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Rationale – What is the evidence base for selected strategies and curriculum choices?

Cultural Capital: how we prepare pupils to be independent/informed British Citizens.

In PSCHE at Woodlane High School, we encourage pupils to become independent whilst learning about our core British Vales and being a good British Citizen. In 2021, the Social Mobility Commission released a report called Against the Odds, which aims to support “greater progress for secondary students facing socio-economic disadvantage.” The report details the best practice seen within schools to support pupils from backgrounds not dissimilar to Woodlane’s key catchment area.

The report defines Cultural Capital as: “A student’s cultural capital is the total nonfinancial assets that student possesses as a result of their cultural knowledge and experiences.” Within schools that offered the best examples and therefore greatest progress within Cultural Capital, “teachers perceived that students’ cultural capital was increased through a variety of compensatory experiences, which usually necessitated travel.” Teachers reflected commonly that, “The students don't step foot out of their own towns … so [they] don't see the bigger picture.” Furthermore, Cultural Capital was expanded to, “knowledge about careers, conversations at home, and parental expectations.”

Due to the wide range of ways that schools have interpreted the concept of Cultural Capital, many different approaches have been taken. Some of the most effective approaches included,

  • “One school altered the mathematics curriculum to incorporate exercises regarding the use of mathematics in the workplace.”
  • “Another had introduced a literacy intervention to increase students’ vocabulary.”
  • “A third invited family members to its breakfast club to encourage family discussions.”
  • “Some schools paid for trips, others had specifically designed trips with the curriculum in mind, such as visiting a site relevant to a GCSE English text.”

Learning about the world and their place in it, is therefore fundamental to the growth of a child’s Cultural Capital, and is at the heart of all of the structure of the PSCHE Curriculum. It is applied through the range of topics, activities, visits and speakers listed within the curriculum map.


RSE - SoSAFE: How we sensitively approach topics about relationships

Pupils attending Woodlane may come to school with a range of barriers to learning, such as difficulties with maintaining and developing friendships and relationships.  Therefore, the PSCHE curriculum is designed to provide our pupils with engaging lessons differentiated to their individual needs.

SoSAFE Social and Sexual Safety is a programme that provides a visual teaching tool which enables learners to develop their abilities in managing and communicating about their relationships. The program covers all degrees of interaction; from a student’s expectations of strangers, to the intricacies of an intimate relationship. SoSAFE moves away from making feelings-based decisions so we can enable and empower our learners to make their own judgments about what is okay to do with specific people. SoSAFE provides a format which is portable and easy to understand, meaning that any student can discuss their relationships at any time.

The SoSafe approach has been adopted at Woodlane, primarily to give students a set of ‘rules’ for different relationships. This ensures that they are better placed to realise when a relationship may not be acceptable and then have the tools to report potential abuse. The primary focus of SoSAFE is to help students with SEND to build and maintain healthy relationships and friendships.

SoSAFE is created and operated by The Picture Exchange Communication System® (PECS®), whose evidence-based practice has been developed through extensive research since 1994, and continues to have an expanding body of research supporting its effectiveness. Research articles from all over the world about the efficacy of PECS for learners of various ages, diagnoses, and settings have been published in peer-reviewed journals, text books, and professional periodicals.


Financial Independence

Pupils attending Woodlane may come to school with a range of barriers to learning, including difficulties in understanding their own finance, how financial system work, and the importance of finance. The PSCHE curriculum provides regular and consistent opportunities for pupils to engage in lessons that support their current and future financial learning and stability. Lessons are always differentiated to their needs, and are designed alongside regular enterprise opportunities to implement practice with money and finances. 

The Financial Education Quality Mark is an accreditation service for financial education resources that have been created for use with children and young people. It is awarded to resources that support high quality teaching and learning about money.

The Financial Education Quality Mark gives those delivering financial education confidence that the materials they are using contain accurate and up-to-date information, are of the highest educational value, and are engaging and relevant for young people. Through evaluation, supported by Young Enterprise, the Financial Education Quality Mark service also helps resource producers to understand the impact of their resource. The school uses resources with this quality mark to ensure they are up to date and relevant to our pupils.

