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What is PSHCE?

PSHE is Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education. PSHE has two main compulsory strands: Health and Wellbeing and Relationships and sex education. It has a third strand of Living in the Wider World which is also delivered to our students.

The Core Aim of PSHE

‘PSHE education isn’t just another school subject. It’s a chance to give every child and young person an equal opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge they need to thrive now and in the future.

This includes helping them to deal with critical issues they face every day such as friendships, emotional wellbeing and change. And giving them a solid foundation for whatever challenging opportunities lie ahead, so they can face a world full of uncertainty with hope.
From making informed decisions about alcohol to succeeding in their first job, PSHE education helps pupils prepare for all the opportunities, challenges, life decisions and responsibilities they'll face.

This in turn achieves a 'virtuous circle', whereby pupils with better health and wellbeing can achieve better academically, and enjoy greater success.’

PSHE Association

We are aware at The Oxford Academy that the world around us is changing all of the time. We feel it is our duty as educators to support our students in as many elements of their lives as we can to ensure their future sucess. 

The core aim of PSHCE is to ensure students gain knowledge they can use in their future. Whether that be for their personal safety, their mental wellbeing, building happy, stable relationships or their academic success that allows them onto the careers pathway they aspire to.

Our vision is to give every child knowledge of the ever changing world around them. To have developed critical thinkers that can examine situations, decide on the outcome and then be able to vocalise their choice in a well reasoned way or to seek support when necessary.

How is it taught?

PSHE is delivered by a small group of specialist teachers. Students receive one lesson a fortnight built into their timetable.  Tutors also deliver TOA topics to their tutor group once a week during tutor times. These sessions may cover topics such as anti-bullying or the impact of screen time on their learning.

The Curriculum

The curriculum follows the advice of the PSHE Association who supported the DfE consultation on the PSHE curriculum. However, we do adapt the curriculum for the needs of our students to ensure that they all have the same foundation knowledge of the curriculum.

The PSHE is a spiralling curriculum. The idea is that as students get older they build on the knowledge of certain aspects of the curriculum. This enables us to develop bespoke lessons for their age groups. Therefore meeting the needs of our students better.

For example in year 7 students look at how to make new friends in secondary school, who they trust and why.  They will look at the difference between bullying and banter. As they travel through the years these themes will be revisited but adapted to situations that are more likely to arise at their age. By year 11 students will be able to identify healthy relationships and how to keep safe within those relationships.



Relationships and Sex Education

As of September 2020 RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) is compulsory. While this is called Relationships and Sex Education, the majority of this strand is relationships and health.

The relationships part of this strand is vast. It will start from how to make new friends and who to trust. Moving onto later years intimate relationships with others. This is getting students to look at the important building blocks of stable happy relationships.

This also looks at anti-bullying and cyberbullying and the difference between bullying and banter. A large amount of this curriculum is supported by students looking at scenarios to determine the right course of action in those situations and where to get help and support.

This is an inclusive curriculum, built to be respectful of all people in line with the Equality Act of 2010. Students are regularly made aware of the protected characteristics.

There is nationally the right to withdraw from the sex element of Relationships and Sex Education. After our school consultation period, the new RSE policy was written. PSHE does not cover the actual act of sexual intercourse. Students will learn reproduction in the Science curriculum. Topics such as contraception and sexually transmitted infections come under health education, as this knowledge can keep them healthy.

It is made clear to students what religious and non-religious beliefs that surround relationships and also that the only risk free way of not getting pregnant or catching an STI, is to not have sex.

We aim to think carefully about what we deliver to keep our students safe now and moving into their futures. Lessons are carefully planned and adapted to the age of the classes. We also use our school nurse (NHS qualified)  to support in some of our lessons.

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