PSHE & Enrichment Programme
Every year, normal lessons are cancelled for a number of days so that we can deliver our ‘Conference Days’. These days cover ‘personal, health and social education’ for our students.
Each year has a certain focus for the days from ‘relationships’, ‘personal safety’, ‘healthy eating’ to ‘team building’, ‘drugs education’ to ‘eco activities’ at Thames Chase. A real hit is always ‘Stubbers’, which we are lucky to have on our doorstep. Upper School students benefit from careers education in various forms, as well as attending and receiving a first aid certificate to study skills and revision sessions. PSHE ensures that we also cover our legal obligations with regards to Sex and Relationship Education.
Our PSHE model is distinguished by 5 elements:
- Keynote – headline information & guidance: themed Conference Days for each year group, using effective guest speakers and quality resources.
- Scheduled – routine information & guidance: using tutor time to discuss topical issues in a ‘Thought for the Week’ format, with inspiration from newspaper articles.
- Integrated – cross-curricular information & guidance: supporting and developing PSHE and Citizenship topics through the main/specialist curriculum.
- Special – extension information & guidance: year group activities that sit outside the conference days, but which develop Life Skills.
- Web – online information & guidance: quality websites hosting advice and resources for pupils and parents.
To inform our work we have been institutional members of the PSHE Association.
Sex and Relationships Education
Sex Education and Family Life Education are taught at Key Stages 3 and 4, forming part of the School’s Health Education syllabus. Those aspects of the syllabus not covered by the various departments as a cross curricular theme are undertaken within the Pastoral Programme and PSHE conference days in Years 7 to 11; aspects of Sex Education also form part of the Pastoral Programme in the Sixth Form. The School’s Sex Education Programme is framed within the recommendations of the National Curriculum Council’s document on Health Education and, in particular, its recommendations under the section on Sex Education and Family Life Education at Key Stages 3 and 4. The Programme aims to be complementary and supportive to the role of the parents, recognising that parents are the key figures in helping children cope with the physical and emotional aspects of growing up and in preparing them for the responsibilities which sexual maturity brings.
We aim to teach about the physical aspects of sexual behaviour within a clear moral framework in which students will be encouraged to consider the importance of self-restraint, dignity and respect for themselves and others. We aim to present facts in a sensitive, objective and balanced manner enabling students to understand the range of sexual attitudes and behaviour in present day society, to be aware of the law in relation to sexual activity, to consider their own attitudes and to make informed, reasoned and responsible decisions about the attitudes they will adopt at School and in later life. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Sex Education lessons. A detailed Sex Education Policy is held in School.
Religious Education and Collective Worship
All students from Years 7 to 11 follow compulsory lessons in Religious Education, culminating in a full GCSE in Religious Studies at the end of Year 11.
Collective worship is held on a regular basis every morning for different year groups. This is mainly based on the Christian religion and is led by senior staff and sometimes by Form Tutors or others.
The annual Founders’ Day Service is held at St Dunstan’s Church, Stepney and is attended by Year 7 every year. Parents have the right to withdraw their children from Religious Education lessons or from collective worship but as this is a School designated as having a religious character, and parents have expressed a choice for religious education, a withdrawal would be at variance with the Admissions Policy. A Religious Education Policy is held in School.