The Education Act 2002 requires all schools to teach a curriculum that is "broadly based, balanced and meets the needs of pupils". Schools must "promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepare pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life" while having a duty to keep pupils safe. At City Academy Whitehawk, we understand the crucial role PSHE plays in the education of our young people and how it is central to our school achieving our duties.
For children to be able to navigate, participate and stay safe in our world, it is crucial that we teach them the skills to do so. This means that every child at our school takes part in lessons that teach the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. By knowing these, we can help prepare the children physically, emotionally, socially, mentally, and intellectually for their future. We want to ensure children grow as healthy individuals who can make informed decisions about their lives.
We have created a long-term plan which covers all key aspects of the National Curriculum objectives for PSHE. A dedicated space in the school timetable has been created to ensure that children are given the opportunity to explore these skills in a safe and secure way.
There is a significant focus on emotional wellbeing in our lessons and in many areas of the work we do in school. There is a large and growing body of research that suggests emotionally healthy children do better at school. Our PSHE lessons help our children to achieve their potential by supporting their wellbeing and tackling issues that can affect their ability to learn, such as anxiety and unhealthy relationships. Our lessons also help pupils to develop skills and aptitudes - like teamwork, communication, and resilience - that are crucial to navigating the challenges and opportunities of the modern world, and are increasingly valued by employers.
During this challenging time, we have recognised the opportunity PSHE gives us to promote the life skills children need to have to adapt to the ever-changing routines we are all learning to live with. When school fully reopened in September, we dedicated the first half hour of every day to PSHE. For two weeks, all children took part in a daily PSHE lessons where their worries were addressed, and we focused on skills that we felt were important to enable children to come back to school successfully. This dedicated PSHE time, along with a focus on a learning curriculum that meets the needs and interests of our children, contributed to an extremely successful reopening where our children were so happy and settled back at school. This model will be used again, if and when schools experience a full or partial closure. The dedicated PSHE lesson, each morning, will be used to focus on the skills we feel the children need to successfully come back to school. These skills may be different for different year groups and teachers will make those decisions based on their detailed knowledge of their class.