(Personal, Social, Health, Moral and Economic Education)
The work done in PSHME is essential to the development of SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social Cultural) values that all schools in England and Wales are required to promote. Our work in PSHME is carried out in timetabled lessons, following a structured scheme of work, throughout the school, overseen by the Head of Department and assisting Subject Coordinators. Great respect is shown for the subject and its work contributes to the positive, tight-knit atmosphere evident in our school community.
From Year 1 onwards, all boys have weekly lessons in PSHME, in their Form Classes. These lessons encompass Circle Time, when the younger boys learn to take turns and to listen to each other when discussing or sharing feelings, emotions or events. Core British values of democracy, justice and respect for all in society are promoted in all year groups; the fundamentals of a democratic society are explained and re-visited in age-appropriate lessons and diversity is celebrated. The boys further their understanding of actions that are right or wrong, morally as well as legally, as they learn about their rights and duties in the community, and their responsibility to contribute positively to it. In addition to studying the structured PSHME curriculum, the lessons provide a forum for discussion of current affairs in the wider world that may impact, directly or indirectly, on the Durston community. The impulse for such discussions frequently comes from the boys who follow news stories outside school and wish to share their views, hopes and concerns with their peers and their teacher. Under the guidance of their teacher, courteous and considerate discussion allows them to form and express opinions, and find common ground with their peers. The Form Class provides boys with a safe environment in which to do so.
In Year 7, boys take part in a thought-provoking Citizenship Day, in conjunction with several neighbouring schools, during which they engage with the agencies involved in keeping all members of our society safe: Police, Magistrates, Prison Officers and Victim Support. They listen to first-hand experience and are asked to confront issues that threaten social cohesion. In Year 8, boys visit Parliament and our local MP, where concepts of democracy and governance are explored in an interactive way, where their views are sought about our modern democracy. On such occasions, we are proud of the maturity shown and the level of engagement demonstrated by our boys, expressions of the character vital to a full education.