Delivering PSHE

Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education

Delivering PSHE – Personal, Social, Health and Economic education underpins children’s growth and development into the adult world of relationships, careers and finance. The value and importance of human relationships cannot be emphasised enough. We all know that poverty, deprivation and low self esteem lead to underperformance. Through delivering PSHE education, you can raise the self-esteem of your students which will support their academic achievement. Make your students feel like somebody, even if they believe they’re not. How powerful our world would be if every person was unafraid to take risks.

PSHE in the curriculum

“All schools should make provision for delivering personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE)” DfE 2013. Due to the nature of PSHE, the DfE do not dictate a specific framework or programme of study to follow but do advise to draw on good practice. This allows educators to cater for the specific needs of students. It can be confusing when deciding what to deliver, as while the DfE have not made PSHE a statutory subject, it is advised that PSHE and SRE should be taught in schools and the 2015 Ofsted inspection handbook (p48) states that a “review of the personal, social and health education (PSHE) curriculum and how it links to issues of safety and pupils’ welfare” will form part of the evidence section 8 evidence base. This means it’s essential to have a clearly planned PSHE curriculum, covering a range of safety topics and linking to whole school initiatives.

Content

Generating content for delivering PSHE to the whole school is a big task. It’s incredibly important in ensuring the well-being and due care of students. Typically as a subject in it’s own right, PSHE can account for proportionally less timetable time and is delivered by all staff opposed to one small dedicated faculty. An effective solution to ensure best practice, consistency in approach and high quality learning of PSHE education is to provide non specialist teaching staff with high quality lessons and teaching resources.

Using externally provided resources and lesson bundles can be far more effective and ensures well planned content and ease of delivery, without impacting on teacher planning and preparation time.

Effective PSHE

There are several common themes which the DfE advice effective practice in delivering PSHE education should adopt:

  • Take a whole-school approach, engaging pupils across the curriculum while creating an environment, through the school ethos, which fosters good relationships and well-being for pupils and teachers alike.
  • When delivering PSHE, include lessons which are interactive, participative and engaging; pupils’ views should be sought and older children can be involved in the development of curriculum programmes.
  • Have lessons with clear objectives, taught by someone who is trained and comfortable in their role.
  • Be inclusive of difference, including other cultures, ethnicity, disability, faith, age, sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Start early and take a developmental approach; relevant to pupils’ depending on their age and maturity.
  • Ensure coherence, teamwork – including involvement from other agencies (where appropriate), parents, governors and members of the wider community.
  • Have support from the head teacher and senior management team, which reflects a respect for PSHE education and PSHE coordinators within their school.
  • An element of evaluation and monitoring of both pupil and teachers’ perceptions of what leads to increased knowledge and engagement and, where possible, attempt to assess longer term outcomes.

Timetabling

PSHE can be delivered though subject departments such as Religious Studies or, tutor time can be lengthened to allow delivery of key material. Schools are free to choose, as long as PSHE education needs are provided for (section 2.5). Many outstanding schools choose to timetable a dedicated lesson per week or fortnight to PSHE and combine this lesson with SMSC content, to ensure that learning in these areas is high quality and dedicated. Devoting more time to developing students social growth pays dividends in academic progress and behaviour for learning.

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