Personal, social and health education (PSHE) helps to give children and young people the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. At Merton Bank, we aim to help our pupils understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We offer learning opportunities across and beyond the curriculum, in specific lessons as well as in assemblies, circle time, special school projects and other activities that enrich pupils’ experiences.
The teaching of PSHE enables us to equip our children to become independent and responsible members of society. We encourage our pupils to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In doing so, we help their sense of self-worth. We teach them how society is organised and governed. We ensure that they experience the process of democracy in school through the Junior leadership Team elections. We teach them about rights and responsibilities. They learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a diverse multicultural society.
The aims of PSHE, SEAL and citizenship are to enable children to:
- Know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
- Be aware of safety issues
- Understand what makes for good relationships with others
- Have respect for others
- Be independent and responsible members of the school community
- Be positive and active members of a democratic society
- Develop self-confidence and self-esteem, and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues
- Develop good relationships with other members of the school and the wider community.
We teach PSHE in a variety of ways using a range of teaching and learning styles. We place an emphasis on active learning by including the children in discussions, debates, investigations and problem solving activities. We encourage children to take part in a range of practical activities that promote active citizenship, e.g. charity fundraising, the planning of special school events, such as an assembly, or involvement in an activity to help other individuals or groups less fortunate than themselves. Charities and events that the school regularly contributes to are McMillan Cancer Care, The Poppy Appeal, Jeans for Genes. We organise classes in such a way that pupils are able to participate in discussion to resolve conflicts or set agreed classroom rules of behaviour. We offer children the opportunity to hear visiting speakers, such as health workers, police and representatives from charities whom we invite into the school to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive local community.
Sometimes, e.g. when dealing with issues in drugs education or sex education, we teach PSHE as a discrete subject.
On other occasions, we introduce PSHE topics through teaching in other subjects. For example, when teaching about local environmental issues in geography, we offer pupils the opportunity to find out who is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of local parks and cycle paths. Also, as there is a large overlap between the programme of study for religious education and the aims of PSHE, we deliver a considerable amount of the PSHE curriculum through our religious education lessons. We also develop PSHE through various activities and whole-school events, e.g. the Junior Leadership Team representatives from each class meet regularly to discuss school matters.
Through our teaching of PSHE we will develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, teamworking and critical thinking in the context of our four core themes: developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities; preparing to play an active role as citizens; developing a healthy, safer lifestyle; and relationships and differences. These are necessary skills that will enable them to succeed whilst at Merton Bank and beyond. Our curriculum helps to develop a knowledge and understanding of the important issues that they may encounter in world that we live in as they grow up.