primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding PSHE Teaching in Schools

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 15:50

Tuesday 7 May 2019

Central London

This Forum will provide the opportunity to examine innovative and effective PSHE teaching and learning techniques. Participants will discuss with leading policy figures the future shape of the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum following the statutory requirement to teach Relationship and Sex Education (RSE). Subject specialists and best practice case studies will share methods for teaching age-appropriate PSHE, embedding it across the school curriculum and delivering informative content that meets inspection requirements.


This Forum is specifically designed for Schools. Typical job titles will include:

  • PSHE Teachers
  • Headteachers
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Heads of Learning
  • Heads of School Improvement
  • Curriculum Managers
  • Teaching Assistants

This Forum is also open to the Health and Voluntary Sectors to encourage debate and discussion.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Jenny Barksfield, Deputy CEO, PSHE Association
  • Dr Eleanor Draeger, Senior Trainer, Sex Education Forum
  • Paula Nagel, Principal Educational Psychologist, Place2Be
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair's Welcome Address

Dr Pam Alldred, Reader in Education and Youth Studies, Brunel University London (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Enhancing the Quality of PSHE Teaching and Learning

  • Discussing the importance and underlying principles of a comprehensive PSHE education programme which effectively integrates the new statutory elements of Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education
  • Outlining the evidence-based principles of effective PSHE teaching
  • Sharing guidance on how to effectively prepare for statutory Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education, including physical and mental health and emotional wellbeing

Jenny Barksfield, Deputy CEO, PSHE Association (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Building Pupil Resilience Through Effective PSHE Teaching

  • Outlining how PSHE lessons are ideally placed to build resilience among pupils and enhance their emotional wellbeing, resulting in improved outcomes for pupils
  • Discussing how effective PSHE teaching can help children to develop key social and emotional skills, such as coping strategies, and build self-esteem
  • Highlighting best practice in what constitutes effective PSHE which teaches wellbeing: ensuring sessions are interactive and delivered by trained staff
  • Sharing innovative teaching resources which promote wellbeing within a PSHE curriculum

Paula Nagel, Principal Educational Psychologist, Place2Be (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Delivering Outstanding PSHE Learning Within a Primary School

  • Outlining how the PSHE programme is integrated throughout the school, reflected by the school’s motto ‘Be the best you can be’, which was praised by Ofsted for promoting the key values of resilience, self-awareness and self-responsibility
  • Ensuring that all content is age-appropriate and exploring how to successfully navigate teaching difficult topics, including advice for responding to pupils’ challenging questions
  • Providing a flexible curriculum which allows teachers to use their professional judgement to tailor classes to the specific needs of their pupils, for example by choosing the learning objectives that would meet the needs of the class
  • Discussing how to ensure that high quality PSHE learning results in improvement in children’s behaviour, such as low levels of bullying, and Ofsted acknowledging pupil’s understanding of bullying and notion of respect

Karen Jaeggi, Headteacher, Worcesters Primary School (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Designing an Engaging and Effective PSHE Curriculum

  • Embedding PSHE across the curriculum, by timetabling PSHE lessons weekly and monitoring the quality of teaching and learning in the same way as other subjects
  • Outlining the importance of a spiral curriculum, which emphasises main themes throughout the key stages that increase with complexity, to ensure that important topics like drugs and alcohol education are effectively taught
  • Tackling challenges of PSHE Teaching, such as concerns over increased workload, for example through planning and utilising a carousel system to reduce workload
  • Discussing the use of external speakers in PSHE lessons to address sensitive topics; ensuring staff are effectively trained to teach sensitive topics confidently

Laura Foley, Lead Teacher of PSHE, Hodgson Academy (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Delivering Outstanding Relationships and Sex Education

  • Outlining the outstanding PSHE Provision which resulted in Park High School being nominated as a top five provider in the country by Brook and FPA and being recommended in DfE guidance for best practice
  • Discussing how the school has consistently provided an extensive and diverse RSE programme to all KS3 students covering a range of important topics, such as body image, sex and sexuality, homosexuality and e-safety
  • Offering guidance on developing a coherent curriculum, with consistency across teaching, but which still allows for flexibility to respond to pupil needs
  • Sharing innovative teaching resources and activities which can increase engagement and maximise understanding of sensitive topics in an age-appropriate way
  • Discussing the challenges teachers face in teaching effective RSE, such as having the confidence to discuss particular issues, and sharing guidance in overcoming this

Naomi Barker, Head of PSHCEe, Park High School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Special Keynote: Providing Inclusive Sex and Relationships Education

