PSHE education (personal, social, health and economic education) is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy, safe, prepare for life and work in modern Britain. Our programme of study for PSHE & PD (personal development) aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, team building and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education)

PSHE education helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage many of the critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face as they grow up and in adulthood. By teaching pupils to stay safe and healthy, and by building self-esteem, resilience and empathy, an effective PSHE programme can tackle barriers to learning, raise aspirations, and improve the life chances of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils.

At Great Barr the Academy, we have three dedicated days for Personal Development. Each year group will examine different themes that will help to develop these skills. On these days the students will experience a different and varied teaching day.

For example:

  • They will listen to guest / motivational speakers
  • Hear from outside agencies like the NHS,
  • Have careers advice
  • Have visits to places of significance and importance to the topic
  • Participate in team & skill building activities

The list is endless.  To reinforce these days during form time once a week, form tutors will deliver an aspect of Social, Moral, Spiritual, and Cultural (SMSC) themes.

The national curriculum also states that ‘all schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice’. PSHE education is contributes to schools’ statutory duties outlined in the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010 to provide a balanced and broadly-based curriculum and is essential to Ofsted judgments in relation to personal development, behaviour, welfare and safeguarding.

How is SMSC met in each key area at Great Barr Academy?

The climate and ethos of the school underpins the provision of SMSC. This can be exemplified through areas such as:
• Our vision statement
• SMSC policy
• Leadership & Management
• School rules
• Junior Leadership Team
• Awards & Rewards

SMSC themes are always outlined through both mini-school and whole school assemblies. This takes place through the reinforcement of our routines and rituals (social), calendared events (Remembrance, Holocaust) and charitable undertakings (Sierra Leone).

PSHE will provide concrete evidence of the school’s provision in promoting pupils’ behaviour and safety.
This can be achieved through teaching pupils to develop and maintain relationships, lead healthy lifestyles, develop personal identity, appreciate diversity and manage risk.

Key concepts and processes in Citizenship contribute to SMSC. These include the development of understanding in areas such as:
• Rights & responsibilities
• Diversity
• Democracy
• Justice
Also through children and young people taking responsible action, using critical thinking skills, enquiry and advocacy.

Healthy Eating makes a positive contribution to SMSC. Physical activity and emotional Health and well-being as through its aims to develop healthy behaviour, promote social inclusion, reduce health inequalities and improve outcomes.
RS makes a significant contribution to all of the areas of SMSC by enabling pupils to question issues of human life and morality, develop a sense of identity and foster awareness and understanding of others beliefs and practices.
Our three PD Days enable pupils to a deeper experience of SMSC aspects. They enable students to reflect on issues such as slavery (culture), the Lost Generation (spiritual), STEM cell research (moral) and individual identity (social) for example.
English makes a major contribution to pupils’ SMSC development through:
• Developing confidence and expertise in language, which is an important aspect of individual & social identity.
• Enabling pupils to understand and engage with the feelings and values embodied in high quality poetry, fiction, drama, film and television.
• Developing pupils’ awareness of moral and social issues in fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film.
• Helping pupils top understand how language changes over time, the influences on spoken and written language and social attitudes to the use of language.
• Supporting whole school policy on issues such as discipline and behaviour
• Enabling pupils to acknowledge the important contribution made to mathematics by non-western cultures.
• Encouraging pupils to reflect on the wonder of the natural world
• Awareness of the ways that science and technology can affect society and the environment.
• Showing respect for differing opinions on creation or cloning for example.
• Co-operation in practical activity
• Raising awareness that scientific developments are the product of many cultures.
Social Science
• social influence / attachment
• Self-concept
• Identity and gender identities
• Ethics in research
• Norms and societal values
• Crime and deviance
• Explanation of societal atrocities
• Socialisation
• Families in multi-cultural Britain
• Care values / equal opportunities
• Looking at the establishment of multi-cultural Britain
• Enabling pupils to reflect on issues such as imperialism and communism
• Showing an awareness of the moral implications of the actions of historical figures
• Opportunities for reflection on the creation, earth’s origin and future.
• Reflection and discussion on the fair distribution of the earth’s resources
• Studies of people and places giving pupils the chance to reflect on the social and cultural characteristics of society.
• Learning about beliefs, values and the concept of spirituality.
• Reflect on the significance of religious teaching in their own lives.
• Develop respect for the right of others to hold beliefs different from their own
Computer Studies
• Making clear the guidelines about the ethical use of the internet and other media devices.
• Acknowledging advances in technology and appreciation for human achievement.
• Reflecting on ingenious products/inventions, the diversity of material and ways in which design technology can improve the quality of life.
• How different cultures have contributed to technology.
• Opportunities to work as a team, recognising strengths and sharing equipment/ideas.
• Giving students a chance to reflect on nature, their environment and surroundings
• Studying artists with spiritual or religious themes and also looking at issues raised by artists which concern ethical issues i.e. War and violence
• Teaching that encourages students to be open to the music of other cultures.
• Considering the role of music in society and to see how music can cause conflict and differences of opinion.
• Looking at the way music can change moods and behaviour.
Physical Education
• Activities involving co-operation, competition, rules, self-discipline & fair-play
• Exploring the sports and traditions of a variety of cultures
• Individual activities that provide the opportunity for self-reflection, awareness and challenge.
• Students may gain insights into the way of life cultural traditions and moral and social developments of other people.
• Social skills are developed through group activities and communication exercises.
• Listening skills are improved through oral work.