Preparing pupils for life beyond school is about ensuring they develop the skills needed to make safe, informed choices, be comfortable with themselves and respect the diversity of people around them. We want pupils to develop the skills to help them become responsible, respectful, caring citizens of the communities they are part of.
PSHE lessons provide a safe forum for developing confidence and understanding of some key life skills. In particular, pupils learn to develop an emotionally and physically healthy, safer lifestyle and form good relationships. PSHE also helps pupils become independent in both their thoughts and actions, while developing empathy for those around them.
PHSE lessons are timetabled, with one period per fortnight for Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. The Year 11 programme also includes a detailed course with a careers and applications focus. We teach PSHE in tutor groups in most years, to encourage an open discussion in which everyone has a chance to express their ideas and opinions, whilst also forging a valuable relationship with a carefully chosen member of staff.
Beyond the timetabled lessons, aspects of PSHE are also embedded within tutorial time, assembly, in lots of academic subjects and in any school activity which is concerned with personal and social skills and happiness. The Department invites experts into school to talk to year groups, and – through sessions organised by the PPA – to parents, on issues such as personal safety, puberty, social media use and alcohol. Often in the format of workshops, drama and Q&A sessions, the pupil sessions provide another way of learning and of expressing yourself, as well as reinforcing PSHE messages.
Citizenship issues can also be found across the curriculum in subjects such as geography, English and religious studies and are intrinsic to our ethos and learning environment.