Hi, I was really pleased to have come accross this site! It looks like you have lots of useful ideas to share.
I have just taken over PSHE and SEAL subject leadership in a primary school. The previous leader has left the school and unfortunately has not left much in terms on subject folder, policy etc.
I think I have a huge challenge on my hands as PSHE and SEAL in our school have a very low profile, and is often the subject given to a PPA cover teacher if taught at all! I work in the early years and strongly believe that PSED/PSHE is vital so want to raise the profile.
sorry...to cut a long story short... I have some allocated time to work on PSHE within the school, monitoring and putting action plans into place. I just feel like I do not know where to begin. I have so far decided to audit how and when PSHE is taught accross the school - copies of timetables and any planning would be a start. I would also like to talk with the children and review policy.
Any ideas for a starting point for monitoring the subject? How to raise the profile and enthuse others?
I agree - timetables and planning should be looked at. See if there is a slot for pshe teaching and what planning looks like. Speak to staff ask them where they get their planning, what they use to help them plan and if they are confident in pshe. It would be useful to send out a little questionnaire for them too. Try and gain ideas on what staff want.
If there is no scheme in place or the staff feel the scheme is patchy or dry or hard to understand I advocate the Essex planning tool. You can get this through the pshe association or I can give you the contact for the developer.
This is an easy to understand cdrom with all mtps from reception to year 6. It is progressive, repeating themes yearly so children build on skills and knowledge with age appropriate content/skills.
If you have a budget this scheme uses a set of resource books called health for life and real health for real lives. They are expensive but brilliant for activities. It also uses a range of stories. But you can empower your staff to look at the objective and plan lessons if the story isn't there, or look it health for life for a similar set of activities.
I think if there is no scheme, introducing one so all teachers can plan and teach pshe weekly is imperative. It will take a year to implement and monitor that it is being taught! Then probably another to embed securely.
Personally I would think about the ppa cover. Are the people that take the cover likely to take pshe on seriously and plan for it well? Do they plan it themselves or does the teacher give them a plan and they teach it cold? It might be a time for you to meet with the ppa people and show them how to teach it?
Enthusiasm for pshe is a hard one. Some people naturally see how important it is. Others are so focussed on sats and raising lit and num that pshe means nothing other than time wasting!
I've taken insets where I've explained its importance and given life scenarios where children need to use pshe skills and shown how important pshe is in and out of school. I've also held planning sessions to help people engage with the subject and actively planning it.
A lot of people seem to think you can't differentiate in pshe or assess learning but it is not true!
Maybe once you've a scheme in place begin by monitoring planning. Look to see if pshe is being planned for. Then move onto is it being taught. Maybe ask of you can pop in to their pshe lessons (you might not be able to do this), do another children's audit. See of their views have changed. Are they aware of pshe?
Seal is different. A lot of teachers mix seal and pshe up. It's worth going through it for staff. Explain its the social AMD emotional aspects of learning. It's a whole school approach, beginning with a school assembly. And that it is only social and emotional. It's value is that it focuses on things kids have problems with at school. Bullying, friendship, thinking about themselves as a learner and making goals.
Show staff the resource books ( if you have them, if not downlaod and print a set for each year group) explain that they are short activities and stories. This is additional to pshe.
We have a seal display board in the hall. Maybe as a whole staff it can be agreed that after the whole school assembly starter to the unit everyone could produce something on a template you give for a display. That would raise the profile. we also have an end of unit assembly where a kid from each class shares something they've been doing.
Maybe there is a slot on timetables where everyone could teach seal? Last half hour of a Friday maybe?
Sorry I'm babbling on a tangent! I'll come back to you later!
But yes - is it being taught, how? What fo kids and staff think of the scheme? Should be your first steps. Then - bring in a recognised excellent scheme. Support your staff in using it. Monitor that it is being planned for and taught.
Oh and to flag up the importance look at the values and aims of the statutory national curriculum and highlight everything there that says we need to help children prepare for life I'm society. Although pshe is not statutory yet, those are.
The new curriculum draft for consultation takes out citizenship at primary but it does say to teach pshe and again prepare children for life as citizens in society.
I don't know where you are but of you're in/near south London we could meet, you could come into our school and see pshe in action.
Remember pshe is in everything we do. It's incidental by how we stop arguements, interact with others and promote discussions but it also needs dedicated curriculum time. Discrete lessons teach specific skills.
Put in the scheme you bring in, the expectation of dedicated teaching time, the additional seal expectations, how the units are arranged throughout the year. Make the policy state what you want to see in pshe.
Thank you so much for all your ideas and suggestions! It really is great to speak to someone who understands PSHE and is able to make suggestions. I think I have a massive task on my hands but will tackle it the best I can. I may pop back with some extra questions once I have made a start, thank you again. I am in the south east - working in Medway. where abouts are you?
No worries. I won't say I have all the right answers but I have been a coordinator of pshe for 10 years! Man that's a long time! Im in south London. Southwark. Please feel free to ask what ever you fancy. All questions are good questions.