Intent – What is Woodlane aiming to achieve through its PSCHE curriculum

  • To provide an outstanding, multi-sensory and personalised curriculum.
  • To help pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage many of the critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face as they grow up and in adulthood.
  • To support and enable pupils to develop an understanding of themselves, their sense of self and to build confidence and self-esteem.
  • To promote the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and physical and mental well-being.
  • To support and develop skills in social communication in order to communicate effectively and build positive relationships.
  • To understand governance, democracy their role in the wider community and to respect all faiths and diversity.
  • To develop an understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizens. 
  • To be able to assert themselves and know strategies to keep themselves safe in the wider world.
  • To understand and be able to apply key principles of online safety.
  • To understand and develop skills in financial capability.
  • To prepare pupils for work experience and the world of work.
  • To ensure all pupils leave Woodlane well prepared for their transition to college and adulthood.
  • Careers education learning opportunities are woven through the whole school curriculum at Woodlane High School. Through a well-planned programme of activities across the school, Woodlane High School aims to allow pupils to understand what is required for them to take their place as a suitably qualified and responsible adult within modern Britain. It aims to pave the way for aspiration and social mobility through a range of engaging learning opportunities.
  • Woodlane holds the Investor in Careers accreditation and is committed to providing high quality careers education and support to enable our pupils to access the most appropriate next stage of learning post-16. This remains a key priority and our success is reflected in the fact that no pupil has left Woodlane NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in the last 8 years.
  • In Key Stage 4 pupils are working towards a smooth transition from secondary school into either further education or vocational studies. We work with pupils to ensure they are prepared and educated about the changes that will take place once they leave Woodlane High School. We ensure that pupils are supported throughout this process and are also encouraged to develop independence skills to increase confidence about the changes that will take place and prepare them for the world of work.

Implementation – How is the PSCHE curriculum delivered?

Curriculum Delivery

  • Pupils have full access to the PSHE Association Programme of Study and The Citizenship National Curriculum, which is differentiated to meet pupils’ learning needs and styles.
  • Woodlane High School’s Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco Policy and Relationships and Sex Education Woodlane Policy inform the content of the lessons and are adapted to meet the individual learners’ needs.
  • The PSCHE curriculum is designed to be challenging, supportive and appropriate to each pupil’s stage of development.
  • The PSCHE Curriculum offers opportunities for cross-curricula learning, to ensure pupils make significant personal development, including:
    • Educational visits;
    • Police workshops on knife crime and general safety;
    • MIND mental health workshops;
    • Travel training and road safety sessions;
    • Work experience placements for pupils in Year 11;
    • One to one careers advice;
    • Theme days and key skills day;
    • Emergency life-saving skills based on the St John’s Ambulance scheme;
    • Christmas shop enterprise project;
    • Resilience RSE workshops;
    • Personal hygiene sessions with guidance from the school nurse;
    • SaLT strategies/Word Aware integrated in to teaching;
    • OT strategies integrated into teaching;
    • Careers workshops;
    • Communication development through in-class drama.
  • The KS3 PSCHE curriculum is taught through 1.67 hours of lessons per week, (6.68% of curriculum time).
  • The Year 10 PSCHE curriculum is taught through with 1.67 hours per week, (6.68% of curriculum time).  Year 11 have drop down sessions for SRE, CEIAG, guest speakers and other relevant workshops.
  • The PSCHE curriculum is designed to build and expand on previous skills, knowledge and understanding over a 4-year period.  It also plans for opportunities for repetition to embed knowledge, increasing the chance of information recall and to integrate new knowledge into larger ideas (view our PSCHE curriculum map in appendix). 
  • Some pupils opt to follow a Vocational Studies programme through their Key Stage 4 options. This provides further target opportunities to build key careers and employment skills, (view the Vocational Studies curriculum map in appendix
  • The Vocational Studies curriculum is taught through 1.67 hours of lessons per week, (6.68% of curriculum time) in both Year 10 and Year 11.

