At the school I work at, we have replaced CPSHE with PDW (Personal Development and Wellbeing). With this part of education so important for so many reasons, it is essential that schools are providing pupils with the knowledge and the skills in areas outside of the typical academic sphere.
Today, we had a PDW focus morning. This is delivered by form tutors, to tutor groups for period 1 and period 2. These are once a half term and are in line with the PDW topic of the half term. Otherwise, PDW is provided once a week in our fifteen minute morning tutor times. All the sessions are created by the Head of PDW, and are fully resourced. They are so well prepared, that it is so easy to deliver for any teacher of any subject. They are varied and interesting and accessible.
I co-tutor a Year 7 tutor group, and our topic this half term has been democracy, so our focus morning was based on the media and the vote@16. The sessions have been so successful so far, with the pupils engaged and interested. Other year groups have been given sessions by the school nurse, outside organisations and while year group conferences.
Whilst I was a PGCE, one of the schools I was on placements at delivered a similar session once a week to KS3 as a timetabled session. I think that it is really important to have a weekly session, as long as it is well planned and purposeful, as it ensures that pupils see the point or the reason for doing it. They can see straight through being delivered a session purely for the purposes of ticking an OFSTED box and PDW or CPSHE is worth so much more than that.
Done well, it can enlighten pupils from a young age to the importance of politics, make them self aware regarding sexual, physical and emotional issues, encourage cohesion and tolerance within school and the wider community. It can ensure that pupils see the point in education and understand how learning things can benefit them. It helps keep pupils safe from the dangers of the internet or other people that they may meet. It is all the most important things that a lot of older people say that they wish they learnt in school. And I think that, on the whole, CPSHE is seen as a bit of a waste of valuable curriculum time. But I couldn’t disagree more.