Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School

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PSHE & Citizenship

PSHE and Citizenship is embedded across the curriculum in all subjects studied at CVMS and is also an integral part of a wide range of activities which are carried out on a day-to-day basis. The aim of the PSHE and Citizenship programme at CVMS is to enable and encourage our students to acquire the skills, understanding and key knowledge they need to thrive as individuals in all aspects of their life and to become active and responsible citizens who contribute to our society. As well as this, our programme underpins the Catholic ethos of the School and is a catalyst for the School’s principle role of teaching our students to grow and flourish as responsible Catholics in our society. PSHE is therefore another means through which the School can assist in ‘the formation of the whole man, his intellect, his heart, his character and his soul’. Many of the themes covered in the PSHE and Citizenship programme are also closely connected to the RSE programme (see RSE policy, syllabus and material) introduced in CVMS in 2020-2021.


In addition to the embedded curriculum, specific PSHE and Citizenship lessons are taught in themes across the academic year.


Core theme 1: Health and Wellbeing                                                     

  • 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 promote to pupils the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle and physical and mental well-being. 
  • To know what is meant by a healthy lifestyle.
  • To help pupils maintain physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing
  • To enable pupils how to manage risks to physical and emotional health and wellbeing and to keep physically and emotionally safe.

Core theme 2: Relationships

  • To help pupils develop and maintain a variety of healthy relationships, within a range of social/cultural contexts.
  • To help pupils recognise and manage emotions within a range of relationships.
  • To help pupils recognise risky or negative relationships including all forms of bullying and abuse.
  • To teach pupils how to respond to risky or negative relationships and ask for help.
  • To help encourage pupils to respect equality and diversity in relationships.

Core theme 3: Living in the Wider World                                             

  • To help pupils understand governance, democracy their role in the wider community and to encourage them to respect all faiths and diversity.
  • To help pupils 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 help pupil to understand and be able to apply key principles of online safety.
  • To help pupils understand and develop skills in financial capability.
  • To prepare pupils for work experience and the world of work.

The School’s PSHE and Citizenship programme is delivered in a variety of whole-school and cross-curricular ways. There include regular themed assemblies, PSHE and RSE themed form periods, scheduled RSE lessons, a series of ‘drop down days’ and during a designated Enrichment and Activities Weeks.                                           

Drop down days: For one day per term, our students are taken off their usual timetable to attend sessions on carefully selected topics which are delivered by a combination of external agencies and our own teaching staff.

The topics we aim to cover are as follows:


Michaelmas Term

Health and Wellbeing

  •  Transition from Primary to Secondary and Managing Change
  • Mental Health – Individuality
  • Mental Health – Exam/Work Pressure
  • Being Healthy – Diet, sleep, personal hygiene and fitness
  • Travelling Safely – Getting around London safely
  • General Road Safety
  • Street Crime – Strategies to avoid street crime in London
  • Nicotine and Tobacco – Key facts and effects on health
  • Alcohol – Key facts and effects on health and social impacts
  • Illegal and Legal Substances – Key facts and effects on health and social impacts
  • E-Safety – New technologies and potential risks
  • First Aid Training – Basic first aid skills



Law and Politics

  •  UK Democracy
  • Justice System
  • UK Liberties
  • Crime and the Law
  • Human Rights
  • International Law
  • International Governance
  • E-Safety Laws

Vocation and Enterprise

  •  Careers
  • Academic Options
  • Study Skills
  • Work Experience
  • Enterprise 

Trinity Term

Equality and Discrimination

  •  Nationalities at CVMS and the wider community
  • Diversity
  • Bullying

Finance and Economics

  •  Uses of Money – Personal spending
  • Budgeting – Avoiding debt
  • Financial Products and Services
  • Moral and Social Effects of Spending Choices
  • Gambling – Risks and social impacts
  • Public Spending


Key Stage 5

When our pupils reach the Fifth Form and Sixth Form, they attend a variety of talks and workshops across the year delivered by external agencies in preparation for the wider world. Some of the sessions that they will attend include:

  • Nicotine and Tobacco – Key facts and effects on health
  • Alcohol – Key facts and effects on health and social impacts
  • Illegal and Legal Substances – Key facts and effects on health and social impacts
  • Crime and the Law
  • E-Safety
  • Study Skills – Key strategies for high achievement and managing exam pressures
  • Personal Finance – Budgeting and money management for life after CVMS
  • Careers
  • UCAS and Higher Education


The impact of the PSHE and Citizenship is evidenced in a variety of ways. It is reflected in the conduct and attitudes of pupils and is intrinsic to the School’s wider ethos. Impact is also ascertained via regular pupil PSHE and RSE surveys, annual whole-school pupil questionnaire, staff surveys (an evaluation of each session is undertaken by supervising members of staff after each PSHE session).   The feedback from these pupil and staff reviews is collated and analysed in annual PSHE report to SLT and Directors. 

All KS3-KS4 pupils have taken part in at least 12 hours of directed PSHE each year. In addition, a range of closely related RSE themes are covered in timetabled 60 min lessons each week.

All pupils attend PSHE and Citizenship themes are also a focus of weekly whole school and year group assemblies.                                                                                        

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.

All pupils learn about health, wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world.

All pupils have named safeguarding lead and a named HoY they can talk to in school if they feel sad, worried or confused.

All pupils learn about the physical and emotional aspects of growing up.

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.

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.

Pupils have a clear understanding of how to keep themselves safe.                                                                           

All pupils will attend at least one educational trip during the course of an academic year.