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July 12

Spotlight on PSHEE

This week, we speak to Mrs C Maddison, Deputy Head (Pastoral) about the subject at Blackheath High School.

What is PSHEE?

PSHEE is Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education and every student takes this non-examined course throughout the school. In the Senior School, the course is run mainly by Heads of Year, along with other specialist staff and outside speakers.

How is PSHEE taught at Blackheath High?

The lessons take place once each fortnight, apart from Year 9 where there are three PSHEE days each academic year.

What is covered in PSHEE?

The programme changes each year as it is responsive to requests from students and social changes but typical topics covered include Personal Safety; Sex and Relationships Education; Body Image; Fundamental British Values, including a very exciting Politics Day in Year 9, organised by the Politics Department (with very feisty debates!).

We also cover community issues such as fundraising for charity including Year 8 who are involved with the Nasio Trust (raising funds for a school in Kenya) and Year 10 who organise an annual Senior Citizens’ Tea Party. The Head Girl Team are also involved with the new Marie Curie charity shop that is opening in Blackheath Village next term, collecting classy clothes so that the shop can compete with the other charity shops in the village. These are good community minded activities that encourage the girls to look outside of themselves. They also learn a lot from them.

What is unique about PHSEE at Blackheath High?

We are very responsive to girls and the topics they want to cover (within the remit of the PHSEE Curriculum). For example, Year 11 gave us feedback that they were doing too much on careers and not enough on gender identity so we brought someone in to talk to them about gender. We respond to the girls and include topics that they are concerned about. In a bigger school, that would not necessarily be the case.

Why is PHSEE important?

PHSEE is about teaching the girls life skills and filling in the gaps in the curriculum from how to open a bank account, preparing for university (such as how to write a brilliant UCAS Personal Statement), to sex and relationships. Following the recent terrorist attacks, we talked to the girls about how to keep themselves safe on school trips.  

It is all age appropriate and although we have a curriculum that we can follow as part of the PHSEE Association, we try to cover what is relevant to the girls. 



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