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What is PSHE?

PSHE (or personal, social, health and economic education) has three core themes:

  1. Health and wellbeing
  2. Relationships
  3. Living in the Wider World (economic wellbeing, careers and the world of work)

The relationships aspect of PSHE education will be compulsory in all schools from September 2021. 

Why is PSHE important?

The National Curriculum states that ‘all schools should make provision for personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE), drawing on good practice'.

Both the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010 require schools to provide a ‘balanced and broadly-based curriculum’ which promotes ‘the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and prepares pupils at the school for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life’. Schools also have duties in relation to promoting pupil wellbeing and pupil safeguarding (Children Act 2004), community cohesion (Education Act 2006), and addressing and preventing, prejudice based bullying (Equality Act 2010).

PSHE plays an essential role in helping students to lead confident, healthy and responsible lives as individuals and members of society. This means gaining the knowledge and skills to live healthily and deal with the spiritual, moral, social and cultural issues they may face as they approach adulthood.

PSHE gives students opportunities to reflect on their experiences and how they are developing. It helps them to understand and manage responsibly a wider range of relationships as they mature and to show respect for the diversity of and differences between people.

It also develops students’ well-being and self-esteem encouraging belief in their ability to succeed and enabling them to take responsibility for their learning and future choice of courses and career.

PSHE is about helping students feel ready for the world beyond school, able to proactively problem solve, make informed and independent choices, aware of how they are influenced by social media and friends in all areas of life including health, finance and relationships.

How does PSHE fit with the Highworth vision?

Our school motto is what we encourage our students to do and at Highworth we promote a community where all members are:

  • Reflective: creative and innovative
  • Eager: for life-long learning
  • Aiming: to achieve their full potential
  • Considerate: confident, independent individuals
  • Happy: in a caring, respectful community

How is PSHE delivered in the school?

Focus Days

The primary means of delivering PSHE is through Focus Days, days in which a year group is off timetable and explores a theme connected to the three core themes:

  1. Health and wellbeing
  2. Relationships
  3. Living in the Wider World (economic wellbeing, careers and the world of work)

This allows for visiting speakers to share their expertise and experience in leading sessions, for teachers to focus on leading what they feel confident delivering and for students to become fully immersed in the issues. Issues are then followed up through assemblies and Mentor Period.

Details of Focus Days can be found here.

PSHE themes during Mentor Period

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Health and Wellbeing Relationships Wider World Relationships Health  and Wellbeing Wider World
Changes Knowing you What’s going on? Integrity Health & inequality Hidden Figures
The Great Outdoors Be Kind Freedoms Celebrating diversity (LGBT, International Women’s day) Emotional Intelligence Hello, Goodbye
Black History Month Compassion Careers / Apprenticeships Talking about my generation Lifestyle choices - sustainability Tokyo
Knowing me Winter celebrations        


PSHE is also covered within the academic curriculum, where appropriate, and with more focussed support, where needed, through the Student Support Managers and Directors of Learning, with the option of referrals to external agencies where applicable.

Careers and Employability Programme 'SIRIUS'

We have recently developed a new Careers and Employability Programme ‘SIRIUS’ at Highworth. In addition, we provide personal guidance careers interviews with an external provider, have an in-house careers manager and a strong Alumni network ensuring we are linking curriculum learning to careers and provide strong encounters with employees and employers. Please click here for more information.

Whole School

It is an expectation at this school that all staff can, and should, contribute to the PSHE programme. It is also an expectation that all students can share in positively enriching the experiences of their peers whilst at Highworth.