Departmental approach to the curriculum

Rickmansworth’s approach to the delivery of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education as an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education. All schools should teach PSHE, drawing on good practice, and this expectation is outlined in the introduction to the proposed new national curriculum.

PSHE can encompass many areas of study and as teachers we are best placed to understand the variety and diversity of needs of our pupils and reflect upon social and moral issues affecting our cohort.

We, at Rickmansworth use our approach to the PSHE education programme to equip students with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.

We seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate, on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic School curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.

Relationships and Sex Education

It is lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development. It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage for family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care. It is also about the teaching of sex, sexuality, and sexual health. The objective of sex and relationship education is to help and support young people through their physical, emotional and moral development while delivering age-appropriate content. A successful programme, firmly embedded in PSHE, will help young people learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. 

Students are given accurate information and helped to develop skills to enable them to understand difference and respect themselves and others and for the purpose also of preventing and removing prejudice. Students learn to understand human sexuality, learn the reasons for delaying sexual activity and the benefits to be gained from such delay, and learn about obtaining appropriate advice on sexual health. 

Sex and relationship education contributes to promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of students at school and in society and preparing students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life. 

Effective sex and relationship education teaches young people to understand human sexuality and to respect themselves and others. It enables young people to mature, to build up their confidence and self-esteem and understand the reasons for delaying sexual activity. It builds up knowledge and skills which are particularly important today because of the many different and conflicting pressures on young people.

British Values

A key part of our plan for lifelong learning education is to ensure children become valuable and fully rounded members of society who treat others with respect and tolerance, regardless of background.

We want every school to promote the basic British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance for those of different faiths and beliefs.

This ensures young people understand the importance of respect and leave Rickmansworth School fully prepared for life in modern Britain.

 Examples of the understanding and knowledge students learn include:

  • an understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process
  • an understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law
  • an acceptance that 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 combatting discrimination


Students learn aspects of all of the aforementioned in a manner which builds upon the knowledge gained in the previous year. A full overview of the Year Group breakdown can be found in the Long Term Curriculum Overviews tab.

Long Term Curriculum Overviews

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

'The Big Picture' Curriculum Map

This document will provide a visual overview of the department's curriculum from Key Stages 3 to 5. This is in a student-friendly format to support them in their understanding the of the department's curriculum. 

Big Picture Curriculum Map - PSHE

Helpful websites and further information