What is PSHCE?
PSHCE is not just a set of initials – although as the latest government initiative hits the postboxes it may sometimes feel like that! Personal, Social, Health and Citizenship Education is about preparing pupils for life and enabling them to develop into well-informed, healthy adults and useful members of their community. A tall order! But we hope that with the support of their homes, our pupils are already at least half way to making informed independent decisions about the issues affecting them at school and in society.
From Year 7 to Year 13 they are given guidance and provided with resources in six main areas:
- Health (including drugs, sex and relationships education)
- Study Skills
Who teaches Citizenship and PSHE?
First and foremost, of course, parents! Every child comes to us from a family and each of our students’ individual background and needs is very much in our minds when we devise the PSHCE courses.
At school, PSHCE is inevitably closely linked with the Pastoral programme, and nearly every member of staff is responsible for some part of PSHCE.
- Form tutors take most PSHCE sessions with their forms
- The Head of Citizenship & PSHE, Ms Mari Girling, coordinates the programme across the senior department and liaises with the Junior School
- Mrs Frances Townend assists Ms Girling in the planning and implementation of PSHCE lessons.
- The Head of Sixth Form, Miss Rachael Pallas-Brown advises on and monitors the PSHCE programme in the sixth form
- Dr Sarah Squire, Head of Upper School, Miss Julie Bramall, Head of Years Eight and Nine, and Miss Sue Berry, Head of Year Seven, all participate actively in the running and content of PSHCE sessions in their sections
- The Head of Student Health, Mrs Denise Flannery, is an invaluable part of the team. She takes lessons throughout the school on physical health and wellbeing
- The School Doctor, Dr Godlee, is always available for advice and comes into school for specific sessions
- The Head of Careers, Mrs Angela Finch, liaises closely with the PSHCE programme in providing Careers Education throughout the Senior Department
- Mrs Jane Berry coordinates charity work throughout the school
- The school caterers, Avenance, are an invaluable element of the nutrition element of PSHCE
- Invited speakers deliver specialist sessions, for example DRED UK lead Year 9 and Year 10 sessions on harmful substances, and the Driving Standards Association talk to Year 12 about road safety
- Outside groups provide stimulating and exciting enrichment sessions; for example, we are included in Oxfordshire County Council’s theatre in education programme. Year 7 are able to enjoy “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?” at the same time getting the message about individual responsibility
What resources are there?
There is a well-stocked section of the main library. The School Nurse and the Head of PSHCE both have a library of resources for staff to consult and where appropriate for girls to use. Outside agencies provide up to date literature. Newspapers, magazines, television and radio are constant sources of fresh information. There is a good selection of suitable videos. We avoid worksheets, instead focusing on information, discussion, drama and project work.
What timetable allocation is there?
There is one dedicated 35 minute session per week. There are occasional off-timetable activities for different year groups, such as J8 in Year 10 and MUNGA in the Sixth Form. Citizenship in particular is addressed in assemblies, in the course of subject teaching and in the general life of the school: school council, form assistants, Amnesty club, People and Planet – the list could be very long indeed. Year 12 has European Day and Citizenship Day after Mocks in the summer. Every form adopts a Charity and we create a Giving Week display in the Summer.