Teaching and Learning

  • PSCHE lessons are taught by a subject specialist SEND teacher.
  • Vocational Studies are taught by a qualified and experienced SEND teacher.
  • The PSCHE Subject Leader is well qualified, possessing a QTS within Primary Education, with a specialist in SEND as well as, SRE trained and a qualified youth worker.
  • The PSCHE curriculum is differentiated broadly into 3 levels of challenge, ‘all’, ‘most’ and ‘some’.  Further differentiation and personalisation is implemented as required.
  • PSCHE and Vocational Studies homework is provided on a standardised format and is differentiated to provide the appropriate level of challenge.
  • In PSCHE and Vocational Studies we have a 3-tiered approach to supporting a pupil’s learning, including:

Universal – this is the teaching your child will receive from the PSCHE subject teacher and will include adaptations to match learning needs. All classes:

    • have high quality, personalised lessons that are multi-sensory and dyslexia friendly;
    • have opportunities for homework support;
    • are supported by a teaching assistant (TA);
    • have a maximum of 12 pupils per class to ensure there is a high level of support available from the teacher and TA;
    • have opportunities to use ICT to engage learning;
    • have integrated speech, language and communication support;
    • are supported either directly or indirectly by speech and language therapists.

Targeted - it may be appropriate to consider making additional short term special educational provision to remove or reduce any obstacles to your child’s learning.  This takes the form of a graduated four part approach of a) assessing your child’s needs, b) planning the most effective and appropriate intervention, c) providing this intervention and d) reviewing the impact on your child’s progress towards individual learning outcomes. Interventions may include:

    • specific targeted small group Relationships and Sex Education interventions;
    • targeted work to build on social skills;
    • targeted work with the Occupational Therapist and SALT;
    • targeted work on travel training, road safety and keeping safe in the wider community;
    • small group work with the police to support any safety concerns;
    • mental health and well-being support;
    • financial capability and money skills;
    • careers advice and guidance;
    • interview and work experience preparation;
    • school nurse sessions to support hygiene.

Specialist – it may be necessary to seek specialist advice and regular long-term support from a specialist professional in order to plan for the best possible learning outcomes for your child.


  • Pupils collate Pupil Achievement Books, where they showcase their best work and progress over time in PSCHE.
  • Our bespoke Flight Path is used to track the progress of pupils in PSCHE and determine expected outcomes from different starting points.
  • The PSCHE subject teacher uses a range of formative and summative assessment procedures to assess progress and attainment, including:
    • daily marking (click here for teaching and learning policy);
    • self/peer assessment;
    • informal/formal assessments;
    • B-Squared etc;
    • AQA – Unit Award Scheme, (Vocational Studies).

Impact – What difference is the PSCHE curriculum making on pupils?

  • The vast majority of pupils meet or exceed their expected progress in PSCHE.
  • All pupils leave Woodlane with having taken part in an appropriate work experience placement. 100% of pupils report to feeling more confident following their work experience placements and feel it has been useful for them.
  • All pupils who opt to take the Vocational Studies programme achieve a range of Unit Award Scheme units appropriate to their level, age and understanding.
  • Pupils will gain a range of skills relevant to employment and their future career paths.
  • Pupils are well-prepared for the next stage of their education and working life through their preparation for college, adulthood and the world of work. This remains a key priority and our success is reflected in the fact that no pupil has left Woodlane NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) in the last 8 years.
  • All pupils learn about consent in RSE sessions and how to keep themselves safe.
  • All pupils have named person they can talk to in school if they feel sad, worried or confused.
  • All pupils learn how to use ‘Zones of Regulation’ and the how to use ‘Tool boxes’ to help manage their self-regulation.
  • All pupils learn about puberty and the physical and emotional aspects of growing up.
  • All pupils learn about healthy relationships and consent.
  • Pupils understand the value of leading a healthy lifestyle and physical and emotional wellbeing.
  • All pupils develop their social and communication skills to enable them to have positive and healthy friendships and other relationships. 
  • All pupils develop an appreciation and respect of different cultures and diversity.
  • Pupils develop skills in financial capability and take part in an enterprise project.
  • All pupils learn to appreciate British values and their importance.
  • All pupils learn that they have rights.
  • All pupils develop an understanding of governance and democracy.
  • All pupils will engage with AQA Unit award scheme and work towards a range of certificates linked to PSCHE and Careers, and through the Vocational Studies programme.
  • All pupils in year 11, complete an end of year questionnaire.
  • All pupils in year 11, complete reviews of their work experience and the information recorded.
  • Pupils have a clear understanding of how to keep themselves safe through DAT sessions, Resilience SRE sessions, Emergency Life Saving Skills sessions and police workshops.
  • Woodlane pupils have successfully gone into paid employment, Higher Education including University.
  • The vast majority of pupils leave Woodlane as independent travellers.

* Please see annual SEF/SIP for further details.