Home Page
Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!

Life Skills Curriculum

These are the skills that we can take in life, wherever we go and whatever we do

Life Skills at Heartwood 

Legislation passed in the Children and Social Work Act 2017 introduces Relationships Education (RSE) as a statutory requirement in primary schools. This applies to all schools in England. 

New guidance and regulations are to be followed by all schools. At Heartwood, we have used the guidance and developed a curriculum that we call Life Skills. 


Primary schools are being encouraged by the Department for Educations to provide sex education as well as Relationships Education. Parents have the option to withdraw their children from the sex element of the curriculum, all other parts are compulsory. 


Mrs Emily McMillen is the school’s Life Skills Lead.

Our Life Skills curriculum is designed around the needs of pupils and the community. Regular consultations with the pupils and our families feeds into the curriculum intent. The needs may change over time, we prepare to give our children the knowledge, skills and values to be prepared for key milestones or times in their lives. 


At Heartwood, our RSHE curriculum is designed to give the children the knowledge, skills, language and tools to navigate successfully from childhood through to adult life. We will achieve this through a bespoke programme of lessons - designed to meet the needs of our pupils, both within school and the wider community. Our lessons will allow the children to express their honest thoughts and feelings in a safe, informed and mutually respectful environment.


Our Life skills curriculum aims to ensure that our children flourish. 

Ensuring all can access and flourish in Life Skills

Parent and Carer Resources:

Please see below for the overviews of the core curriculum that we offer. These overviews are just the basic curriculum we provide, this is enhanced by additional learning to meet the needs of our children, cohorts and ever-changing modern society.

Life skills is taught in units and not necessarily in half terms. This enables the learning to reflect assessment of whether children can move on or whether they need to re-cover. This also supports strong retrieval practice and time for application and embedding knowledge.

Contextual, current and cohort issues and events will inform the planning and implementation of the subject in addition to the set units of learning.


On the first week of every half term the children build upon their learning about how to stay safe online. This is an area we have identified to be a priority.

Life Skills overview for the EYFS



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Who is special to me?

How can I be a respectful friend?

Understanding feelings

How do I look after my body?

How can we look after each other and our world?

What is the same and different about us?




Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

My Feelings

Families and people who are for me


My body

Caring friendships


My relationships

Respectful relationships


My beliefs


Health and germ prevention

Online safety


My rights and responsibilities

Being safe


Asking form help

How do we teach Life Skills at Heartwood?

Children have at least weekly Life Skills sessions taught by their class teacher. These are taught using a variety of different methods including drama, story, videos, discussion time, circle time and books. Planning is informed by the Local Authority RSHE curriculum with age appropriate adaptations made to meet the relevant needs our community, context and needs of the children. 

The school is a member of the PSHE association and quality and current resources will aid teaching. 


We also weave it into our everyday teaching in response to things that are happening in school- eg. between friends, or even in the wider world. 


We have invested in resources from the Big Talk Education to support our Gypsy, Roma and Traveller children- ensuring we are being supportive and sensitive to their cultural beliefs and values. The resources have been created with the Gypsy Traveller Voice Project and with GRT families.


We also welcome visitors into school to enhance the learning of the subject. This include Fire Service, dentists, medical professionals and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller team. 

Withdrawing your child from lessons


As the subject is now statutory (compulsory) children will not be allowed to be withdrawn from any statutory lessons. If a child misses a key lesson or lessons due to illness or holiday, these lessons will be delivered at another appropriate time.


Children can be withdrawn from sex education (reproduction) after a discussion with the Headteacher. However, they cannot be withdrawn from lessons on reproduction from a scientific viewpoint, puberty or lessons to do with relationships.

Special Education Needs in RSHE


How do we ensure all children can access RSHE lessons?


Our RSHE planning is designed to ensure that all children are able to access lessons and are enthusiastic learners. Differentiation within lessons is a vital component to ensure that a balance of support and challenge are achieved for all abilities. Differentiation is adjusted as expectations of individual pupils rise through progress. Effective quality first teaching is the key to enabling all children to participate and develop personally, socially and emotionally. 


It is recognised that SEND pupils may require additional support with the RSHE curriculum and can be at increased risk of exploitation. For this, we can utilise our Big Talk resources.

Individual support or targeted programmes may be considered. Parents and pupils will be involved and consulted. 

Videos to prompt discussions:



Videos used in school 

Inspiring The Future - Redraw The Balance

Boys Vs. Girls - Who's Stronger?

Love Has No Labels - Diversity & Inclusion

And Tango Makes Three