Significant Success with 'Changing Me'
Thatcham Park bought into the Jigsaw programme in the Autumn Term of 2013, after having previously followed the SEAL programme. The school felt that although SEAL covered many aspects of the PSHE curriculum, it was not developing as fast as the many varied needs of the children at Thatcham Park. An area we felt that we needed to improve was our teaching of SRE. The increased influence of the Internet; rapid developments in the use of social media; maturity of the children; and teacher confidence were all raised as issues.
In order to maximise support from our wider school community and to ensure that any changes to the content were in line with our church school ethos, our school vicar and safeguarding governor was involved in the process from the start.
As PSHE lead, I ran a parent information evening, which although terrifying, allowed the school to share lesson plans and images; providing background information and data that supported the need for change. This also provided an opportunity to clarify to parents the way in which the content had been advanced. Parents were encouraged to visit the classrooms, to see in greater depth the images; information and learning that would be available to their child across the school demonstrating the progression throughout the year groups. This evening was attended by many families, and during our first year of teaching, only one family withdrew their child. This was due to cultural beliefs rather than lack of support for the lessons.
Impact of Jigsaw
Thatcham Park is now more confident in its delivery of SRE curriculum; children, teachers and parents. The children are less embarrassed about using correct vocabulary and approach these lessons with enthusiasm. The progression of learning within the Jigsaw approach ensures the children are accessing information which is relevant, timely and appropriate and their confidence has grown significantly.
The children are having mature conversations with each other, are discussing misconceptions and sexism openly and honestly. These increasingly open and honest relationships are spreading throughout the school impacting across the curriculum, and are not being used just within our PSHE teaching.
The school is a much happier place, and incidents of poor behaviour are reducing as conflict resolution skills are improving. The children are developing a more confident problem solving attitude and are becoming more resilient learners as a result.
As a result of learning through Jigsaw, we see the children approaching their learning with a positive, mindful attitude of respect and tolerance. There is a supportive feel to the school and this is common throughout our school community; children, teachers, parents, governors and the wider school community.
We are currently collecting evidence to support our application to West Berkshire's Anti Bullying Accreditation and without the Jigsaw approach, we do not believe that this would be possible.