PSHE and the Pastoral programme

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PSHE stands for personal, social, health and economic education.

The PSHE Association describes it as, “learning through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future.”

At Latymer, we have a positive approach to PSHE, providing a safe and supportive learning environment. PSHE education contributes to students’ personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. 

PSHE helps to enable students to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings thus developing the essential skills for future employability and better enjoy and manage their lives.

Latymer hosts a wide range of expert speakers each year, who are invited to the School to speak to both pupils and parents as part of the Latytude speaker programme.  Students across all year groups have access to some of the leading speakers nationally, on a host of pastoral topics, through our PSHE programme.  This programme includes issues such as drugs education, sex and relationships education, developing good mental health, keeping safe online, body image and healthy nutrition habits, to name but a few. The Sixth Form speaker programme includes a varied programme that changes regularly and has included recent speakers on what life is really like in prison, toxic masculinity and the refugee crisis.  Our PSHE speakers stay on in most cases to talk to parents as part of the ‘Latytude’ parent pastoral programme, so that the message is a joined-up one between school and home on some of the most important issues facing young people and families today.

PSHE (and RSE and Health Education) Curriculum

What is a spiral curriculum?

As recommended by the PSHE Association, PSHE teaching at Latymer Upper School is organised using a spiral curriculum, a concept widely attributed to Jerome Bruner [1].

This refers to a teaching plan where concepts are presented repeatedly throughout the curriculum, but with deepening layers of complexity.

The Latymer Upper School spiral curriculum can be seen on the visual.

Using the concept of ‘relationships’, as an example. Topics by year group include:

  • Y7- Recognising and building positive relationships
  • Y8- Healthy relationships
  • Y9- Relationships and sex education
  • Y11- Abuse in relationships, maintaining relationships, and sexual health

[1] J. S. Bruner, The process of education. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1960.

As well as the PSHE programme, the Pastoral Department enjoys a close relationship with the Parents’ Gild, with whom they regularly hold joint public events, covering a range of relevant issues. Recent guest speakers have given fascinating and informative talks on such subjects as Dyslexia, Asperger’s Syndrome and other learning differences.

Internet safety and responsible technology usage is a whole school community issue, with educational messages embedded across IT, PSHE and Sex and Relationship Education, as well as being part of the Latytude programme.

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