Positive Wellbeing should obviously be a whole school message if it is going to successful but I feel that PSHE is the key that unlocks the wellbeing gates. Students and staff should be aware of open dialogue for their own wellbeing and well planned PSHE lesson is the perfect place for this.
PSHE lesson can open gates on challenging topics which means we can collate a hub of information for pupils, staff and parents. This can allow access to resources which they can use at a later time, perhaps when not with their peer group, or when an issue arises. To facilitate this we have an ITunes U course set up. This encourages PSHE staff to develop their own CPD, and many will update it with great things that they see on TV or in the paper. ( the Tracey Ullman sketch about gender issues is a perfect example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51-hepLP8J4) And it isn’t just staff who teach PSHE who contribute to this course. After an assembly about Homophobic bullying I received 6 emails from staff who came up with suggestions.
In the 6th form we have a citizenship programme. Every week we have an hour for 6th formers to cover interesting topics. Sometimes delivered by myself ( example of which is here https://designatedsafeguardinglead.com/2017/02/26/pshe-teaching-of-contraception-and-sti-littlerubberhat-jcstaff_-qmgs_pshe-radyr_pse/ ) other times guest speakers. Finding the right guest speaker is hard as they have to pitch it right and you need to make sure that you have support afterwards as disclosures are often made afterwards. But the response from the pupils has been great. We have covered topics like MH, Anxiety, Consent, we have local politicians in from various parties,
Uni students, ” motivational speakers”, someone who has served time for manslaughter while driving drunk, Porn, body image, a refugee, someone who is blind, someone who has HIV, someone who has a disability due to a car crash. Pupils learn to listen and ask questions.
The most important point is that we give pupils time to reflect and discuss, we don’t expect them to go straight into a maths or physic lessons. This time is vital for their wellbeing and means that the topic is seen as important. Pupils do not book their music lessons during this period, not their doctors appointment. To them is it a life lesson that they want to sit through. It became so successful that we started noticing that staff would attend the guest speakers . Partly because they were interested in developing their own CPD. The topics we discussed were ones that they, as staff were having to help the pupils with and KCSiE also picks up on this :
41. All staff should have an awareness of safeguarding issues, some of which are listed below. Staff should be aware that behaviours linked to the likes of drug taking, alcohol abuse, truanting and sexting put children in danger.
42. All staff should be aware that safeguarding issues can manifest themselves via peer on peer abuse. This is most likely to include, but may not be limited to, bullying (including cyberbullying), gender based violence/sexual assaults and sexting. Staff should be clear as to the school or college’s policy and procedures with regards to peer on peer abuse.
However staff were also attending for their own wellbeing, creating a positive whole school message.