At Durston House, PSHME (Personal, Social, Health, Moral and Economic education) is a planned programme delivered to all boys for one lesson per week. It is designed to help boys in all aspects of their lives, acquiring the skills they need to develop into mature young men. It deals with real life issues, which affect boys, their families and their communities, and engages with the realities of their lives. It also aims to help the boys lead confident, healthy, independent lives and to become informed, active and responsible citizens. PSHME is an essential part of the school’s wider curriculum and whenever possible, Outings, assemblies and workshops are used to enhance the boys’ learning. Boys learn through whole-class discussion or working in small groups. Role-plays and drama, in addition to written and oral work, help boys express their thoughts and opinions and encourage all boys to participate actively. The subject is based on three core themes within which there is broad overlap and flexibility: developing a healthy and safer lifestyle, developing good relationships and respecting differences between people, and preparing to play an active role as citizens in the wider world.
In Pre-Prep, boys explore topics such as Self-esteem and Confidence, Friendships and Playing Together, Bullying, and learning How to be Part of a Team. They learn about Personal Hygiene, Cyber and Road Safety, How to Make Sensible Choices, Basic Democracy and Fairness, Stranger Danger and What to do in an Emergency. Additionally, boys are prepared for their move to Junior School. The curriculum is designed to be flexible and adapt to the needs of individual boys, classes and cohorts. It aims to draw on boys’ personal experiences of the world around them by continuing to scaffold their learning. It is an evolving subject area that responds to what is happening in boys’ lives and equip them to deal with the ever-changing world around them.
In Junior School, the topics studied relate to Relationships, Living in the wider world and Health and Wellbeing. To prepare boys in Years 3-4 for the move to Middle School, particular emphasis is put on developing independent responsibility for work and behaviour, maintaining good relationships with adults and peers and acknowledging the importance of good manners. We also aim to build resilience so that boys are better able to cope with challenges. Good revision and exam techniques are also covered in the Summer Term, to help boys tackle end-of-year examinations. Anti-Bullying workshops form part of the annual Anti-Bullying week; the Internet Safety Workshop is also an annual event for Year 3 boys. During the Summer Term, while Years 4-8 are away on Trips Week, Year 3 boys have the chance to extend their understanding of environmental awareness, responsibility, health and well-being through planting and exploring nature at Castlebar Playing Field, as well as studying herbs and their link to medicine. The boys also design their own Planet Care posters for display throughout Junior School.
In Middle School, boys focus on developing the personal skills that allow for growing independence, understanding and dealing with emotions, including stress and pressure as well as physical and emotional changes during puberty. The importance of good health and healthy eating is highlighted, discussing the effects of legal drugs including alcohol and tobacco, whilst understanding and identifying issues related to personal safety and managing risk, including discussing SMART rules on the internet. Understanding personal safety is supported and enhanced through an Internet Safety workshop and a TFL workshop. Boys also learn the importance of how to manage and save money. Added to that the boys also learn how to deal with managing change especially those related to changing and ending friendships, as well as loss and bereavement.
Upper School boys focus on understanding Multiculturalism and British values, learning basic First Aid Skills, developing knowledge of the Global Economy and Media Influences, discussing Ethical Consumerism and Fair Trade including a research project into a Fair Trade organisation. They also begin to explore the British Justice System by learning about crime, punishment and the law, which is enhanced with a Citizenship Day Outing. Boys discuss influences of social media on the Internet, developed further through an Internet Safety workshop, learn about the importance of democracy, elections and key institutions, including the European Union. These are enhanced by an Outing to the Houses of Parliament. Boys also learn about Addictive Behaviour, including the effects of illegal drugs, supported by a Drugs Workshop. Furthermore, they also learn about Healthy Lifestyles especially those linked to Physical and Mental Wellbeing.