You can post your response to the PSHE education until the end of the day. So if you have not done so already, then please follow the link and submit a response, even if you only answer one of the questions.
3Di Associates responded with specific reference to the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child. It really is time for this important declaration to be strategically placed on a wall in every classroom in the country.
Surely it’s time for our children to know their rights.
The PSHE education review is quite a lengthy document so the following is an extract from what we submitted.
Let us hope that the Department of Education will take a keen interest in the responses, and that there have been plenty of them.
Q1) What do you consider the core outcomes PSHE education should achieve and what areas of basic core knowledge and awareness should pupils be expected to acquire at school through PSHE education?
3Di Associates sees PSHE education as integral to every pupil in every school. It provides a systematic approach to personal, social, spiritual, physical and intellectual development. It is not merely a curriculum area. PSHE education should be the basis of a whole school approach to developing, understanding and practicing shared values to support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural growth of the child.
All members of the school community have a vital role in nurturing the personal and social development of children and young people, and the curriculum element should be reinforcing this philosophy.
The core PSHE education outcomes for children and young people, using a multi-intelligence approach, are;
- To be able to make intelligent and informed healthy choices and decisions
- To be equipped with skills and values for the development of their personal wellbeing, including the ability to make, maintain and develop healthy relationships
- To recognise their self-worth, competencies and capabilities
- To be spiritually, morally, culturally and socially responsible and reflective
Through the PSHE education programme, children and young people should be learning about their personal and social responsibilities, their rights as outlined in the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child, and the values and virtues associated with emotionally and socially healthy living.
Core knowledge should enable young people to make healthy and socially responsible choices about their lives with a strong emphasis on knowing how to develop and maintain positive relationships.
Awareness of their personal and social responsibility is at the heart of a quality PSHE education programme.
Q3) Which elements of PSHE education, if any, should be made statutory (in addition to sex education) within the basic curriculum?
Awareness of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child should be a compulsory part of a child’s education. This would comply directly with the new Ofsted requirements on the development of a child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural awareness.
It should be a mandatory part of the curriculum that pupils should,
- Know their rights to express their opinions (Article 12)
- Be enabled to discover and share their ideas (Article 13)
- Understand their right to free consciousness without religious indoctrination (Article 14)
- Be able to choose and nurture friendships (Article 15)
- Understand their right to privacy (Article 16)
- Know the role of the media in their lives (Article 17)
These are just some examples of the elements from the UN Declaration that should be at the centre of PSHE education, and indeed all education.
“Your education should help you to use and develop your talents and abilities. It should also help you to learn to live peacefully, protect the environment and respect other people” – Article 29
If knowledge of these important articles is made a statutory part of the curriculum, it will contribute to the prevention of socially irresponsible behaviour.
Sex education needs to be focused on relationships as well as the biological facts. This is what children and young people ask for and require. Therefore, the statutory sex education programme should be strengthened by a compulsory relationships education programme, which focuses on personal wellbeing and social responsibility.
The focus on relationships and skills within this would enhance and support other areas of the PSHE curriculum, providing children and young people with skills to negotiate and to prevent risky behaviour whilst also supporting the national preventative public health issues that are currently a priority.
Q4) Are the National, non-statutory frameworks and programmes of study an effective way of defining content?
Yes, but they need to be updated to reflect legislative changes, particularly in relation to safeguarding and equalities law, as well as ensuring that they are reflective of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child – something that did not happen in 2000 when the guidelines were developed.
Q5) How can schools better decide for themselves what more pupils need to know, in consultation with parents and others locally?
It is vital that a PSHE education programme reflects the needs of the pupils within a single institution. Whilst a core structure of knowledge, skills and values is consistent in any school, there are local factors within an immediate area that means more learning might be required on a specific issue.
Schools should also be free to be responsive to issues, for example, a bereavement within school, specific issues of poor behaviour or bullying. If there is a prevalence of anti-social behaviour, including high teenage conception rates, then schools should have the flexibility to provide additional time to these subjects.
In order to provide a local needs-led programme, it is essential that schools regularly consult with pupils and parents through questionnaires, needs assessments, interviews and open meetings. Quality PSHE education has always been planned in this way, and there is a huge amount of evidence from practitioners on how to develop a programme of work based on the outcomes of such consultation, for example Draw and Write assessment informing a needs led drug education programme.
Q8) How can PSHE education be improved using levers proposed in the Schools White Paper, such as Teaching Schools, or through alternative methods of improving quality, such as the use of experienced external agencies (public, private and voluntary) to support schools?
It is essential that initial teacher training is thorough and substantial, and incorporates aspects of PSHE education for all teachers, since all teachers must provide consistent messages about values, virtues and behaviour.
The values reflected within a PSHE education programme of work should be agreed by all and should be reflective of pupil voice as well as parental contribution.
Ofsted inspectors need support and training in precisely what they are looking for and assessing with regard to the Spiritual, Cultural, Moral and Social aspects of the curriculum and the school. PSHE education, as already stated, could be a useful lever in helping inspectors to identify the commitment to SMSC education in a school.
Teaching Schools will play an important role in ensuring quality PSHE education and therefore should have their own practice scrutinised and quality assured.
The pedagogy of PSHE education is informative, reflective and creative, enabling pupils to consider, to think, to imagine, and to empathise. The White Paper has an emphasis on teaching and the methodology of teaching. PSHE education could be used as a lever to improve the quality of teaching in general, ensuring that it enables and facilitates learning in all areas of the curriculum.
Q11) Please use this space to provide us with your views and any other comments about PSHE.
PSHE education is vital for all pupils.
It is a comprehensive means to support children in young people now and in their future lives. It is based on an understanding of shared values and virtues that benefit both the individual and society. PSHE education is not just a curriculum area. It is the practice of a whole school approach to spiritual, moral, social and cultural education.
Developing responsibility and a sense of the individual’s self-worth inevitably has an impact on what a school and an individual child can attain. If PSHE education is taught and learned effectively the impact on achievement will be evident and more sustainable short-term measures that temporarily inflate levels of attainment.