Jigsaw in action at the Cathedral School

Sponsored: The Cathedral School (CLS) in Cardiff details what it has achieved so far in its Jigsaw journey

Why did CSL introduce the Jigsaw Programme?

We introduced the Jigsaw programme from our desire to find and embed a scheme of work that showed continuity and clear structure. We wanted a new, fresh and current programme that would inspire and engage our pupils. Jigsaw has allowed all pupils throughout the Primary Phase to cover topics at the same time and therefore have a clear message being portrayed from Nursery to Year 6.

What has been the impact of the programme?

Jigsaw brings together, through PHME education, emotional literacy, mindfulness, social skills and spiritual development. Pupils have been engaged by the Jigsaw characters as part of their lessons, enabling them to discuss a range of topics and issues in a safe learning environment.

Jigsaw brings the fun to PHME and is teaching pupils crucial skills that they will need, not just in school but in the wider community and in later life. Since the introduction of Jigsaw there is now a greater emphasis on PHME, with the subject now more meaningful with a sense of awareness of what Jigsaw is and what it is designed to do. Further to this, our Senior Section have recently taken up Jigsaw, enabling us to create a whole school approach to delivering high quality PHME.

We have recently introduced a ‘Digital Worry Berry’ for pupils to use if they wish during lockdown or at any time. The information and data we collect from wellbeing surveys and the Worry Berry allows us to put in place appropriate ‘early interventions’ that help tackle and resolve any query pupils may have. This has been impactful so far and has been a wonderful addition to our PHME and wellbeing provision.

Finally, we have recently launched a @JigsawCSL Twitter account which showcases our pupils’ work. Each week we post examples of work from within our Primary Section, highlighting the excellent learning that is taking place. In addition, it is a fantastic way to make links with our community and others schools, sharing and receiving knowledge to help develop what we are trying to achieve here at CSL.

What has it meant becoming a flagship school?

Becoming a flagship school is a prestigious award and we were the first school in Wales to achieve this. The status is awarded to a Jigsaw school that shows continuing commitment to PHME by fully implementing the Jigsaw, mindful approach to learning. In addition, it needs to show evidence that it fully supports children’s wellbeing, emotional and mental health whilst creating a positive learning community, and sharing that expertise with other schools.

What external links have we made through the programme?

We have created a variety of external links which have befitted both school and pupils. The programme is enhanced further through workshops, organised talks and initiatives. This helps create a powerful learning environment for our pupils. In addition, we have made links with other schools where we hope to visit and share our excellent practice with them. Our aim is to change the face and way PHME is delivered and provide pupils with a new, positive experience of the subject and teach them crucial life skills.

What are examples of activities undertaken this year?

We had a week of focusing on Anti-Bullying and Respect, with the slogan of ‘Throw kindness and respect like confetti’.  Pupils discussed the theme within their lessons and then produced a way they could show these traits on a piece of confetti, which was then used to create a whole school display.

Our kindness initiative saw pupils send a kindness postcard to someone in the school, highlighting how much they care about each other. It also helped them remember how special they are themselves.

We have also created a Dreams and Goals display showing every child’s dreams and goals in life, highlighting the incredible aspirations of our pupils.

Estyn inspection 2018

During our recent inspection, Estyn judged our ‘care, support and guidance’ as ‘excellent’. The Jigsaw programme has been a contributing factor, along with several other aspects of our school that helped us achieve such an excellent report.  Some of the highlights are mentioned below:

  • …to help pupils to develop self-confidence and important life skills such as self-reliance
  • …particularly positive impact on pupils’ performance and wellbeing
  • The revised personal, health and moral education programme in each section of the school also makes a valuable contribution to pupils’ personal development. As they progress through the school, the programme focuses on age-appropriate topics to help pupils prepare for the opportunities, responsibilities and choices they will encounter ahead.

What did our Primary PHME pupil survey say about Jigsaw?

What do you learn about in PHME?

  • “We learn about empathy, like understanding how it feels to be disabled” ​
  • “We learn about self confidence and how to get more”​
  • “We learn about why we are special, about kindness and putting others first”​
  • “We learn about things in life that can go wrong and how we can sort it out”
  • “About how we can act out disappointment and have resilience”​

What’s Jigsaw?​

  • “Jigsaw is about putting your own life puzzle together to help you get more confident”​
  • “We have a piece of a jigsaw [a cuddly toy] that we pass around so that everybody says something”​

What happens in lessons?

  • “We use the chimes to help with our breathing”​
  • “We have calm time”​
  • “There’s a lesson starter (sometimes a game), an activity given to us by the teacher. The activities are sometimes lead by us [pupils]”​
  • “We have circle time with the jigsaw cuddly”​

If you could sum up PHME in three words, what would they be?

  • “Quiet, peaceful, fun​”
  • “Interesting, new, fun”
  • “Kindness, helping, fun​”
  • “Goals, anti-bullying, respect​”

We are really proud of what we have achieved so far in our Jigsaw journey, and we warmly invite you to come and have a look for yourselves.


Jigsaw PSHE is a comprehensive, lesson-a-week spiral programme for personal, social, health education, each lesson having all the resources needed to deliver it. SMSC and British values are mapped to every lesson and the pedagogy is grounded in sound psychology.

Mindfulness philosophy underpins the ages 3-16 through-programme. Jigsaw aims to equip children for life, to build character and nurture well-rounded, compassionate human beings with agency in the world. Relationship with self is the starting point for relationship with others, and this work engenders a community and ethos conducive to learning.

For more information and to sample Jigsaw 3-11/12  and 11-16 materials, visit: www.jigsawpshe.com, email office@janlevergroup.com or call +44 (0)1202 377193.

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