In Life Studies, pupils follow an integrated programme of PSHEe (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) and RE (Religious Education) throughout the school, with elements of the Citizenship curriculum added in Years 7 & 8.
Through their learning explorations in the topic areas detailed below, and their resulting increased knowledge and understanding, children are encouraged to consider their attitudes and values as a continuing theme. Although the PSHEe, Citizenship and RE elements are timetabled as separate modules, in reality many themes are common to all three, enabling the statutory requirements of RE and Citizenship to be met.
The PSHEe curriculum is modelled on resources which are Quality Assured by the PSHE Association to be fully compatible with the new curriculum requirements from Sept 2014.
Pupils in all year groups receive input on the physical aspects of SRE (Sex and Relationships Education), from Puberty in Year 5 and 6, through to Contraception and STIs in Year 7 & 8. Please see our SRE Policy for further detail).
In Year 7, the physiological aspects of human development and reproduction are addressed in science lessons, as part of a general topic on plant and animal reproduction. At the same time, the pupils will follow complementary modules on human relationships in the PSHE component of Life Studies.
In 2015 we sought views from pupils and parents in order to amend our programme.
We look forward to receiving further views from you in the future.
At Marden Bridge RE is taught through a multi-faith approach, reflecting the reality of diverse backgrounds in Britain today. Believing RE should now be made part of the National Curriculum, and that a multi-faith syllabus should become obligatory instead of advisory, Marden Bridge welcomes the new (although as yet non-statutory) guidelines, “A curriculum framework for Religious Education in England” published in October 2013 by the Religious Education Council (REC).
The RE department regularly and continuously teaches explicit literacy skills, in both lessons and within marking feedback.
Experiential RE through mind, body, and spirit skills is a strong focus and in Philosophy for Children, all year groups receive sessions at intervals. In Key Stage 2, this takes the form of a Values lesson, unrelated to the current topic, whilst in Key Stage 3, the topic is explored through selected argumentative dialogues in a Philosophical Enquiry framework.
“Alongside the subject’s contribution to pupils’ mental, cognitive and linguistic development, RE offers distinctive opportunities to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. RE lessons should offer a structured and safe space during curriculum time for reflection, discussion, dialogue and debate. Lessons should also allow for timely and sensitive responses to be made to unforeseen events of a religious, moral or philosophical nature, whether local, national or global.”
Mindfulness has been taught since 2012. Y6 are offered a taster programme just before SATs. All other year groups are given opportunities to "be mindful" at intervals across the year.
In Year 5, Hillheads Community Church is visited, and we are currently developing other opportunities for Church leaders to come into school to enrich the teaching of Christianity. All pupils visit Whitley Bay Baptist Church for the Christmas Carol Service.
Year 6 visit the Whitley Bay Islamic Cultural Centre and Mosque where they are introduced to the Imam and receive a talk about how Muslims live their lives in Great Britain today. We are hoping to arrange a dual visit where we walk to both places of worship with both Muslim and Christian leaders accompanying us, intending to send a strong interfaith message to pupils and foster community cohesion.