From years 3 to 11 every pupil has the opportunity to attend weekly Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) lessons taught by a team of dedicated and experienced staff. The subject matter is age appropriate and varied and we have recently covered; issues around friendship, being more confident and assertive, decision making and exploring and The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. External speakers regularly visit to talk to our pupils and we have strong relationships with a diverse range of organisations including: Solent Mind, Amnesty UK, the police and Teenage Cancer Trust.
“I think that the work you're doing to engage them with what's happening in wider society and to encourage them to think for themselves is fantastic. It was brilliant for me to speak one on one with some of the pupils and hear their opinions and ideas about all sorts of issues. I am very heartened.“
Amnesty UK, September 2017.
PSHE deals with real life issues that affect children and young people; their families and their communities. In our lessons we explore, discuss and debate many aspects of this subject area including health, relationships, growing up, dealing with risk, career choices, study skills, citizenship and personal finance issues. The PSHE programme at Ballard is also intended to further enhance the strong pastoral care provided at the school. Our aim is for PSHE education to equip children with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy, safe, productive, fulfilled and responsible lives. It is hoped that our PSHE programme encourages them to use their initiative and make careful, informed choices. It also enables our pupils to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes, and explore the complex and sometimes conflicting messages they receive in the media and world around them.
The personal development of pupils is a vital part of their Ballard education. The PSHE programme of study provides a context to promote the wellbeing of pupils which in turn helps young people embrace change, feel positive about who they are and enjoy healthy, safe, responsible and fulfilled lives. Through PSHE Pupils will be able to recognise and manage risk, take increasing responsibility for themselves, their choices and behaviours and make positive contributions to their families, schools and communities.
Our sessions are based in the Performing Arts Centre and we have many interesting debates and discussions on a whole range of issues from “coping with stress” in year 7 to “financial management” in year 11. The year groups respond really well to the various, and sometimes challenging aspects of the programme.
It is a privilege to invite several visitors to the school to support the sessions. Lindsay Wilson, from the Teenage Cancer Trust, returned last summer to do a really interesting session on “safety in the sun,” as part the Trust’s “Shun burn” campaign. Lindsay suffered from cancer herself as a teenager and is keen to help youngsters better understand cancer and its effect on individuals and families. Did you know that the recommendation is to apply sun cream, of at least SPF 30, three times a day?
We also recently welcomed Hampshire police to do some sessions with both year 7 and year 11. The year 7s enjoyed meeting local officers and finding out about their daily routines. The sessions were very interactive and the pupils enjoyed trying on the police clothing, looking round the police vehicles and using the hand-cuffs! The Year 11 pupils experienced another interactive session, as part of Hampshire Constabulary’s FAKE campaign (Firearms and Knife Education). Pupils covered issues such as knives and the law, the possible consequences of carrying a knife or any toy gun, and strategies to avoid becoming a victim.
We welcome the expertise of our parent body. Each year we are grateful for the input of parents who deliver superb sessions on such things as skin care, alcohol, STIs, and other varied topics!
The PSHE team does not sit still! Each year, our plan is to enhance the programme further.. New sessions on enterprise will be incorporated this year and be enhanced by visits from local business leaders and entrepreneurs.