When I joined my current school, I received my timetable through and it had two periods a fortnight which just contained a code of letters and numbers. I emailed back and they stated it was their ‘project’ subject. As the year went on I learnt that this was their PSHE subject, it was taught as projects to bridge the gap between primary and secondary.
Over the course of the year I taught year seven about: staying safe, different style of reading, how to be healthy, careers and a business module. My class were fine, the lesson was fine, the subject was overall fine.
Then came November and the Paris terrorist attack. I created a short PowerPoint about what happened for form tutors. I sent it to SLT and I couldn’t believe their shock. They had never created something like this. Unfortunately since then there have been several power points. However, students are now ready for a conversation. A colleague told me that her year ten tutor group ask the morning after an attack ‘are we going to work through what Miss Nolan sent us?’ They’re so used to it now.
We have started stronger communications with parents. We sent home a copy of the PowerPoint and the guide from the PSHE association on how to talk about attacks. If we think it’s a difficult topic to talk about, I can’t even imagine how parents feel.
Then came October 2016, on the vacancies board the role of ‘Personal Development Lead’ came up. I went in with a two year plan for each year group. I explained how I would fit in British Values, PSHE and citizenship. The headteacher told me in my feedback that as far as he was aware he was giving me a job that I was already doing.
So I’m eight months in to the job and so far we have:
- Held a self harm production for year nine.
- Had teacher training on self harm
- Supported 17 children who came to us after the production.
- CV writing sessions with year ten.
- Mental Health workshops with year ten.
- Planned a charity day with year nine.
- Looked at wellbeing, careers, democracy and year sevens reflected on their first year at Little Heath.
- Healthy Relationships day (they did an hour with Science for the Biology of it all, then came to us for period talks, FGM and what healthy relationships look like).
I still have so much I want to do. I’m so looking forward to having a whole year to run everything I want to!