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8 Great PSHE Projects for Kids

Teaching PSHE can be a challenge, and planning exciting PSHE projects to keep primary-age children engaged can be time-consuming for busy teachers. So to start you off, we've put together 8 inspiring project ideas covering relationships, health and wellbeing and digital citizenship, to help support your teaching in line with the PSHE curriculum for KS2. 

 

What is PSHE?

Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education is taught in primary and secondary schools across the UK. PSHE projects don't have to cover all these topics, but since September 2020, there has been a statutory requirement to include relationships education in primary schools, relationships and sex education in secondary schools, as well as health education in all state-funded schools in England. However, schools do have the flexibility to shape this curriculum to fit the needs of their children and communities. 

The newly-designed curriculum for primary schools centres on building foundations for healthy and respectful relationships with families and friends. It develops an essential understanding of how to be healthy, in terms of physical health and mental wellbeing, and gives children the knowledge they need to take care of themselves, and find help when needed. Now more than ever, PSHE education applies to life online, as well as in the real world.

 

Topic ideas for PSHE projects

  1. Families and people who care for me

PSHE projects about family and friends are a great place to start. Children will enjoy this as it's something they know lots about, and will be able to relate to in some way. Ask children to identify who the important people in their lives are, and think about:

  • How they care for family and friends
  • How they show kindness and respect
  • How disagreements can be handled
  • How to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • What to do if they feel pressured by someone else

As part of this project, try to use a range of different activities to help children think about these issues, for example: encourage discussion about healthy and unhealthy relationships either as a class, or in small groups; write lists of the ways in which we can care for others; or draw a poster outlining calming techniques. 

Natterhub have a series of digital literacy lessons on this topic surrounding Trusted Adults and their importance when it comes to children feeling confident and safe online. Among others, these lessons include:

  • Year 1 Think It: A Funny Feeling When Something is Wrong
  • Year 4 Think It: Who To Turn To
  • Year 6 Chat It: Find Support 

 

  1. Be yourself

This project is on your children's favourite topic - themselves! It's really important for children to have self-confidence, while respecting themselves and others at the same time. Activities on this topic can help them develop an appreciation for their own strengths and achievements, as well as recognise different emotions that they, and others, may feel and how to handle these in a respectful way. The lessons you plan for this project should help children:

  • Identify their own strengths
  • Be assertive
  • Work out strategies to help them deal with uncomfortable feelings
  • Identify facial expressions and body language
  • Understand that media messages about how we should look, think or behave are not always realistic
  • Understand that we can learn from our mistakes

As part of this project, you could include: a 'Be Yourself' day to celebrate all the differences between the children in the class; a writing task where children can write about an achievement outside of school and share it with their peers; or a role play activity to show different ways to manage uncomfortable feelings. 

Natterhub's media literacy lessons encourage children to remain true to themselves online by addressing online profiles, fake profiles, the importance of avatars online, and learning from mistakes made online. Try these lessons for example:

  • Year 2 Think It: Online Identity
  • Year 3 Think It: Online Identity and Positive Self-Talk

 

  1. Staying safe

This project could cover a range of topics to help children learn how to take responsibility for their own safety. This could include learning about everyday risks and what to do in emergency situations, as well as dares and peer pressure. It could cover:

  • What dares and peer pressure are
  • Knowing when to get help in risky situations
  • Learning how to dial 999
  • Identifying hazards around the home and out and about
  • Understanding the dangers of substances such as drugs, tobacco and alcohol 

Activities to help support this project on safety could include: asking children to identify dangers around their home to discuss at school; writing a factsheet about what to do in the event of an injury, such as a scald, bleeding or choking; or asking local emergency services, such as the fire brigade, to visit the school to do a talk or show emergency vehicles - children will love this!

 

  1. Being safe online 

In an ever-increasing digital world, teaching children about online safety is more important than ever. The Internet is a wonderful resource, but it goes hand in hand with the need to look after digital wellbeing. In line with the curriculum, by the end of primary school, children should be taught how to:

Why not arrange a 'Digital Wellbeing Day' at school to help ensure the school community is aware of the importance of staying safe online? Children could design online safety posters to put around school, or work together to create a presentation about cyberbullying. Or why not ask them to keep an online journal to track how they use devices over a few days, then discuss how they could create a plan to support their digital wellbeing?

Natterhub's online safety lessons and news feed teach children how to be safe and savvy online. By giving pupils a safe space to practise digital skills, they can make online mistakes without the real world consequences. They can explore digital communication, online relationships, decide what information is appropriate to share or not to share, and recognise the importance of on and offline balance.

