Personal Social and Health Education
Teenagers are now growing up in a busy, challenging and heavily technology-based world, and the PSHE curriculum at King’s is designed to allow them the opportunity to discuss how they are developing personally and socially within this environment. A team of teachers guide pupils through a variety of age-appropriate topics, helping them to develop their own core values, build strong relationships with others, and make informed decisions in a safe environment. Above all, pupils gain an understanding of diversity and differences, both in school and in the wider world, developing respect for themselves and others.
PSHE is taught in timetabled weekly, or fortnightly lessons for the Third, Fourth and Fifth Form, and there are also supplementary talks and workshops given by outside specialists on a broad range of topics. Most recently these have included:
- A talk from PC Alderman on Internet safety.
- A talk from an OA on her personal experience of dealing with a mental health issue.
- A workshop led by Exeter University medical students covering relationships and sex, self-harm, stress and eating disorders.
- ‘Alphabet of a Teenager’ drama production.
In the Lower Sixth we run a Key Skills course. Every pupil attends a variety of workshops on higher education choices, careers, PSHE, and study and examination skills. This course is designed to develop skills, broaden experience, and complement academic courses. The PSHE element involves discussion of alcohol, drugs, sex education and maintaining good mental health, and is supplemented by visiting speakers during the year. Most recently these have included talks on personal safety from a local PC, a driving safety workshop led by Somerset Road Safety, and a talk by an OA on mental health.
We promote the active involvement of pupils in all sessions. Pupils develop enquiry and discussion skills, learn to make decisions, solve problems, work independently and in groups, and learn from each other. Presentations and debates are often pupil-led, and as issues in the wider world arise, we include these in our discussions or activities.
Discussion of sensitive, controversial and often challenging issues takes place in lessons, where classes develop their own ground rules with their teacher so that discussions are positive, sensitive, and all pupils' opinions and contributions are appreciated. Since PSHE is a subject that is all-encompassing, some topics are then followed up with further discussions in tutorials and in houses. If pupils wish to talk to someone individually, they can speak to their Housemaster/Housemistress, their tutor, the Medical Centre, the Independent Listener, or the Deputy Head (Pastoral).