PHSE is devolved to the boys in a number of ways, and by a number of people. However all occasions, both formal and informal, in which it takes place have the same guiding principles – to promote respect by the boys for themselves and for each other, to promote good practice in the boys in their personal lives and to foster a healthy sense of community within the school.
Formally, PHSE is very much part of the agenda at the following times:
Years 3,4 & 5 have one set PHSE lesson per week where a variety of topics are covered. See PHSE academic policy.
Matters which are relevant to all ages – the importance of personal hygiene, good manners, tolerance and respect for each other etc – can be addressed at whole school Assemblies, usually by the Headmaster or his Deputies, but also, by arrangement, Head Matron or other key staff.
All full time teaching staff are assigned to a Year Group, led by one senior member of staff, and follow Year Groups from Year 5 to 8 up the school. Years 3 and 4 have meetings with their class teachers who double as their Tutors. There are four 30 minute meetings of these groups per week (5.40-6.10pm), during which issues relevant to that age group can be discussed, either openly or in small groups or in private. During the remainder of the week a boy’s Tutors are his first port of call for advice or help.
Topics including the importance of a healthy diet, body changes during puberty and sexual reproduction are introduced at the relevant stage.
Although of course the School Chapel is primarily used for worship, the Wednesday morning services, run by individual year groups and their Tutors, are often used to promote good practice, rather than a purely Christian message. Presentations by the boys themselves, video excerpts or relevant readings back up the educational aspect of these services.
There are many other occasions during the day when PHSE is devolved informally. All staff – teaching and pastoral – sit at the end of the boys’ tables at meals, and can put across good practice when relevant. The schemes of work during the academic part of the day are not so prescriptive as to forbid the useful ‘red herring’ as a means of getting an important point across – particularly during RE or English lessons. Although the boys, particularly the older ones, are afforded privacy during showers after Games, the Head Matron and Sports Staff are a discrete presence to underline the importance of good hygiene, as are the Assistant Matrons at morning showers. With the relatively small number of Boarders, the Matrons can give advice about a variety of personal issues, on an individual or small group basis. The SENCO may well include certain elements of PHSE in her individual lessons.