Pastoral life at the school


Today's children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives by seamlessly switching between on and offline.  This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks.  In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.  

The core purpose of the PSHCE programme of education is to 'equip students with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions', not only during their time at the St John Henry Newman School but into higher education and adult life.

PSHCE is a vitally important component of a student's education. From KS3 - 5 we teach specific weekly timetabled lessons as part of our pastoral curriculum. Each year group has a 35 minute weekly lesson.  Our model of delivery is a sequenced, spiral programme that builds on prior learning as students progress through school. 

For all year groups, these lessons are supplemented by ‘drop down’ days. Weekly lessons are taught by form tutors, who undergo the necessary training to ensure they are familiar and comfortable with delivering the sometimes challenging and delicate topics.

We regularly invite in external speakers to supplement and complement the knowledge and expertise of our teachers.  This is always very well received by the students.

Whilst there is no statutory guidance from the DfE for the content of PSHCE programmes, please be assured that our dedicated PSHCE team ensure that the content is age appropriate, relevant and informative. Please also be aware that the statutory RSHE curriculum is a large part of our PSHCE programme as well as being taught through the subject areas of Science and RE.

PSHCE curriculum map


Any teaching about love and sexual relationships in a Catholic school must be rooted in the Catholic Church’s teaching about what it is to be truly human in Christ, what it means to live well in relationship with others and be presented within a positive framework of Christian virtue.

RSE at The Saint John Henry Newman School is:

  • Progressive and Developmental

The learning reflects each stage of the development of the person. It is appropriate to the age and stage of development of the student during each stage of their development. It is continuous and developmental and is a planned process from beginning to end with one phase of education informing the work of the next, so that the students can be led to a deeper and fuller understanding at a rate which corresponds to their maturing.

  • Differentiated

RSE is sensitive to the different needs of individual students and is taught in a way that allows access to those pupils at different stages of cognitive and emotional development. Learning and teaching methods are adapted and specialist resources and training is provided for those with particular needs.

  • Cross-curricular

As a Catholic school we are committed to the education of the whole person, therefore teaching on relationships and sexuality is reflected in each relevant part of the curriculum. RSE in different parts of the curriculum talk to each other and the programme is planned and audited to develop a consistent message about the meaning of human love and the virtues that are enshrined in the Church’s teaching on human love.

  • Integrated

Parents have been fully informed about the importance and delivery of RSE and are fully aware of the teaching of relationships and sexuality.  This is with the intention that students will hear a consistent message from home as well as school.

  • Coordinated

RSE is given the time and importance it deserves by Governors, SLT, Middle Leaders and classroom teachers and all those who plan and implement its delivery in school. RSE is led by someone who has the time and expertise to co-ordinate the subject with dedication and commitment at a senior level; taught by those committed to doing it well; taught as part of a whole-school approach by those who are able to celebrate – not merely tolerate – the teaching of the Church on love and human sexuality.

  • Balanced

Whilst promoting Catholic virtues, we ensure that children and young people are offered a broad and balanced RSE programme which provides them with clear factual, scientific information when relevant and meets the statutory requirements placed on schools.

RSE at The Saint John Henry Newman School is structured to reflect that human beings are:

  • Created and loved by God (this explores the individual)

The Christian imperative to love self, made in the image and likeness of God, shows an understanding of the importance of valuing and understanding oneself as the basis for personal relationships.

  • Created to love others (this explores an individual’s relationships with others)

God is love. We are created out of love and for love. The command to love is the basis of all Christian morality.

  • Created to live in community – local, national & global (this explores the individual’s relationships with the wider world)

Human beings are relational by nature and live in the wider community. Through our exchange with others, our mutual service and through dialogue, we attempt to proclaim and extend the Kingdom of God for the good of individuals and the good of society.


These virtues should underpin all teaching but should also should emerge as an outcome of it. Virtues are habits which are learned from experience and are gained through imitation, the same virtues being modelled by those who teach. They express the qualities of character that we seek to develop in our pupils, through the exemplification by the whole SJHN community. These virtues reflect our Christian tradition but they are also, of course, fundamental human virtues which are universally shared.

Young Carers

YOUNG CARERS LOGOAward silver (5)

The Saint John Henry Newman School Silver Certificate

The Saint John Henry Newman School is committed to develop provisions for young carers and their families.

We are aware of the impact that being a young carer can have on our pupils/students and as such, the whole school is committed to meeting their needs, so that they can enjoy school and achieve their potential.

Students have direct access to support from our designated Young Carers’ School lead, Mrs Grant, who is responsible for identifying and supporting our young carers and their families. Students and families will be made aware of this support via newsletters, assemblies, PSHCE and year group communications.  We actively seek feedback and ideas from young carers and their families to shape and improve support.

As a school, we strive to offer fun activities throughout the year for our Young Carers whereby they can feel supported by staff members and each other, culminating in the annual end of year rounder’s match against the Student Leadership team and staff.

The Saint John Henry Newman School has an effective referral system in place both in school and with relevant external agencies. The school will only share information with professionals and agencies on a need to know basis, in order to support students and their families.


To continue with this theme our young carers have adopted St. Veronica as their patron.

St Veronica

Saint Veronica is not mentioned in the Bible, but is known to us by Catholic tradition and in the Sixth Station of the Cross-, "Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus."

Legend states that as Christ was walking to Calvary, his face dripping with sweat and blood, Saint Veronica, a bystander, was so moved with compassion. She approached Jesus and offered Him a cloth, likely her veil, which He accepted and used to wipe His face.

The image of his face was subsequently, imprinted on the cloth. The cloth is believed to exist today in the Vatican and is considered one of the most treasured relics of the Church.

As for Saint Veronica, she is honoured with a feast on July 12.

Leadership of Young Carers at the Saint John Henry Newman School

Mrs W Howard

Deputy Head pastoral and life skills

Mrs C Grant

Young Carers Coordinator

mental health and wellbeing

Local support

Young Carers in herts

Mental Health & Wellbeing

Personal Development