Long Marston CE Primary School is a small village primary school in a rural area between York and Wetherby, North Yorkshire. Its vision is to develop independent learners whose Christian values give them integrity, creativity and a love of life. The school was rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted in December 2016.
Under the leadership of new Headteacher, Louise Flatters, a subject plan for PSHE was introduced in the 2018-19 academic year. “Prior to me joining the school in September 2018 we had no clear PSHE programme in place and, whilst teachers had previously dipped in and out of the subject, there was nothing specific they could use to support their work,” Louise explained. “I did some research to see what resources were out there and found 1decision being recommended in a school leadership support group. I liked what I saw, especially the idea of a decision-based approach, and we purchased 1decision in the Autumn and began to introduce it to classes before Christmas.”
There are just two classes in the school at Long Marston, with mixed-year groups, and Louise said that 1decision’s flexibility has helped them to support pupils’ individual needs.
“What I really value about 1decision is that whilst it provides a year-by-year cohort overview, we have been able to adapt it for what works for us as a school,” she revealed. “Some modules are delivered in class and others work better split into phases. Both class teachers have used it and they think it is great, and teaching assistants have found it really easy to use too. Children love and devour it – some sessions have been run over a shorter time period than planned because they have really got into it. The younger ones, in particular, love the characters and this has supported their engagement.”
With the introduction of the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum from September 2020, Louise said it was important for the school to be ahead of the curve: “Personally, I am delighted that PSHE and related subjects are becoming statutory. 1decision fits well with the new framework; we held an open evening consultation with parents where we took the opportunity to share the resources to show how the programme supports that. Impact on personal development is also a big feature of the new Ofsted framework, and we see 1decision helping that too. For us, 1decision is perfectly aligned to our new choice-based behaviour approach, as well as supporting our whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing which is such an important area.”
So what does success look like from using 1decision? “Children who are developing their self-awareness, independent thinking and understanding of concepts in different units,” Louise said. “Our local area is quite a protected environment and issues like e-safety are so important to learn ahead of secondary school. 1decision exposes children to all sorts of different issues, for example ‘Keeping/Staying Safe’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘A World Without Judgement’, and develops general life skills. 1decision is absolutely the best PSHE resource that I have come across. All the teachers I know that have used the resource would recommend it 100%. It is so structured and easy to use compared to other programmes, the resources are modern, up-to-date and adaptable, and the programme comes with activity books for each child. For a school our size it is very cost-effective.”