“RSHE plus” at Philip Morant School & College is part of our student personal development programme, the purpose of which is to equip students with the knowledge they need to enable them to live safe, fulfilled and healthy lives.
More information can be found in our RSE policy.
One of the school’s values is ASPIRATION. As students begin their second year in secondary school we refocus on this value and take another step towards choosing possible future career paths.
The careers programme seeks to challenge any preconceived ideas about “who” should do “which” kind of job, so that students are ultimately able to find a challenging and fulfilling career from the widest range of alternatives.
Revisit past discussions to see how your child’s ideas about careers are evolving. It is, as ever, useful for your child to consider a wide range of career options. It is also worth noting that there are careers that exist today that didn’t when you were in school, and that there will be careers in the future that don’t currently exist. It is therefore useful to discuss jobs that family and friends have experience of, but also to think beyond this. Ask your child to show you the Morrisby website and other resources they may be using at school. If you yourself, a friend or family member challenged the conventions of the day it may be worth sharing the story.
Growing up is and always has been a bit of an “emotional rollercoaster”. Young people today face many of the old challenges and quite a few new ones.
Learning that it is “okay to sometimes not be okay”; learning that stress is a natural response, can be managed, and can even be positive; learning self-awareness and resilience; recognising the artifice of much online/media content; these are aspects of mental well-being that affect us all, so let’s talk about them.
Your child may not want to talk to you about all of these issues, but should know that you are there for them if and when they do. You can educate yourself about some of the challenges facing young people using trusted sources such as those found on BBC Learn or BBC Bitesize.
Encourage your child to be a “critical thinker” when consuming media (rather than accepting what is presented as 100% authentic): have them consider the trustworthiness of the source, the intent behind the content, and how it might have been manipulated or ‘tweaked’. Encourage them to step out of their “echo chamber” and listen to other viewpoints.
If you have significant concerns about your child’s mental or emotional well-being, you should seek help from the school or your GP as appropriate.
By law 13 years old is the earliest that someone can engage part-time employment. Consequently it is at this stage that students are taught in more concrete terms about the National Minimum Wage. The concept of having an income, leads on to thinking about spending. As we generally cannot afford all our ‘wants’ all at once, it is then important to think about our spending priorities, how we can draw up a budget and save money for future purposes.
The cost of living shows up in concrete terms when we consider our weekly shop and household bills. Having your child help with shopping, reading the electricity/gas meter or smart meters, talking about rent or mortgage payments, can all help them to gain a ‘feel’ for the numbers involved.
Looking at the wages/salaries available for different types of job and the legal minimum wage will help them to understand how income and outgoings relate. When your income changes, either in nominal or real terms, you could discuss how this affects the household budget.
Following on from previous work on ‘healthy lifestyles’ the focus switches to specific risks to health. We will look at what UK law says, for instance, in relation to FGM or the legal age to consume alcohol. We consider the impact on the health and wellbeing (physical and mental) of ourselves and those around us. And we look at strategies for staying safe and healthy, and where support can be accessed.
Use the information provided by the school (or trustworthy websites) so that you’re sure of the facts about the issues being tackled: vaping, for instance, is a relatively new phenomenon with more information becoming available as more research into its effects is conducted.
Emphasise the benefits of a healthy lifestyle: eating well and being active; you might consider doing some meal-planning together, finding opportunities to exercise together, or a bit of healthy competition getting in your daily step-count.
Humans are sociable by nature and so relationships are important. As we grow up our relationships with family and our peers changes. Here we explore the characteristics that make for positive, healthy relationships, and the warning signs that might signify negative and unhealthy relationships.
As ever we signpost ways in which students with concerns get get extra information, help and support.
It can be difficult for parents to discuss sex and relationships with their children. There are some excellent online resources available, for instance, on the NSPCC’s website or the Brook website. Both offer good advice about how to approach subjects that you and/or your child may find difficult to talk about. Importantly also the information here is accurate.
In today’s world just about anything can be found on the internet, and it is natural for young people to go looking for answers to the questions they have. In RSE lessons we are careful to only use resources from trusted sources and fact-checked information. When supporting your child with any relationship, sex or health-related topics, make sure your information is correct, by using sites such as those mentioned, the NHS or the BBC.
In our careers education we highlight to students that, while qualifications are very important (and lack of qualifications can close off career avenues), there are other things that employers want also. We still see news reports from time to time in which employers’ groups criticise school leavers for not being “work-ready”.
Here we ask students to think about what they can offer beyond GCSEs/BTECs/A-levels and T-levels, and how to improve their portfolio.
Employability skills include: listening, problem-solving, staying positive, leadership, speaking, creativity, aiming high and teamwork. Encourage your child to think about each of these, and opportunities to develop them.
There will be opportunities within the school, eg. becoming part of the school council or taking up an extra-curricular activity. You might also to able to highlight opportunities out of school where your child could gain useful skills and experience, eg. scouts/guides/cadets or voluntary/charity work.