 

  1. Looking after yourself

A project on taking care of your body incorporates lots of different topics, so you can include a wide range of different activities to help keep children engaged. From healthy eating, physical exercise and screen time, to personal hygiene and mental health, there's so much to learn. PSHE projects like this can help children understand:

  • That they can choose what happens to their own body
  • Where to get help if they are worried
  • The importance of sleep, exercise and a balanced diet
  • How to be positive about themselves
  • How to make healthy choices
  • Ways of preventing ill health

A great way to learn about healthy eating is to cook! Either at home, or in school, children could be tasked with finding a healthy recipe, sourcing ingredients and preparing a healthy meal as part of this project. Children could also record their sleeping patterns in a diary and discuss how the amount of sleep they have had, has affected how they feel. Or why not hold a multi-sports day to try out different types of physical activity?

Learning about digital wellbeing is a crucial part of teaching children to look after themselves, too. Natterhub's 'Balance It' lessons look at the positive and negative aspects of technology and how time on screens can both affect and enhance wellbeing. 

Exploring the importance of sleep, balancing on and offline activities, and deciding what activities should include screens, are all crucial elements to establishing digital balance.

 

  1. Changing bodies

This project focuses on the different stages of development children go through as they grow. The content of course depends on the age of the child, but for a project for upper key stage 2, children should focus on: 

  • Physical and emotional changes that happen with puberty
  • That there is no such thing as a perfect body
  • What makes a loving relationship
  • How babies are conceived and born
  • Who to speak to about changing bodies if they are worried

This is one of the more challenging topics to teach, and it's natural for children to laugh, be embarrassed and ask awkward questions! As well as covering the biology, your project can also focus on things like positive body image, stereotypes, celebrating differences and dealing with emotions - there's lots here to keep children engaged, and get them thinking and talking about the key issues. Why not ask children to create a profile that focuses on the things they like about themselves, what they are good at, and how they think others see them? How do they think they have changed over time?

Natterhub's 'Wellbeing' lessons provide pupils with the opportunity to explore topics such as changing bodies, personal hygiene, communities around them and challenging stereotypes, in an age appropriate way.

 

  1. Talking about emotions

Undertaking a project all about emotions is a great way to help children develop their understanding of thoughts and feelings. It's important to focus on both positive and negative emotions, how they are linked, and how to deal with them. You can also reinforce the idea of mindfulness and growth mindset, and the importance of making good choices. Among other things, your project could include:

  • Talking about emotions and different behaviours associated with them
  • Identifying unhelpful and helpful thoughts
  • Discussions about the benefits of positive thinking
  • Thinking about the choices we have to make in life
  • Learning about mindfulness techniques

As part of their project work, you could encourage children to work together to discuss how they think a person would feel and behave in a range of given scenarios. Or why not ask them to do a research project on the founder of the Growth Mindset movement and present their findings back to the class?

Learning to express emotions online can be a challenge for children, and even some adults. Natterhub's 'Feel It' lessons explore the importance of online kindness, considering why others may be unkind online, and how we can effectively communicate our feelings in the digital space.

 

  1. Achieving together

A project all about working together can be a useful way to help children learn about the positive qualities and differences between groups of people, and how to communicate and disagree respectfully. PSHE projects on this topic can help children explore:

  • What successful teamwork skills are
  • How to express opinions respectfully
  • What compromise is
  • What constitutes unkind behaviour
  • How to show that you care about others

Why not have a class debate, and analyse what strategies children used to get their opinion across in a respectful way? Could they reach a compromise, and if so, how did they do that? Children could also keep a diary of all the ways they have cared for someone in the past week, or create a family tree that includes all the people that are important to their 'team'. Share these with the class to highlight how all teams are different and that this diversity is what makes the world so interesting!

 

How can Natterhub help support PSHE projects?

Natterhub's mission is to teach primary-age children to be safe and kind digital citizens, giving them the skills they need to thrive online. They do this by providing schools with an exciting learning platform, featuring more than 350 interactive lessons, that looks and feels like social media. Topics covered include: 

  • relationships with technology
  • building digital resilience
  • the importance of online kindness
  • digital wellbeing

These interactive lessons are split into eight 'Badges of Honour' which each cover a different aspect of online safety and digital literacy. Children can earn badges through completing lessons, doing quizzes or straight from the teacher, so it's a really fun way to assess and acknowledge progress. 

Many aspects of the PSHE curriculum relate to life online as well as offline - and that's where Natterhub comes in. Our lessons and badges are aligned to the new Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum, as well as the UKCIS Education for a Connected World framework, so you can use it to support your PSHE projects in line with DfE guidelines.

 

To find out more about how Natterhub's digital citizenship and media literacy lessons are aligned to the Relationships, Sex and Health Education curriculum, view our DfE Curriculum Tracker here. 

To find out more about how Natterhub can help your school teach digital literacy skills as part of PSHE education, book a demo here

Click here for more useful links to help keep children safe online.

Visit Twinkl for a wealth of engaging PSHE teaching resources for KS1 and KS2.

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