What does PSHE look like in a modern school environment?

PSHE (1)By Alice Hinks, Head of PSHE

If you were asked, ‘what is your memory of PSHE at school?’, you might conjure images of awkward sex education lessons featuring cucumbers and condoms, or uncomfortable teachers handing out sample packs of tampons without explanation of how to use them.

 

I’m pleased to report we have come a LONG way since then. PSHE lessons at Redmaids’ High, cover everything from self-defence, The 2010 Equality Act, budgeting, mental health, sexual health and much, much more.

 

The study of PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) has experienced somewhat of a revival in recent years. Following the introduction of the statutory delivery of health, relationship and sex education in the summer of 2020, the subject has been given a real opportunity to evolve.

 

The range of skills developed in PSHE is enormous. These are skills and attributes which help students to stay healthy, safe and prepare them for life and work in the modern world. Students are encouraged to express their opinions and feelings, whilst listening to and respecting those around them. They are taught how to build safe and healthy relationships.

 

Our lessons are varied and engaging, encouraging learning in different ways. Below are a few examples of what PSHE at Redmaids’ High looks like.

 

Visiting speakers

We welcome speakers from numerous fantastic organisations. We host talks from student ambassadors of the charity, Just Like Us who speak to Year 9 about their journey as part of the LGBT+ community. We invite representatives from The School of Sexuality Education to talk to students in Year 9, 10 and 11 about sexual health and consent, and host Deanna Puccio of The RAP Project to discuss topics like the Everyone’s Invited movement and public sexual harassment. We host other specialists too, who are often part of our parent or alumnae community, such as police detectives, medical professionals and NGO employees. These volunteers have all delivered engaging and thoughtful talks which successfully support our curriculum.

 

Reacting to the current climate

The past eighteen months has seen a sharp increase in mental health concerns amongst teenagers across the country. In response to this, key members of school staff have trained as youth mental health first aiders, learning how to deal with an array of mental health concerns. The curriculum has also been adapted to recognise this need. Having qualified as a Mindfulness in Schools Practitioner myself, the Year 7 programme has been adapted to include a specific mindfulness theme to support the transition to secondary school during this unpredictable climate.

 

Listening to our students

We regularly ask the students for feedback on their lessons and visiting speakers. This allows us to adapt content accordingly and strengthen delivery of sensitive topics. We also use this as an opportunity to assess their progress in the various topics, which in turn can direct future lessons for the cohort. Due to the relative flexibility in content delivery, we ask students at the start of each year what topics are important to them and adapt our schemes of learning to incorporate these. An example includes looking at the menopause and pelvic floor health which Year 11 students felt was an important addition to their learning.

 

Hands on

Students learn in a variety of different ways. Some are visual learners, whereas some prefer kinaesthetic activities for example. PSHE lends itself extremely well to ‘hands on’ activities. This could be parenting a ‘baby simulator’ for a weekend (a highlight of the Year 10 programme for students, perhaps not the ‘grandparents!’), learning the importance of self-checks using medical grade anatomy models, or weighing the sugar content in some of our favourite soft drinks. We use ‘drunk goggles’ to simulate inebriation and provide opportunities for students to explore a variety of contraception models. We know that these activities are successful ways of developing their knowledge and understanding in the classroom.

 

Tutor programme and beyond

Our strong pastoral system acts as a perfect vehicle to continue the work covered in the PSHE classroom. Each year group follows a well-planned pastoral programme and works closely with the PSHE department to ensure a collaborative approach. Across the wider curriculum, subject leaders have identified where their schemes of learning also support PSHE and share resources appropriately. Where PSHE is successful, topics covered at school continue to be discussed at home providing another viewpoint, experience and even expertise on certain subject areas. We share details of upcoming units of work at the beginning of each half term in the school bulletin and regularly update the PSHE page on the school hub.

