I thought it would be a long time before my son came out of his shell, but over the course of a year, his teacher has transformed this quiet reserved child into a confident and inquisitive little boy.

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The Objectives

The aim of the PSHEE programme is to provide the means for each student to develop personally, socially and emotionally as well as academically.

Our goal is to ensure that each individual child is given access to the skills and knowledge that will enable him to feel and be safe and healthy in and out of school, and to develop into a positive member of the school community and wider society. 

The Methods

Whilst there is always room to explore and discuss such issues within any timetabled lesson, and indeed teachers are encouraged to so, we agree with the nationally accepted guidelines that give regular timetabled slots to the teaching of PSHEE as a separate subject.

In the same way that a science teacher would not expect a child to know all about the Periodic Table before it has been taught, it is not reasonable to expect children to know how to behave in a socially acceptable way before they have been taught the principles.  We take for granted, maybe too much, that our students should “just know” not to call each other rude names, not to take things that do not belong to them or understand that the ‘differentness’ within and between cultures is what makes them exciting and interesting.  PSHEE at The Beacon is designed to narrow the gap between what we, as educated adults, expect from the children in our care and how they actually behave.

The Topic Areas

The PSHEE year is split into five sections; the title of each phase of work is sufficiently broad to incorporate many and varied ideas and topics.  Each year group follows the same basic topic area, but obviously with a different emphasis and level of depth according to age.

The topic areas are as follows:

  1. Good Citizenship
  2. Fun and Festivals
  3. A Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body
  4. Strong Love
  5. One World, Same Sky

PSHEE in Pre-Prep

The aim of PSHEE in Pre-Prep is to make the boys aware of good self-esteem and through this we believe the boys will be respectful to people, property and the world around them. We hope that they will learn to make positive choices and be able to cope with success as well as set backs.

They will be aware that their feelings, ideas and differences are respected and accepted by others.  From this they will gain greater confidence and become happy and secure about life and the future.

The basis for this comes through The Five Outcomes From Every Child Matters and the Six Golden Rules:-

                   Being Healthy
                   Staying Safe
                   Enjoying and Achieving
                   Making a Positive Contribution
                   Achieving Economic Well Being

  1. Do be kind and helpful – don’t hurt people’s feelings
  2. Do be gentle – don’t hurt anybody
  3. Do listen – don’t interrupt
  4. Do work hard – don’t waste your time or other people’s time
  5. Do be honest – don’t cover up the truth
  6. Do look after property – don’t waste or damage things.

These rules are posted in all classes and are constantly referred to.  Each week one of these rules is the theme for that week’s lesson and assembly.

The Conclusions

There are many wonderful things about PSHEE.  The discussion based nature of the subject and the fact that there are seldom right-or-wrong answers to be arrived at mean that the less academic students often have a chance to shine.  Teachers are encouraged to look for such instances and to encourage students to speak their minds openly, without fear of ridicule.

PSHEE themes are linked with the assemblies and indeed any other pastoral events that take place in any given week.  There are plenty of opportunities for boys to become involved in this area of school life and there are chances for all boys to share their ideas on the issues that are raised in this subject.

Tom Nicholls
Head of PSHEE