The Academy recognises the importance and necessity of a comprehensive SMSC provision. Through a planned provision across both key stages the Academy addresses the DfE guidance which stipulates that:
‘Schools should seek to use PSHE education to build, where appropriate, on the statutory content already outlined in the national curriculum, the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle.’
In planning the PSHE curriculum at the Academy consideration has been given to a number of factors to ensure the content is appropriate and meaningful to our students.
The provision is closely linked to the overarching Academy ethos of Pride and Respect, and addresses several key areas which are central to effective PSHE and citizenship education, and which make a strong contribution to students SMSC development. These include:
- promoting equalities
- preventing and tackling discrimination and bullying
- cultural awareness
- preparing students positively for life in modern Britain
- addressing issues of exploitation and challenging extremism and radicalisation
- helping students to keep themselves healthy and safe
- providing effective and impartial careers information, education, advice and guidance.
Through consultation with the PSHE Association several principles have been considered when planning the PSHE and SMSC programme:
- The Academy is committed to a positive approach when delivering which does not attempt to induce shock or guilt, but focuses on what children and young people can do to keep themselves and others healthy and safe and to lead happy and fulfilling lives.
- The Academy offers a wide variety of teaching and learning styles within PSHE education, with an emphasis on interactive learning and the teacher/provider acting as facilitator within the group.
- The Academy provides information which is realistic and relevant and which reinforces positive social norms.
- The Academy recognises that the PSHE education programme is just one part of what a school can do to help a child to develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and understanding they need to fulfill their potential. The Academy links the PSHE education programme to other whole school approaches, to pastoral support, and provides a setting where the responsible choice becomes the easy choice.
- The Academy recognises the importance of an embedded PSHE education to ensure children and young people have positive relationships with adults and feel valued and supported at all times.
- The Academy recognises the importance of providing opportunities for children and young people to make real decisions about their lives, to take part in activities which simulate adult choices and provide opportunities where they can demonstrate their ability to take responsibility for their decisions.
- The Academy recognises the importance of providing a safe and supportive learning environment where children and young people can develop the confidence to ask questions, challenge the information they are offered, draw on their own experience, express their views and opinions and put what they have learned into practice in their own lives.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7 and Year 8 provision is mapped into the curriculum with 1 x 60 minute lesson of PSHE each week. Students return to their form tutor for the lesson to ensure the often sensitive issues covered, are done so in a pastoral setting.
In addition to this timetabled provision the students also participate in the ‘dropdown’ SMSC days that the Academy operates on a half termly basis. During these sessions provision is flexible and Heads of Year can make judgements, based on issues at the time, as to the content of the sessions for their year group. In addition there is a strong focus on developing Literacy and Numeracy skills. The English and Maths departments plan a series of activities for the students which provide cross curricular links between these 2 core subjects and P.S.H.E.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 the programme is delivered through half termly ‘dropdown’ days. This allows the provision map to remain flexible so that specific issues can be addressed should they arise at particular points in time. The Academy has developed strong links with a number of external providers and agencies who bring a ‘real life’ context to the programme, and coupled with form tutor delivery it ensures the content is broad and balanced.
Quality Assurance of the provision is key to ensuring standards remain high. Monitoring involves learning walks, ‘drop in’ observations, student voice questionnaires, Head of Year and SLT monitoring. Regarding the provision of Careers Education and IAG, regular meetings occur between the schools dedicated Careers Advisors, the Careers Co-ordinator and the SLT link to ensure the Academy Action plan is being implemented.