October 2017

The know zone

  • Diversity in focus
    Anna Cole highlights the latest initiatives on equality and diversity at ASCL and in the wider sector. More
  • Where's the money?
    New 16-19 money is apparently on its way but will schools see any of it? Kevin Gilmartin examines government post-16 funding pledges. More
  • To pay or not to pay?
    Sara Ford explains the real implications of the STRB's recommendations on teacher pay. More
  • Let's talk about SATs
    Last year's Key Stage 2 SATs results generated more questions than they answered. One year on, has the dust settled? Julie McCulloch takes a look. More
  • We need to talk...
    How do you teach personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) at your school? What approaches do you take? What topics do you focus on? Is your school teaching PSHE in an innovative way? Here ASCL members have their say... More
  • Leaders' surgery
    Hotline advice expressed here, and in calls to us, is made in good faith to our members. Schools and colleges should always take formal HR or legal advice from their indemnified provider before acting. More
  • Take back control
    Former school leader Ross Morrison McGill said that during his time as a leader, he experienced eight Ofsted inspections under various frameworks and goalposts. Yet, he says, one factor has always remained consistent in each of them: anxiety. More
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How do you teach personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) at your school? What approaches do you take? What topics do you focus on? Is your school teaching PSHE in an innovative way? Here ASCL members have their say…

We need to talk...

The whole village

At our school, we have developed an innovative way of producing and delivering a PSHE programme, based on the concept that ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. As we have vertical tutor groups and no spare time on the timetable, we decided to dedicate one week each half-term to PSHE.

We combine the five 20-minute registration slots for that week with our first lesson. PSHE is delivered by the teachers who teach classes in this lesson. We deliver a programme that was written collaboratively by the whole staff, working in pastoral teams. Using the PSHE association curriculum, teachers within each of our four houses work with their pastoral colleagues to write the lessons and then share their lesson plans and resources on our virtual learning environment (VLE).

The end result is a PSHE curriculum that reflects the skills, strengths and interests of our different teachers, who have ownership of the programme. Pupils have found the programme to be varied and interesting and it has allowed our teachers to be the ‘elders of the village’ in which our pupils grow up.

Gill Jackson
Headteacher, Archbishop Temple School, Preston, Lancashire

Passionate approach

In our school, we have a passion for promoting the importance of health and wellbeing, and the part that it can play in developing a range of skills in order to help students succeed inside and outside of the classroom. We have developed a curriculum for our Year 7 and Year 9 students that focuses on particular issues such as mental health, being active, and the importance of having hobbies, positive relationships and much more. All Year 7 and Year 9 students receive one hour a week to focus on their health and wellbeing, and look at ways that they can apply what is being taught to their everyday lives.

All other year groups in our school take an active role in our tutor programme for 30 minutes on one afternoon each week, where all aspects of PSHE are taught, and they spend 20 minutes each morning looking at particular current PSHE aspects.

James Burns
Teacher of PE, Ashington High School, Ashington, Northumberland

Student voice

PSHE is delivered in our school either through citizenship education at Key Stage 3 or in Year 9 during social studies. At Key Stage 4 it is delivered through form time and as drop-down days. As a cooperative academy, values such as self-responsibility and self-help underpin every lesson.

Students are engaged in innovative and creative lessons on issues such as body image, grooming, domestic violence, sexuality and drugs/alcohol. Students are not simply taught the basics about what to do or not to do; rather they are given the opportunity to debate and discuss the spiritual, moral, social and cultural factors surrounding these controversial topics. We empower students to learn how to make healthy, safe and responsible choices, and teach them about the consequences and impacts of their actions on the wider community.

Using student voice, we seek to make sure that we keep ‘up to speed’ with the latest trends, issues and topics facing young people in Britain today.

Effie Soumelidis Simms
Head of Citizenship, Social Studies and Religious Studies, Manchester Creative and Media Academy