Who'd want to be the Head of PSHEe?
If we time travelled back ten years, you would find me a fairly typical teacher when it came to PSHEe (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education). Yes, it was useful stuff, but not always very interesting, a bit of a pain to teach at times, sometimes something to be dropped when things were busy.
How things have changed! These days, PSHEe is a vital part of a pupil's education. It is more exciting, more diverse and much better resourced, making it interesting to teach and learn about. But really, the change for me came from personal circumstances. For 15 years I had pursued an academic angle to my teaching, wanting to be an academic deputy head or similar. But I was confronted by the realities of life and through some hard lessons, came to see that my role lay elsewhere. Helping children become better, happier, wiser, more tolerant and loving, was quite possibly where my future was.
From a slight PSHEe cynic I have become an evangelist. From a narrower view of education, my eyes were opened much wider.
Of course, PSHEe is not a modern day panacea. The ills of life will not be sorted by a few well crafted PSHEe lessons. But rather, PSHEe helps set the tone and create the environment for much greater acts. Maths lessons are much more effective if young people see their failures as part as the road to success (Resilience). History lessons are more meaningful when viewed through an educated lens (Black Lives Matter). Playtimes are more fun when we get on with people (Relationship skills). PSHEe can support the overall pastoral care of students.
And that, for me, is the magic of teaching PSHEe. Resilience, Blacks Lives Matter, Relationships skills: these topics and many, many more, can be taught and promoted into the wider school life.
Certainly, my life is better with PSHEe in it. And hopefully Pilgrims' is the better for it too.
Director of Wellbeing