Aspire, Achieve and Thrive


Our Aim

On timetable as Personal Social Development (PSD). At Downland School we teach Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) (timetabled as Personal Social Development (PSD) to equip and develop pupils with knowledge, skills and attributes about their own personal development which encourages pupils to make informed choices needed to keep themselves healthy and safe. Additionally, we teach and advise pupils how to fully prepare for life and work beyond their time at Downland School. We deliver our programme to impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, and we specifically tailor and deliver lessons and content to account for all our children’s individual Special Educational Needs (SEN) and their personal circumstances.

Our programmes of study are designed to prepare pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life, this includes developing their skills in preparation for further education, training and/or employment. Alongside this, we aim to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team working and critical thinking in the context of three core themes; Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World which includes economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education.

Key Stage 2

Some pupils start with us in their last primary year and are age 10 (Year 6). We chose not to explicitly timetable PSD lessons within year 6 as there are other subject areas that can develop these skills and qualities within their lesson delivery. We link and plan closely with teachers of Games, Forest School and Topic, advising how they can include PSD within their teaching. We ensure that the core and essential components listed above are addressed through these subject areas at every opportunity. 

Key Stage 3

PSD is taught for up to an hour a week per class. It is delivered through a variety of mediums including using ICT, PowerPoints, discussions and practical elements to explore different topics and related content. The learning opportunities and programme provided is flexible, and shaped to our pupil’s development, readiness and needs, taking into account prior learning, experience and understanding.

We are very mindful that our programme of study identifies a broad range of important issues, however we essentially prioritise quality over quantity so that our lessons are not just one off and disconnected sessions. The lessons are designed with the intentions for them to be sequenced, giving pupils the opportunities to make links within their learning and with a deeper exploration of topics with misconceptions or with specific individual reference.

Our lessons have a purpose; to give pupils the knowledge and attributes they need to manage their lives now and in the future. This is specifically tailored to student needs. We understand that our expensive programme may cause sensitivity to our pupils, and therefore will not teach a challenging topic without understanding a pupil's current and historic background. We ensure we have an inclusive programme which reflects the universal needs of all pupils and young people and importantly reflects the wider community in the delivery of the key concepts.

Key Stage 4

In Key Stage 4 we increase the number of sessions that can be used to develop all aspects of person, social and health education. We have four lessons allocated, two of which are identified as PSD and the other two lessons are divided between Cope and Duke of Edinburgh Award.

For our Key Stage 4 pupils, we ensure to refresh and build on their prior knowledge from KS3 with the intentions to develop their understanding at a higher level. As an expectation in Key Stage 4, we believe almost all pupils have learnt the key fundamental skills required to incorporate more mature topics into their programme of study.

We provide many learning opportunities that support pupils to; identify risks or warning signs; resitting internal and external pressures; making informed decisions; exit strategies for unsafe situations; and knowing whom, how and when to ask for help, including reporting concerns. This is achieved through a variety of learning strategies including ICT, PowerPoints, discussions and practical elements.

Health & Wellbeing
KS3 & KS4
  • Self-concepts
  • Mental health and emotional wellbeing
  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco
  • Managing risk and personal safety
  • Puberty and sexual health



  • Health related decisions
  • Sexual health and fertility
KS3 & KS4
  • Positive relationships
  • Relationship values
  • Forming and maintaining respectful relationships
  • Consent
  • Contraception and parenthood
  • Bullying, abuse and discrimination
  • Social influences

Living in the wider world
KS3 & KS4
  • Learning skills
  • Choices and pathways
  • Work and career
  • Employment rights and responsibilities
  • Financial choices
  • Media literacy and digital resilience

 At Downland School we aspire all pupils to achieve a qualification by the end of Key Stage 4. Pupils will be entered to gain a Level 2 Award or Certificate, with an option to be entered at Level 1 if suitable. This ensures all pupils will gain a qualification that is equivalent to a GCSE for future academic progression. This is subject to successful completion of coursework.

Useful websites:
General information
The PSHE association: 
BBC learning zone: 

Drugs, smoking and alcohol education
Talk to frank: 
Hope UK: 
Drug free world:

Discrimination and prejudice:
Tackling racism: 
Homophobia: stonewall: 

Get safe online: 
Think u know: