Year 7 students enjoying David Graham's 'Natural High' show.
PSE, Citizenship & Careers
Personal and Social Education is a compulsory part of the KS3 and 4 curriculum, supporting pupils' Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural development. All pupils follow a specific PSE programme, which concentrates on building skills to help them progress through their teenage years to adult life. The programme aims to educate pupils to think for themselves, with an acceptable set of personal qualities and values which promote equal opportunities and to develop pupil self confidence so that they can take advantage of the opportunities available to them.
There are three strands to the curriculum, all taught in PSE lessons: PSE, Careers education and Citizenship, the latter of which is also delivered through other curriculum areas. See below for more information about the PSE curriculum.
The Careers Education and Guidance programme helps pupils to achieve the following broad aims:
- To understand themselves and develop their capabilities
- To investigate careers and opportunities
- To implement their career plan
Visiting speakers, careers advisors, video and careers literature are used in the Careers Educaton programme to provide pupils with background information relating to further education and a wide range of jobs and training. We have recently employed a former Connexions advisor to work with year 10 and 11 students. We work in partnership with many outside agencies including the Fire Service, Barclays with Transformation Trust, David Graham Natural High and Dove Self Esteem workshops.
In addition, guidance is given in completing the individual UCAS Progress profile, an online system used to apply to sixth forms and colleges in the local area.
Pupils have 'open access' to the careers resource base, which includes a computerised careers information system, and they are encouraged to make use of it, with appropriate support. We also have a careers fayre every year to give students further guidance.
PSE & Citizenship
At the start of year, lessons are focused on topics and skills that will help pupils feel settled at school: understanding school rules, getting to know each other, time management and organisation. Girls also explore issues around friendship, building confidence and self-image, and questionning why bullying sometimes happens and what we can do about it. Citizenship is addressed by thinking about the girls' place within their community. In the summer term we look at exam revision tips and stress management, before learning about healthy lifestyles and the changes of adolescence.
Year 8 pupils develop their understanding of rights and responsibilities by looking at animal rights, racism and bullying, and undertaking charitable work. They start exploring careers and financial education, before addressing issues such as drugs, alcohol, smoking & solvent abuse, relationships and body image. Later in the year they undertake project work to explore some of these themes in more depth.
Years 9, 10 & 11
At KS4 students go on to deepen their understanding of some of the themes already studied, such as the dangers of alcohol and drugs, LGBT issues, dealing with exam stress and personal finances, helping them to prepare for their future life outside school.
They also have lessons dedicated to completing UCAS applications for local sixth forms and colleges, and guidance with interview technique, and writing CVs and personal statements.