 

We understand that content for this subject can be sensitive and even trigger unexpected emotions for students and also for parents. We would always encourage you to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to discuss our lesson content further. Schemes of learning and our PSHE/RSE policy is all available on the policies section of the school website.

 

Learn more about of PSHE programme and everything else our school has to offer at our next Open Morning on Tuesday 9 November.

 

Book a visit 

Date Posted: 26 October, 2021

Articles for: Senior, The World Beyond, PSHE

A day at the museum | Redmaids' High School

A day at the museum | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 28 January, 2020
 
READ MORE
Father Christmas pays a visit | Redmaids' High School

Father Christmas pays a visit | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 8 December, 2020
 
READ MORE
The value of exploratory science  | Redmaids' High School

The value of exploratory science  | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 24 October, 2021
by Mr Hayward, Teacher and Junior School Science Coordinator. It is so important to give our young scientists the...
READ MORE
Pencil cases for Peru | Redmaids' High School

Pencil cases for Peru | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 30 November, 2020
 
READ MORE
A winning netball season  | Redmaids' High School

A winning netball season | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 12 March, 2020
 
READ MORE
It's wonderful to be back adventuring!  | Redmaids' High School

It's wonderful to be back adventuring! | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 27 April, 2021
 
READ MORE
Success for our Junior and Senior judo teams  | Redmaids' High School

Success for our Junior and Senior judo teams | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 14 February, 2020
 
READ MORE
Bristol Old Vic perform Macbeth for juniors | Redmaids' High School

Bristol Old Vic perform Macbeth for juniors | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 5 February, 2020
 
READ MORE
Taking the plunge  | Redmaids' High School

Taking the plunge | Redmaids' High School

Date Posted: 2 October, 2020
 
READ MORE
Shortlisted for excellence in the performing arts

Shortlisted for excellence in the performing arts

Date Posted: 9 July, 2021
We are delighted to announce that the Redmaids’ High Junior School has been shortlisted for an Independent School...
READ MORE
New large-scale artwork unveiled

New large-scale artwork unveiled

Date Posted: 14 September, 2021
The Junior School Art Department is proud to introduce a fabulous new addition.   Hathi the elephant, kindly named by...
READ MORE
Sixth Formers to stage production at pop-up theatre

Sixth Formers to stage production at pop-up theatre

Date Posted: 21 September, 2021
Here at Redmaids' High we pride ourselves on top quality theatrical performance, regularly putting on sell out shows in...
READ MORE
Special guests visit the Junior School

Special guests visit the Junior School

Date Posted: 8 October, 2021
Our Year 3 and 4 girls had great fun today meeting Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre - both of whom are writers and...
READ MORE
WOW! What a day

WOW! What a day

Date Posted: 18 October, 2021
Last week, every pupil in the Junior School had a break from normal lessons, to enjoy an action-packed, highly...
READ MORE
Science competition winners

Science competition winners

Date Posted: 9 November, 2021
News Hot off the Press: Our Junior School team has beaten stiff competition from across the area to win the area heat...
READ MORE
Bringing history to life  

Bringing history to life  

Date Posted: 20 November, 2021
To support their study of the Victorian period, the whole of Year 6 spent a morning at school, but not a day as they...
READ MORE
National orienteering success

National orienteering success

Date Posted: 26 November, 2021
Both the Junior and Senior School orienteering teams swept the board at the British Schools’ Orienteering...
READ MORE
Awesome astronomy

Awesome astronomy

Date Posted: 29 November, 2021
Our Junior School girls took full advantage of an astronomy evening held at the senior school recently.  
READ MORE
Support for our Junior School Library

Support for our Junior School Library

Date Posted: 5 January, 2022
By all accounts our Year 5 librarians are doing a sterling job.
READ MORE
Junior School carol service

Junior School carol service

Date Posted: 9 December, 2021
Our annual Junior School Christmas Carol Service provided a wonderful opportunity for us to gather together as a...
READ MORE
Click here to view all news articles