Personal, Social and Health and Economic education (PSHE) at New River College

About the course 

Personal, Social and Health and Economic education (PSHE) is all about supporting young people to have happy, healthy personal lives, both now and at the future. All students at New River College have weekly PSHE lessons. 

PSHE education helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. From making responsible decisions about alcohol to succeeding in their first job, PSHE education helps pupils to manage many of the most critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up. 

We work with external organisations such as Islington Drugs and Alcohol Specialist Service and Camden and Islington Young People’s Sexual Health Network to support curriculum provision and signpost local sources of help and advice. 

For more information: https://www.pshe-association.org.uk/what-we-do/why-pshe-matters  

You can find the curriculum map here. 

We follow the National Curriculum and at Key Stage 3, PSHE education acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people are experiencing, including the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence. It teaches the skills which will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life. Pupils are encouraged to manage diverse relationships and the increasing influence of peers and the media. PSHE education allows them to be more confident in addressing the challenges of effective learning and making a full and active contribution to society.  

All lessons are based on the following ground rules in order to ensure that pupils feel safe and comfortable to explore potentially sensitive topics in a classroom setting: 

  • We behave maturely; 
  • We don’t ask or answer personal questions; 
  • We are non-judgmental;
  • We challenge discrimination;
  • We understand confidentiality and the school safeguarding procedures. 

What will students learn? 

Topics covered at KS3 include: 

  • Equality and Diversity – Challenging Homophobia
  • Relationships and Sex Education
  • Drugs Education
  • Planning for my Future (Careers)
  • Emotional Health and Wellbeing
  • Awareness of Criminal Exploitation and Knife Crime
  • Money Matters – Personal Finance 

The PSHE curriculum aims to balance the need to be proactive in addressing key issues around health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world, as well as providing space to be reactive to the needs and concerns of our cohort of young people. 

We recognise that there may be gaps in young people’s PSHE learning from previous schools and also that students join us at different points, so key topics, e.g. Relationships and Sex Education and Drugs Education, are revisited during the year. 

Additional Support 

Additional support is provided in conversation with Learning Assistants in lessons. Young people who are identified as needing additional support with PSHE topics in relation to their personal lives are referred to appropriate specialist organisations/ professionals – e.g. Islington Drugs and Alcohol Specialist Service and Camden and Islington Young People’s Sexual Health Network. 

Qualifications and Accreditation 

PSHE is not an accredited course but is a National Curriculum entitlement for all young people. 

Extra-curricular Opportunities and Trips 

PSHE learning is enriched with workshops from external organisations such as the Islington Integrated Gangs Team. We make the most of opportunities offered by the borough to take PSHE learning outside the classroom, e.g. theatre performances and drama workshops exploring PSHE issues. 

How will students be assessed 

Upon entry: baseline discussion. 

During term: written and verbal formative feedback from teacher with opportunities to develop work further. 

There is no summative assessment for PSHE.