Our bodies are our gardens – our wills are our gardeners.
PSHE & RSE
PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education) provision responds to the changing social climate to ensure pupils are well prepared and informed individuals. RSE (Relationship and Sex Education) is the statutory element of study that is embedded in our PSHE curriculum across all key stages.
Our intention at STARS is that when pupils leave us they will have gained knowledge and understanding that will help them to play an active, positive and successful role in today’s diverse society. We aim to tackle and explore many of the complex and often conflicting social, moral and cultural issues they will face growing up, and plant seeds of information and ideas that will grow with their awareness as they progress to adulthood.
Our PSHE curriculum actively develops skills in listening, appreciating and articulating, which not only enables pupils to access the wider curriculum, but also encourages reflective thinking, reasoning and thoughtful decision making.
PSHE at STARS is dictated by local and national issues, and also follows the PSHE Association Programme of Study for KS1 through to KS5, which is widely used and fits in with most mainstream school curriculums across the borough. This makes it easier for STARS pupils to reintegrate.
KS3 runs on a two year programme and has been designed this way to allow for pupils to come to STARS for shorter or longer periods of time and gain a wide range of PSHE topics in line with mainstream school.
All pupils at STARS receive a one hour PSHE lesson each week. Classes are divided into three groups: KS3, Year 10 and Year 11.
Pupils identify their personal qualities, attitudes, skills, attributes and achievements and what influences these. They explore their values and beliefs about them and develop the skills, language and strategies needed to manage any issues they encounter in their lives. Pupils can apply academic skills, such as critical thinking and resilience, to their approach to the study of PSHE. It promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. PSHE should equip all pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe and be able to communicate when they do not feel safe. Also, PSHE supports STARS’ provision of expert, independent, up-to-date careers guidance, which gives our pupils the best information and opportunities available and helps them progress into further education, training and employment.
One of the strengths of our RSE programme is that our lessons are influenced by social media and societal concerns. For example, we have introduced more complex but very relevant topics such as ‘Consent’ and ‘Sexual Harassment in Schools’ as a respsonse to media coverage. Pupils are encouraged to think about the topics studied, and skillful questioning from teachers encourages pupils to be curious, and to reflect and empathise.
All of the lessons your child will receive as part of their Relationships, Sex and Health Education will be age-appropriate and meet the needs of all students in the class. To ensure this, we have reviewed our RSE curriculum and RSE policy so we can be sure our provision is appropriate for our students based on their:
- Physical and emotional maturity
- Religious and cultural backgrounds
- Special educational needs and disabilities
Lessons are characterised by structure and purpose, clear expectations, and teacher enthusiasm in delivery. There are a variety of activities and high levels of pupil engagement in both written and verbal tasks.
The schemes of work are updated and relevant, including the introduction of new schemes of work on tackling extremism, radicalisation and Britishness. We have also had outside speakers running sessions for pupils, on issues such as young people’s voice and contribution to decision making, debating and drug awareness.
Whilst PSHE is not an examined subject at STARS, pupil progress is robustly monitored and overall pupils make expected or above expected progress during their time with us.
Pupils at STARS mostly enjoy PSHE lessons, though pupils say sometimes RSE lessons can be awkward! Feedback from Pupil Voice questionnaires suggest the most enjoyable part of PSHE are the discussions, “getting my voice and views heard”, “learning about important topics” and “being able to understand others and how to live in our society”.
External speakers are invited into school to speak to pupils on a variety of topics from online safety to contraception.