The Importance of PSHE Lessons in School



The PSHE curriculum is an integral part of a student’s education. It helps to promote positive well-being and allows students to discuss important issues they may not feel comfortable discussing in other parts of the school day. This blog post will discuss what should be included in the PSHE curriculum and how teachers can best teach these lessons to their students.

PSHE education helps students develop the skills and knowledge they need to manage their lives effectively now and in the future. It covers essential topics such as staying healthy and safe, preparing for adulthood, and managing money.

PSHE can also help pupils do better academically when it is taught well. From September 2020, all schools will be required to provide PSHE education as part of the Children and Social Work Act 2017.

Related: For more, check out our article on How To Follow Development Matters In PSHE  here.

This includes relationships Education at key stages 1 and 2, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) at key stages 3 and 4, and Health Education in both primary and secondary phases.

In June 2019, the Department for Education published Statutory Guidance for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), and Health Education.

This document outlines what content must be covered in September 2020 by law (though this is not an exhaustive list of everything that should be covered as part of a broader PSHE education curriculum).

This edition of the PSHE Association Programme of Study will support schools in providing a comprehensive programme that integrates the statutory content and other relevant topics such as economic wellbeing, careers and enterprise education, personal safety, and risk assessment.

The PSHE National Curriculum has 3 core strands:


PSHE covers many topics related to children’s health, including:

  • What is a healthy lifestyle?
  • How can I maintain my physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being?
  • How do I manage risks to my physical and emotional health and well-being?
  • What are some ways of keeping physically and emotionally safe?
  • How do I manage change (e.g., puberty, transition, loss)?
  • Making informed choices about health and well-being.

Some topics that students will cover under the Health and well-being core theme include personal hygiene, physical differences between boys and girls, road safety, cycle safety, online safety, people who help us, how to talk about their feelings, and the benefits of physical activity.


This theme explores:

  • how to develop and maintain relationships across a range of social contexts
  • how to recognise, manage and respond appropriately to emotions to create positive relationships
  • how to identify and seek help for negative or risky relationships, such as those involving bullying or abuse
  • the importance of equality and diversity in all kinds of relationships

Children who participate in extra-curricular activities will learn how their behaviour can influence those around them; to listen actively and work or play together amicably; recognise the special people in their lives (e.g., family, friends) and show appreciation for them; become aware of what physical contact is appropriate, and develop strategies to deal with bullying.


This theme helps children understand:

  • The importance of respecting themselves and others, and taking responsibility for their actions and behaviour
  • Their rights and responsibilities as members of families, other groups, and society at large
  • About different types of communities
  • How to respect equality and diversity, as well-being a productive member in a diverse community
  • The significance environmental protection has
  • Similarly, they will develop a better sense of money management, including where it comes from initially and how to save it properly. Lastly, this course provides them with the foundations needed for entrepreneurship.

Your child will learn invaluable lessons such as how to follow the rules in various settings; what good and bad choices look like for the environment; money management skills; that we are all different yet have many similarities; the importance of human rights; and showing respect for other’s cultures.

well-being and teaching

How to teach PSHE

While it’s up to each school how they want to deliver PSHE, the PSHE Association advises that every week should set aside a whole hour for this subject.

This could involve lessons on bullying, different religions practised worldwide, why recycling is crucial, bike safety training, and talks from special guests like police officers or firefighters.

PSHE in The Wider Curriculum

For example, in science, the National Curriculum states that pupils must be taught about human growth and development. In geography, they might complete a survey of their local area, focusing on litter accumulation. In ICT classes, students might discuss risks associated with internet use and explore ways to stay safe online.

And in PE class, kids will learn different methods for staying active and fit. They may also take time to think about how physical activity affects their bodies–for instance, by taking pulse measurements or considering changes in respiration post-exercise.

Statutory Guidance

Although ‘Living in the wider world is not part of the mandatory curriculum, it is still crucial for students’ development and success later in life. The theme allows schools to support pupils so they meet the Gatsby Benchmarks related to career education as outlined by the Department of Education Careers Strategy.

The last section of the Programme of Study contains content grids from the Statutory Guidance for Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education. These grids show how each bullet point from the statutory guidance maps to learning opportunities in the Programme of Study.


The Planning Framework for SEND children is organised into six sections, fully aligned with the Statutory Guidance for Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education from the Department of Education. They are as follows:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-care, Support and Safety
  3. Managing Feelings
  4. Changing and Growing
  5. Healthy Lifestyles
  6. The World I live in

Assessment for PSHE

Assessment of learning in PSHE education is crucial for many reasons, some of which include:

  1. It is beneficial for students to take time and think about how their learning affects them outside of the classroom. Additionally, teachers need to be able to gauge understanding and determine what material still needs to be covered.
  2. Pupils feel more motivated to learn when constantly assessing themselves, as it allows them to see how much progress they are making.
  3. The leadership team, parents, governors and school inspectors can see PSHE education’s impact on pupils and whole school outcomes through assessment. This allows them to make judgments based on personal development, safeguarding, spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development and promotion of fundamental British values. Without assessment, all a school would be able to do is describe its PSHE provision without being able to show any evidence or data supporting the claim.
  4. According to the DfE, “schools should have the same high expectations of the quality of pupils’ work in these subjects as for other curriculum areas” — assessment for and of learning should be central to any PSHE education provision.

PSHE lessons are essential to a student’s education as they provide knowledge and skills related to their well-being that could help them in their future.

Teachers should set aside one hour weekly for PSHE lessons, covering bullying and bike safety training. Additionally, science, geography and PE classes should also incorporate.

Ideas For PSHE


What does PSHE stand for?

PSHE stands for Personal, Social and Health Education. This subject taught in many schools focuses on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills required for mental health and well-being.

What should be in the PSHE curriculum?

The PSHE curriculum should include topics such as relationships and sex education, health, mental health and well-being, online safety, careers advice, financial education and citizenship.

What is the assessment for PSHE?

Assessment for PSHE evaluates students’ knowledge and understanding to ensure they are adequately learning the material.

What is RSE?

RSE stands for relationships and sex education. It is a part of the PSHE curriculum, which focuses on teaching students about relationships and sex in a safe, age-appropriate way.

What does Ofsted say about PSHE?

Ofsted states that “schools should have the same high expectations of the quality of pupils’ work in PSHE education as for other curriculum areas”, and that it is essential for students to receive a balanced, comprehensive and relevant education.

Do teachers have to teach PSHE?

Yes, teachers are obligated to teach a broad and balanced PSHE curriculum. This includes learning topics such as relationships and sex education, health, mental health and well-being, online safety, careers advice and citizenship.






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