Citizenship and PSHE Curriculum Philosophy
We teach Citizenship and PSHE because we believe every child deserves to be prepared for the challenges life presents, both now and in the future. We believe that both positive and negative life events serve to shape young people. These life events are themselves learning episodes. We believe we have done our jobs well when young people are confident, curious, cautious, discerning and open-minded enough to negotiate these life events successfully.
We feel it is important for students to learn PSHE because it helps them achieve their potential by supporting wellbeing and tackling issues that can affect their ability to learn, such as anxiety and unhealthy relationships.
Children live in a complicated world in which boundaries between the real and online world can too easily become blurred and compassion for one another too easily forgotten. There are many sources of advice and guidance open to students in the real and online world however learning PSHE in school provides students with a ‘real-life’ anchor from which to explore this world.
We as teachers aim to provide students with a safe environment in which they can ask real people real questions and engage in discussion.
We value an education in Citizenship and PSHE because each student will be part of a social group, make friends (and lose them), work with adults to learn new subjects, meet people from cultures different from their own, witness good, bad and fake news, hear opinions both moderate and extreme, make choices over what to eat, how to have fun and relax, be exposed to healthy and unhealthy behaviours, develop romantic relationships, keep secrets from parents and carers and friends, worry about the future, wonder what they are good at, look for help and advice over which subjects to study and which careers to pursue, develop their own opinions and choose their own way. It is because of this we think it is important that for each step they have had the chance to learn, discuss and ask questions in an inclusive and non-judgemental environment.
When planning the content of our curriculum we take our cues both from national level directives, such as the National Curriculum for Citizenship and the guidance from the national body for Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE Association), and from the children we teach and the communities they come from. It is often the latter source of information from which the most useful evidence to inform our teaching comes. The emerging needs of our students are found through student questionnaires, feedback from colleagues and external professionals and parents and figureheads in the local community.
We will ensure the effective delivery of the curriculum by striving to provide challenging, thought-provoking and relevant lessons. We will continue to provide students with a sanctuary within their timetable to explore the life-lessons which all too often go untaught.