Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education (PSHCE)
Schools must provide a curriculum which:
- Promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society,
- Prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
PSHCE is essential to such a curriculum and to meeting schools’ requirement to promote students’ well-being.
At Kendrick School, PSHCE and Citizenship are combined; both subjects are vital to the life of the school. The main aim of PSHCE teaching and the tutorial system is to aid the Personal and Social development of the students. Recent research shows that PSHE plays an important role in supporting young people’s well-being, and Citizenship Education provides students with the knowledge, skills and understanding to play a full and active part in society.
PSHCE at Kendrick School seeks to support and nurture the values of the Kendrick Pledge, and many of the qualities of the pledge form the essence of PSHCE.
‘We, the students, staff and friends of Kendrick School, pledge to uphold the values of friendship, kindness and respect. We promise to stand against prejudice, ignorance and injustice in all forms, promoting the values of equality, tolerance and justice for all.’
The overarching aim of all PSHCE lessons is to provide students with accurate information and relevant knowledge, in order to turn that knowledge into personal understanding. Lessons will give opportunities to explore, clarify and if necessary, challenge their own and others’ values, attitudes, rights and responsibilities. PSHCE aims to give students the skills and strategies they need in order to live healthy, safe, fulfilling, responsible and balanced lives.
At Kendrick we work to develop emotional well-being and a healthy life style in each student so that they will achieve their potential in a better learning environment. We also hope that PSHCE will promote better behaviour management and a responsible school society.
The key concepts of PSHE are:
- Health and Well-Being
- Living in the Wider World
The key concepts of Citizenship are:
- Democracy and Justice
- Rights and responsibilities
- Identity and diversity
From these lists it is apparent that many topics have overlapping elements of both PSHE and Citizenship.
The PSHCE programme
All students have tutor-led PSHCE lessons on a Thursday Week B in the students’ form room, and most year groups have an extra lesson led by PSHCE specialist teachers. In every year group the course deals with a number of topics which are relevant to girls at that stage of their development, and it also provides structured activities and interactive learning which help teacher and students to talk and listen more to each other.
Through evaluation and feedback sessions, students are involved in the planning of the PSHCE programme. PSHE subjects include Family relationships and Friendships, Stress and Resilience, Drugs and Alcohol, Understanding Money, and Relationships and Sex Education (the one compulsory element of the curriculum).
Topics have been introduced which have more relevance for the 21st century student e.g. Sexting, Eating disorders, Mental Health, LGBT, Consent, Radicalisation and Extremism. PSHCE provides an important opportunity for learning about healthy relationships; it also helps to develop safeguarding skills so that students can apply their knowledge to reduce risk and develop strategies for coping with the challenges of life. PSHCE is taught on a spiral curriculum, where topics are introduced in younger years and then revisited with more information and at more challenging levels in later years, thus meeting the personal developmental needs of the students.
In PSHCE, there is an ongoing review of lessons, as lessons have to be flexible to respond to students’ needs and also to news and current affairs e.g. commemoration and remembrance for WWI, and a mock referendum before the EU vote. We have regular visits from our Education Police Officer, PC Lesley Wakelin, and there are visits from other specialist speakers, particularly in Years 10-13. There are often opportunities for students to engage with contemporary issues through a production from a visiting theatre company.
PSHCE lessons also cover topics to do with exam preparation and study skills, such as time management and revision techniques.
In Years 8, 10 and 11, students take part in a group Citizenship project when they research a current affairs or controversial issue and present it to the rest of the form group. This helps to fulfil the requirements of the Citizenship curriculum, which is statutory (unlike PSHE, at present).
Tutor time gives an opportunity for the tutor to discuss with the students any topical issues or controversial issues in the news. There are also many other ways in which students can develop PSHCE skills e.g. in organising and leading form assemblies, taking part in the school council, commitment to school sports’ teams or musical ensembles, voting in school elections, running charity weeks..
PSHCE lessons at Kendrick School provide a safe and supportive learning environment where students can develop the confidence to ask questions, contribute their own experience, challenge ideas, and put what they have learned into practice in their own lives. PSHCE is linked with the pastoral system, and together with many other subjects helps the students to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding they need to fulfill their potential, whether at school, home or in the community.
Kendrick students are active citizens. They participate in negotiation and decision-making, such as in school council, House activities, Healthy Schools Task Group, Mock Trial, charity events, the inter-form dance competition, sports, performing arts and a wide range of extra-curricular activities. In addition to our regular charity weeks organised by year groups, we respond spontaneously and generously to particular disasters that occur.
Citizenship involves learning about how the United Kingdom is run, so that eventually students can play their role as informed citizens. They should know enough about the various political parties to be able to vote, and even stand for government themselves. They practise democracy through voting for school councillors, in mock elections and for a charity for their form to support. We also encourage an understanding of international and global issues such as fair trade, refugees and asylum seekers and the environment, often through themed days.
Pupils are encouraged to consider controversial issues by analysing information and its sources, including the Internet. They justify opinions orally and in writing and contribute to exploratory group discussions, debates and presentations. They are encouraged to express their views clearly and sensitively, listening to and thinking carefully about the views of others. The same guidelines for balanced and thoughtful discussion which are established in PHSCE are endorsed in Citizenship.
Mrs Claire Lace - PSHCE Coordinator