PSHE: For your child’s digital future 

You may have heard the term PSHE. But how can it help build your child’s digital resilience? Jonathan Baggaley, CEO of the PSHE Association, explains

What is PSHE education?

Personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education helps equip pupils with the skills and knowledge that they will need to thrive at school and beyond.

It supports children and young people to be healthy, safe and prepared for adulthood by dealing with real-life issues that affect them, their families and their communities. PSHE covers a diverse range of topics, from sexting and cyberbullying through to gender equality and extremism, by way of careers education and personal finance.

How does PSHE prepare young people for our digital world?

Digital technology is integrated into many areas of our life, so a good quality PSHE curriculum needs to develop young people’s knowledge and understanding of the digital world – from safe online relationships to mental health and media literacy.

The skills and attributes PSHE develops will support young people online and offline. Assertiveness, for example, could help your child exit a risky online chat, but will also improve their chances in a job interview. Developing resilience will help them bounce back from setbacks such as poor exam results, but also help them deal with the pressures of constantly connected social media.

Isn’t online safety covered in the computing curriculum?

Aspects of online safety can be covered in computing lessons, including an understanding of ways to use technology safely and securely. However, the online world is more complex and nuanced. PSHE education goes beyond the technological to focus on the more human, social and emotional aspects of online life.

How do I know if PSHE education is taught well in my child’s school?

Schools have an obligation to publish details of their curricula on their website, including PSHE provision. However, sometimes there is little information to go on. The National Curriculum suggests that ‘all schools should make provision for PSHE, drawing on good practice’. The Department for Education announced it will open a consultation on whether to strengthen this expectation further, in recognition that not all schools cover it well.

How can I support my child with what they’ve learned through PSHE?

It’s important that learning about things such as online safety, digital resilience and healthy relationships is a partnership between parents and schools. Talk to your school about what they’re teaching in PSHE and when. You’ll find information to support your children’s education about the digital world at www.thinkuknow.co.uk and www.parentinfo.org

PSHE, SRE or RSE? Education explained

PSHE

Personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe, and prepare for life and work in modern Britain.

SRE

Sex and relationship education (SRE) is part of the wider PSHE curriculum, dealing with the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health.

RSE

Relationship and sex education (RSE) was the term used by education secretary Justine Greening in March 2017 when she announced government plans to make sex education compulsory in all schools in England and Wales.

 

For more information about PSHE education, go to www.pshe-association.org.uk

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