PSHE teaching principles

PHSE lessons are vital to the personal development of children and young people. However, many teachers find it challenging to find a way to engage learners in developing their personal, social, health and economic understanding and life skills. However, some general guidance may be helpful to consider, particularly if you are just started in the PHSE teaching path. We discuss three main principles of PHSE Lessons.  These principle are: pupil-led curriculum topics, ‘spiral’ approach to teaching and teacher as the facilitator and a guide. 

For most of its parts, the PSHE is a non-statutory subject. Therefore, teachers can choose and deliver PSHE topics that best match their pupils’ needs. However, the topic of Sex and Relationship education (SRE) is a compulsory one in maintained secondary schools.  According to the PSHE association, which specialised in PHSE teaching, there is some fundamental principle of effective PSHE education. 

PSHE teaching principles

Main principles of PHSE Lessons: One 

Make your curriculum pupil-led

Engage the learners in the topic planning while ascertaining their existing level of knowledge and understanding. Starting with a period discussion may not be the best solution to ‘won’ the learners on your side. Start with games, gently awakening their curiosity and developing engagement at the individual levels. Quizzes, anonymous notes, thinking closures, listening to the lyrics of the songs. The objective for the initial sessions needs to be ambitious but straightforward for their outcomes. Build trusts, build safe space and environment. Get your class ( in any shape or form) to guide your choices for the next session but remember to be the caption of your shit. Navigate it through the potential dangers. 

Main principles of PHSE Lessons: Two

‘Spiral’ approach to teaching  

Once you know that you have managed to establish a working relationship with the learners and identified their needs, only move on. It is now time to consider how to approach further engagement. Take one step at a time but do ‘turn on the difficulty. Start introducing more emotionally and intellectually channelling point for personal reflection and discussion. In the ideal world, the pupil should 1st develop the ability to self reflect, i.e. think of the past actions and alternative approached. Once the pupils can self-reflect, they can reach the next level of personal development, which is to be self-reflexive, i.e. understanding their own and the position of the other and actively choosing their path.

PSHE teaching principles

Main principles of PHSE Lessons: Three 

The teacher is the guide 

As the teacher, you need to take great care in positioning yourself and your commentary. Avoid using the application of guilt or shock. Instead, try to be in a position and get young people to arrive at their solution to living a happy, fulfilling, and safe life. The teacher is the facilitators of the self-discovery journey for the pupils that reinforces positive social norms. Your guidance is also important when choosing the activities. Active and interactive os the key to success when discussion emotionally difficult and personally important issues. To deal with more  socially focused topics of drugs, bulling, peer pressure etc. one way of getting the most from the PSHE lesson may be to invite experience in the PSHE topics deliver  external drama practitioners.