Citizenship / PSHE - Lesson 42
Here at the College, PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education is delivered through a programme called 'Lesson 42'. The number 42 is significant in Douglas Adams' 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'; it is the answer determined by the supercomputer, Deep Thought, to the 'Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.'
We feel this is fitting, as PSHE is a broad subject which covers many areas that will prepare our students to understand the world around them. Lesson 42 is delivered, primarily, by our form tutors but we also work hard to ensure that assemblies, outside speakers and production companies, as well as frequent drop-down days, provide a wealth of further experiences for our students. Across all Key Stages, PSHE education can be split into three key strands: 'Health and Wellbeing', 'Relationships' and 'Living in the Wider World.'
Our intent is to provide a PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) curriculum that provides opportunities for pupils to build on prior learning from KS2 and reflect on and clarify their own developing values and attitudes, while exploring the contrasting and conflicting values and attitudes they may encounter now and in the future. Understanding, acceptance and tolerance are central to our vision for PSHE at Exmouth Community College, and this is reflected in our development of a coherent programme that is rich in cultural capital, making use of a range of media, real world stories and literature. As well as being compliant with the DfE’s statutory guidance on Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), our curriculum comprehensively reflects the PSHE Association’s suggested syllabus, tailored to the specific requirements of ‘Exmouth students’, and their safety and opportunities in a coastal town. Our curriculum has been structured around the PSHE Associations’ three core themes: ‘Health and Wellbeing', 'Relationships' and 'Living in the Wider World'.
PSHE education is delivered here through a programme called 'Lesson 42'. The number 42 is significant in Douglas Adams' 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy', where it is the answer determined by the supercomputer, Deep Thought, to the 'Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.' We believe that through high quality PSHE education, pupils are provided with answers to these questions of life, and are afforded the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes that they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, while being good citizens and navigating life outside of the classroom in modern Britain. Throughout all Key Stages, Lesson 42 is delivered in a weekly 40-minute session, delivered to tutor groups by the tutors. The lessons are planned centrally, accompanied by branded, consistent lesson visuals and quality video resources. These resources are stored electronically, giving tutors simple access. Pupils complete work in termly booklets, which, when completed, take the form of a knowledge organiser. PSHE lessons reflect our whole college commitment to developing literacy, and pre-teaching of key vocabulary is explicit, and developed through opportunities to read, hear and use these terms in context during extended reading opportunities. Our intent is to encourage pupils to be able to understand and confidently use both tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary regularly within lessons, but also in discussion outside of the classroom.
Assessment in Lesson 42 is regular formative, as the PSHE association state that ‘the personal nature of PSHE education means that it cannot be assessed in the same way as most other subjects and it would be inappropriate for assessment in PSHE education to imply passing or failing ‘as a person’.’ Therefore, in place of summative assessment, tutors within the department are encouraged to promote discussion and debate, where pupils feel safe and valued when answering questions and sharing their views. Cold-call questioning and mini-whiteboards are also used by tutors to regularly check understanding during lessons, and pupils regularly complete ‘Knowledge Reflection’ mind maps in their work booklets, to check understanding at the beginning and end of topics, with new knowledge gained throughout the unit being added in purple pen. This in turn enables tutors to formatively assess learning over time, and the benchmark against which progress is measured is the pupil’s own starting point, not the performance of others.
Nathan Wright: PSHE Co-ordinator.