Personal, Social and Health Education
We use the Chris Quigley Secrets of Success programme to enhance the children's personal, social and emotional development. This approach introduces eight key aspects to the children to encourage them to be successful life-long-learners. These eight aspects permeate school life and are discussed regularly in assemblies and lessons, forming part of our day to day vocabulary. Every child is encouraged to demonstrating any or all of the following key qualities.
Try new things
Our children learn that success does not come knocking on the door. They understand we all need to go out and find something in which we can experience success and that finding something we are good at builds our confidence. They learn that successful people enjoy what they do and that what they do gives them energy. Work feels like play and time flies by. The children learn that successful people don’t need any external or material reward to motivate them; they do what they do simply because they love it.
This is something that most of us don’t want to hear. Accomplishment is all about practise and hard work and children need to understand the benefits of working hard. Our children learn that work is good and not something that should be avoided. We teach them that it may take hours and hours of hard work to become really good at something and that in real life success is not easy for anyone.
Children are living in the most intensely stimulating time in our history. They are bombarded with images from television advertisements, websites, games consoles and mobile phones. It has never been so important to teach our children how to concentrate. Of course, every teacher will tell pupils of the need to concentrate, but at Cowlersley Primary School we teach them how.
There are lots of ways children need to push themselves. For example, when they don’t feel like doing things, when they feel shy, when they think they might fail and when their friends are trying to stop them doing what they want to do. It can be really difficult to push oneself, but our children learn it is essential for success.
In 1968, George Land gave 1,600 five-year-olds a test in creative thinking. This involved finding multiple solutions to problems, asking questions and generating ideas. The test results were staggering: 98% scored at what he described as ‘genius’ level. He then re-tested the same children at age ten, by which time the level had declined to 30%. By fifteen years of age, only 12% of the children scored at the genius level. The same test given to 280,000 adults placed their genius level at only 2%. In his book Breakpoint and Beyond’, co-authored by Beth Jarman, Land concluded that non-creative behaviour is learned.
The test shows what most of us know- children have a fantastic imagination, which mostly declines with age. This decline is the enemy of success. To help children to be successful we encourage them to keep having ideas as they get older.
Successful people are always trying to make things better. This doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with what they have but they know that there is always room for improvement. They try to make good things great. Rather than making any radical transformations, however, they tend to make lots of small adjustments. This is what we teach our children: great things do not happen suddenly, they are the result of lots of tweaking and refinement. We can all make things a little bit better. We can all take small steps to greatness.
Aristotle made the distinction between what he called sophia and phronesis. Sophia was wisdom of the world - what came to be called science. He spoke of the importance of understanding how the world works. However, he also stressed that, in itself, this was not enough for civilisation to flourish. Society also needed phronesis. This was the application of this wisdom in the service of others. Thousands of years later, Aristotle’s words are just as true. Successful people use what they know to try to be useful to others. Instead of asking ‘What’s in it for me?’ they ask, ‘What can I give?’ If we look at a successful business, it gives people things they value, at the right price. If we look at a successful public service, it gives people what they value at the right time.
Don’t give up
Successful people have bad luck, setbacks, failures, criticism and rejection but they always find a way around these problems. Children need to understand that if they have bad luck, they are not alone. Most of us tend to focus on the accomplishments of successful people rather than their mishaps or setbacks. We need to tell children about the times we failed, were rejected and criticised but also how we bounced back.
Sex and relationships education (SRE)
It has been agreed by governors that aspects of sex and relationship education will be taught formally to children in Year 6. Additionally, in upper Key Stage 2 discussions will be timetabled around drugs, smoking and puberty.
PSHE in school is promoted through a wide range of assemblies and activities, through the curriculum and by the Pupil Leadership Team.