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Stepping Stones and the new PSHE curriculum for primary schools

What is PSHE and what does it mean for my child?

PSHE covers a full spectrum of life skills crucial to children and young people’s wellbeing from healthy eating to financial awareness. It helps your child get the knowledge and skills they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.

The government has recently announced that Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE Education) is likely to be compulsory in all schools from 2011. Here we give you a better idea about what the programme will cover and how it will benefit your child.

It helps your child get the knowledge and skills they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.

It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.

What kind of things does it cover?

identity and cultural diversity

healthy lifestyles

community participation


sustainable futures and the global dimension

technology and the media

creativity and critical thinking

How is it taught?

From 2011, all schools will teach PSHE, but it is already taught in many primary schools through programmes such as ASDAN’s Stepping Stones course.

This is a flexible programme that allows schools to pick modules that suit the needs and interests of its pupils, while covering all the requirements of PSHE. For example, if the school is in an area where there are high levels of obesity, there can be more of an emphasis on healthy eating and exercise. If students are particularly engaged in issues like the environment or road safety, projects can be chosen to suit their interests.

Stepping Stones students carry out fun challenges, covering topics such as how to live healthy lives, have happy relationships and understand about money and finances. The programme, which is run alongside their normal schoolwork, helps them to grow into independent, confident students while picking up really important skills like problem solving and teamwork, preparing them for the move up into secondary school.

According to Maggie Walker, Director of Curriculum at ASDAN, programmes such as Stepping Stones boost children’s learning skills at a crucial age. She explains:

“The activities the children do as part of the Stepping Stones programme encourage them to take responsibility for their learning, both in and out of the classroom, and help them recognise the skills they are developing along the way. This sets them onto a really good lifelong learning path, which will take them through primary school, secondary school and into adult life.

Here are some of the comments from pupils at Epping Upland C of E Primary School who have been trying out the Stepping Stones programme:

“Everyone thinks the challenges in Stepping Stones are really good”.

“You learn about stuff in a fun way!”

 “I really enjoy doing the Stepping Stones challenges ‘cos you can mix them up and make them more fun.” 

“You learn about stuff in a fun way!”

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