  • Discussing the importance of sex and relationships education and the role it should play within overall PSHE provsion
  • Outlining the key principles of good RSE teaching, such as ensuring all teaching is positively inclusive, encourages open conversation around LGBTQ+ issues and teaches issues such as consent
  • Discussing how to effectively teach RSE for pupils with special education needs, including promoting full understanding of what constitutes healthy relationships
  • Supporting teachers to deliver high quality inclusive RSE to pupils from all backgrounds and providing innovative resources to aid this, such as the roadmap to statutory RSE
  • Preparing staff to meet the new requirements, for example by teaching pupils how to recognise and give consent

Dr Eleanor Draeger, Senior Trainer, Sex Education Forum (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Providing Outstanding Drugs and Alcohol Education

  • Holding a ‘Drug and Alcohol Awareness Fortnight’: a two week programme of activities across the school, including lunchtime drop ins, volunteer sessions and assemblies
  • Developing an effective and informative curriculum which effectively teaches important topics within drugs and alcohol education, such as health risks, legality and consumption
  • Working in partnership with the local police to bring sniffer dogs into school to teach pupils about the danger of drugs
  • Looking at the use of drugs and alcohol beyond schooling age to explore with pupils the relationship between drug use and mental health, particularly in relation to emotional resilience and the world of work, aiming to instill long-term wellness in pupils

Joe Barker, Headteacher, Marple High School (invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Meeting the Needs of SEN Pupils Through Outstanding PSHE Provision

  • Discussing the importance of RSE for pupils with special education needs, including promoting full understanding of what constitutes healthy relationships
  • Providing a fluid PSHE curriculum which allows the content taught to be adapted to the needs of pupils
  • Teaching sensitive topics in an engaging and interactive way, such as drama and music workshops which aim to teach concepts like bullying and teaching domestic abuse through theatre
  • Holding fortnightly meetings for subject leaders to ensure PSHE is being integrated effectively across the curriculum, promoting an integrated approach
  • Liasing regularly with parents and families through open evenings to invite their input into the way PSHE is taught, particularly on sensitive topics like RSE
  • Considering the challenges involved with teaching RSE to SEND pupils, including the complexity of teaching relationships and a concrete concept of privacy, and how best to overcome these

Jackie Mullan, Headteacher, St Christopher School Academy Trust (invited)


Case Study: Transforming the PSHE Curriculum to Enhance Pupil Wellbeing

  • Embedding wellbeing into the school structure by allocating a governor the responsibility for wellbeing and creating the position of ‘Assistant Headteacher with a Lead on Wellbeing’
  • Introducing new mental health schemes of work to be implemented by fully trained PSHE teachers, and embedding these values throughout schemes of learning, assemblies and the school environment
  • Designing a comprehensive and effective PSHE curriculum which focuses on how students can improve their wellbeing, for example by embedding mindfulness sessions into the curriculum
  • Improving the quality of PSHE teaching by raising awareness of wellbeing issues among staff through the creation of staff wellbeing surveys
  • Increasing student engagement in PSHE, with 85% of students reporting that they enjoyed PSHE and sessions were well planned, with a clear focus, and relevant to their future life

Richard Toop, Head of Society, Religion and Wellbeing, Warlingham School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

Almost 70% of teachers surveyed by the National Education Union in 2018 felt that the staff in their school were not adequately trained to deliver high quality PSHE or RSE. This is despite the fact that 92% of parents surveyed by YouGov in 2016 believed PSHE lessons needed to be improved for pupils and 99% of young people agreeing that RSE should be mandatory in schools, according to Terrace Higgins Research, 2016.

As a result of these worrying statistics, the government launched a consultation in December 2017 to establish how pupils should be taught RSE. Consequently, from September 2020, RSE will become mandatory in all schools. Draft guidance published in July 2018 proposed the content that teachers would be required to teach, including the concept of consent and how to recognise it, sexual exploitation, grooming and domestic abuse. In addition to this, Health Education will also become compulsory in schools, following on from the Childhood Obesity Plan and the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Paper. Much of the content covered will be integrated into PSHE teaching, promoting learning around the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and building mental resilience and wellbeing. Alongside this, there has been a growing call for PSHE as a whole subject to become mandatory in all schools, with many policy leaders, including the PSHE Association, advocating this cause.

With the status of RSE becoming mandatory from September 2020, it is worrying that over a quarter of respondents in the National Education Union feel unprepared to deliver the new subject. In light of recent statistics revealing that a shocking 1 in 10 children and young people between the ages of 5 and 16 are classified as having a mental health problem, it is imperative that schools are able to meet the requirements set out by the Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision Green Paper and promoting greater mental health in their PSHE lessons.

With a variety of statutory requirements now placed on schools and a greater pressure to teach age appropriate RSE, better promote online safety and support pupil mental wellbeing, the onus now falls on schools to ensure that they are delivering effective and informative PSHE teaching.

You May Also Like