How would children benefit if they could be aware of their thoughts and feelings as they happen, in the present moment, on purpose with no judgement? This is what mindfulness means. It can be learnt, and techniques to develop it taught. It also needs to be practised. We believe mindfulness is a vital tool for life, not only does it support the regulation of emotion and build emotional resilience but also enhances focus and concentration; both helping to optimise learning. Mindful children can more readily choose their responses to situations rather than react while caught up in the thought-flows and emotions.
In Jigsaw PSHE, mindfulness is developed through the ‘Calm Me’ time in each piece (lesson). This consists of breathing techniques, awareness exercises, visualisations etc, all tried, tested and very enjoyable activities for children and teachers alike. Observing your thoughts and feelings, on purpose, in the present moment with no judgement…what a gift!
Jigsaw brings together PSHE Education, emotional literacy, social skills and spiritual development in a comprehensive scheme of learning. Teaching strategies are varied and are mindful of preferred learning styles and the need for differentiation. Jigsaw is designed as a whole school approach, with all year groups working on the same theme (Puzzle) at the same time. This enables each Puzzle to start with an introductory assembly, generating a whole school focus for adults and children alike.
The weekly celebration is the same for each year group. These are designed to draw out a key theme from each week and reinforce its application; in turn, this ensures the Jigsaw learning is translated into behaviour and attitudes and is not confined to the lesson slot on the timetable.
The Six Puzzles
There are six Puzzles in Jigsaw that are designed to progress in sequence from September to July:
Autumn 1: Being Me in My World
Autumn 2: Celebrating Difference (including anti-bullying)
Spring 1: Dreams and Goals
Spring 2: Healthy Me
Summer 1: Relationships
Summer 2: Changing Me (including Sex Education)
Each Puzzle has six Pieces (lessons) which work towards an ‘end product’, for example, The School Learning Charter or The Garden of Dreams and Goals.
Each Piece has two Learning Intentions: one is based on specific PSHE learning (covering the non-statutory national framework for PSHE Education but enhanced to address children’s needs today); and one is based on emotional literacy and social skills (covering the SEAL learning intentions but also enhanced). The enhancements mean that Jigsaw is relevant to children living in today’s world as it helps them understand and be equipped to cope with issues like body image, cyber and homophobic bullying, and internet safety.
Every Piece (lesson) contributes to at least one of these aspects of children’s SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural) development. This is mapped on each Piece and balanced across each year group.
The Learning Environment
Establishing a safe, open and positive learning environment based on trusting relationships between all members of the class, adults and children alike, is vital. To enable this, it is important that ‘ground rules’ are agreed and owned at the beginning of the year and are reinforced in every Piece – by using The Jigsaw Charter.
The Jigsaw Charter
- We take turns to speak
- We use kind and positive words
- We listen to each other
- We have the right to pass
- We only use names when giving compliments or when being positive
- We respect each other’s privacy (confidentiality) .