Plantation Primary School and Nursery, Merseyside
Colin Boulton is Deputy Head and member of the Young Citizens community at Plantation Primary and Nursery School a large school with just under 500 pupils on role, a high percentage of which are on FSM (33%). They are subscribed to our programmatic library of Primary Teaching Resources curriculum lessons and assemblies, which can be found here.
Part of my role as Deputy Head is to lead on the curriculum. I wanted to ensure we had a broad and balanced approach accessing the best resources possible to create the best curriculum possible. We had previously been using a ‘folder based’ PSHE scheme which myself and the staff delivering it were not happy with. I started looking around for what was out there and came cross Young Citizens and the Primary Resources subscription.
Why Young Citizens Primary Resources?
The subscription hits a lot of bases; Citizenship, PSHE, RSE, SMSC and fundamental British values, they’re all covered.
We have been subscribing to Young Citizens Primary Resources for three years. What first attracted me was how up-to-date and topical the resources were. They cover really challenging topics such as Brexit and Relationships and the Law in a fun, age-appropriate and engaging way. They also spark lively debate and really make the children think about important issues.
Each lesson comes with detailed teacher notes with a range of activity ideas, interactive pupil resources and a PowerPoint. They are of an excellent quality and highly informative. The range of activities is vast, one day we are writing poems and the next setting up court rooms. There are so many ideas to build on but there is also room for flexibility; it’s not entirely prescriptive. Lessons are designed in such a way that you don’t have to do it all. You can pick the bits that work for your pupils.
“I really enjoy our PSHE lessons now. They are always interesting, and we get to do all sorts of different activities. We also get to talk about lots of different things that sometimes make me really think. My friend says they make her head hurt (in a good way).”
Alison Year 5 pupil
How do we use our subscription?
PSHE and citizenship are delivered across the school by two higher level teaching assistants on a half termly rota alongside RE. With the support the Primary Resources sample scheme of work I looked at all the topics that the subscription covers and used this to create a medium-term plan for each HLTA to work from. They will print out the resources and go through the activities – it’s hugely time saving, everything they need is there. They do not have to deliver it all but can pick what they think will best suit their classes and provide variety in activities. Feedback is very positive.
“The areas covered provide interesting, topical and up to date information for the pupils. As they are ‘topical’, they have relevance to the children in their day to day lives and can be applied in the ‘real world’. This engages the children and certainly inspires some lively debates! There are a wide selection of units to choose from, which is beneficial in tailoring lessons to meet the needs of the individual classes and pupils.”
Impact on pupils
The positive impact on pupils is clear to see. One of our big emphases is on metacognition – helping pupils understand how they learn. The subscription has really helped with this. Lots of the activities are situation and scenario based which has developed critical thinking. The lessons have also helped certain pupils raise some issues that may otherwise have not been discussed. In turn this has helped improve dialogue with parents and the wider school community.
I recently delivered a unit on ‘Difficult Decisions’. We had one pupil who is normally really quiet, keeps herself to herself and doesn’t tend to get that involved. She really shone in the lesson. Her responses showed maturity and such deep thought; both myself and the other pupils were blown away! The Primary Resources library have been great for opening a new level of discussion.
Support in challenging times
Like all schools we’ve had a hugely challenging year. When pupils returned following the initial COVID lockdown we decided to dedicate all of the autumn term to PSHE. Primary resources really helped with this. Having immediate access to lessons such as ‘What is an Infectious Disease?’ and ‘Who Can Help?’ provided valuable support to staff, allowing them to better explain to pupils what was going on and why there had to be so many changes.
We also found ourselves in a situation where all our PPA cover had to isolate so we relied heavily on supply teachers to deliver PSHE. With Primary resources it was much easier for me to provide the next lesson. No matter who was teaching it, I could show them exactly what we had covered and what we had planned next. It was all there ready to go and I knew it was high quality stuff.
I would highly recommend Young Citizens’ Primary Teaching Resources to all schools – you’ll get high quality materials and I’m sure the feedback from both staff and pupils will be great.