What is Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education?

PSHE education is a specific school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain. Evidence shows that well-delivered PSHE programmes have an impact on both academic and non-academic outcomes for pupils, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. In George Salter Academy all tutors are given regular training and deliver PSHE to their tutor group.  This has the double advantage of ensuring staff are well prepared to deliver these sensitive topics but also have the established and positive relationships with the students that are more likely to illicit thoughtful, open and honest responses.

Our Programme of Study for PSHE education aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, teamworking and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including British Values, Citizenship, economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education).

The national curriculum also states that "all schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice". PSHE education is essential to Ofsted judgements in relation to personal development, behaviour, welfare and safeguarding. GSA was judged Good for this in its last Ofsted inspection in 2017 with comments such as: "Pupils benefit from an extensive and wide-ranging programme that helps them learn about ways to keep themselves safe and well. This includes mental health, knife crime and the risks posed by extreme views. Opportunities to contribute to pupils’ personal social and health education and promote British values are carefully mapped and effectively delivered through the curriculum."

From 2021 the relationships and health aspects of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools.

Sex & Relationships Education

From 2020/21 RSE is compulsory within all Secondary Schools. It covers the following topics: Different types of relationships; Sex, sexual health and sexuality; How to recognise, understand and build healthy relationships; The effect of relationships on health and wellbeing, and Healthy and safe online relationships.

We already deliver the agreed content through our re-modelled curriculum. The majority of RSE, most particularly the relationships side, is delivered through PSHE both in the weekly lessons but also in the drop down PSHE days. We use the input of experienced groups such as the Sandwell Brook Advisory Service for assemblies for all year groups but have also trained specialist teams of staff to ensure our lessons are delivered confidently, sensitively and effectively. We also use the expertise of our Safeguarding lead to ensure we are amplifying the learning in areas of RSE that are a particular issue in our local community. We also use our compulsory RE programme to deliver aspects of relationship education.

Many of the physical and biological aspects of our RSE programme are delivered through the science curriculum. Please find our RSE Policy linked at the bottom of the page.

Health Education

The aim of physical health and mental wellbeing is to:

Ensure students understand the relationship between good physical health and good mental wellbeing. Give students the information they need to make well-informed, positive choices and good decisions about their own health and wellbeing. Help students to recognise what is normal, and what is an issue, and when these arise, how to seek support from appropriate sources.  Students should know the contribution that hobbies, interests and participation in their own communities can make to their overall wellbeing.

PSHE education helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage many of the critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face as they grow up and in adulthood.

By teaching pupils to stay safe and healthy, and by building self-esteem, resilience and empathy, an effective PSHE programme can tackle barriers to learning, raise aspirations, and improve the life chances of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils.

There is evidence to show that PSHE education can address teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, and emotional health. The skills and attributes developed through PSHE education are also shown to increase academic attainment and attendance rates, particularly among pupils eligible for free school meals, as well as improve employability and boost social mobility. A significant proportion of the Careers Education programme (see relevant section of the web-site) is delivered through PSHE.

There are an increasing number of issues emerging in society, including mental health and wellbeing, relationships and safety, and online behaviours…  PSHE addresses these.

In order to maximise its impact PSHE is delivered as a curriculum subject with one lesson a week for all Year groups.  The PSHE lesson is delivered by tutors and works in conjunction with other aspects of our Personal Development programme delivered in tutor time such as British Values through a weekly Votesforschools debate, Character Education and a weekly themed Assembly.  In addition the Academy has two flexible learning days for PSHE which allow us to maximise the use of external partners such as local universities and businesses, the Brook Advisory Service for sexual health and well being, Safeguarding groups, theatre groups and local organisations such as the police and the school nurse.   

All PSHE content is mapped against the statutory requirements of RSE and Health Education, as well as the requirements of Career Education, Citizenship and aspects of Safeguarding.  The materials have been planned by a team of specialists and are programmed into curriculum maps which develop learning through a spiral with students returning to re-visit the various aspects to learn the age-appropriate content.  Individual units are planned by specialist staff to ensure they are relevant and of a high quality.   These staff also train Tutors in the delivery of the units to maximise its impact.  Where issues arise in the Academy or the local community modifications are made to the programme to help students deal with the problem.  For instance following the return of all students to full time education following the Covid lockdown in September 2020 all students followed a six week programme to maximise their Mental Health and Well Being.

The PSHE programme also allows students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the important issues delivered through the themes by controlled use of oracy and debates, student presentations, experiential learning and working with a range of professionals in different contexts, many of whom are not teachers.

In addition to the PSHE days we ensure students have experience of a full range of British Values through the use of a weekly, national debating site by all year groups – Votes for Schools – in tutor time; the strategic use of assemblies for important scheduled events such as Black History Month, Remembrance Sunday and Anti-Bullying Week as well as unscheduled events usually of a safeguarding nature arising from our confidential student voice and close behaviour monitoring.

Cross curricular opportunities to examine important aspects of PSHE are mapped so that students learning in PSHE is reinforced in their other subjects.