Relationships and Sex Education as today’s young people are part of an increasingly complex world where they need to know how to be safe and healthy and how to manage their academic, personal, and social lives in a positive way. We therefore follow the statutory guidance from the Department for Education on Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education.

Relationships and Sex Education at Northampton School aims to:

  • Provide all pupils with accurate and unbiased knowledge
  • Provide opportunities for open and accepting discussion; to challenge views, attitudes, and beliefs in order for our pupils to form their own personal values grounded in respect.
  • Provide the knowledge and skills needed in order to make safe and informed decisions about their relationships, reproductive health and intimacy.

Students will study RSE as part of an age-appropriate spiral curriculum from Year 7 – 11 within their PSHE lessons. Sex Education at Northampton School involves learning about the physical, social, and emotional aspects of human sexuality and behaviour, including human reproduction. This includes conception and contraception, safer sex, sexually transmitted infections, and sexual health as well as the influence of various media and peer pressure on sexual behaviour. Relationships Education involves learning about the physical, social, legal, and emotional aspects of human relationships including friendships, intimate, sexual, and committed relationships, and family life. Relationships education supports children to be safe, happy and healthy in their interactions with others now and in the future. In addition, puberty and understanding the changing body is taught as part of Health education. Relationships education is compulsory for all students.

The Right to Withdraw from Sex Education:

According to DfE guidelines, parents and carers have the right to withdraw their children from some or all parts Sex Education delivered within RSE. All students, three terms before they turn 16 have the right to decide if they wish to receive Sex Education or withdraw. Should a student wish to receive Sex Education at this time, they can do so without parent/carer consultation.

Further information on our RSE curriculum and the withdrawal process can be accessed by viewing our RSE policy.


Should parents/carers wish to withdraw their child from Sex Education, they will need to indicate which lessons specifically they wish to withdraw their child from on a Withdrawal Form and give written explanation for withdrawal. A copy of withdrawal requests will be placed in the pupil’s educational record. Any request for withdrawal will be followed by a meeting with Mrs Wilkins, Assistant Headteacher and will be passed on to the Headteacher, to sanction, if agreed.

All pupils who are withdrawn from Sex Education will receive alternative PHSE education during those lessons.