Education for Life
“It prepares us for the things in life which we don’t cover elsewhere at school.” So said a Year 13 student when I asked why we call PSHE ‘Life Education’ at LGS.
We review and celebrate the work of different departments on a rolling basis, supporting their self-evaluation, exploring areas for development and making recommendations for further improvement. The quotation above came from a discussion with pupils as we listened to their views and suggestions in three different age-groups. They were laudably positive about their Life Ed lessons, enjoying the discursive and interactive aspects, appreciating the relevance of the topics covered and realising that their increased knowledge and understanding could equip them to make the right choices in life.
Between us as reviewers, we watched six lessons, on a variety of topics: my observations covered ‘Future plans and goals’ with younger pupils, ‘Contraception’ in the middle years and ‘Consumer Rights’ with Sixth Formers. The staff taking the sessions instilled confidence and approached topics with appropriate sensitivity where required; not necessarily specialists, some have undertaken bespoke training, for example in the delivery of Mindfulness in Schools or Relationships and Sex Education. Pupils responded with curiosity and respect for one another, self-assessing the increase in their understanding at the end of each unit.
The syllabus covered is wide-ranging and, for certain topics, spiral: i.e it repeats some subjects, but in greater depth, according to the age of the pupils. The full programme can be found here: One of our review recommendations relates to the ongoing challenge of developing topical and concise resources on so many subjects, while another concerns consideration of the balance between lessons and external expert speakers – for our pupils sometimes listen more to a different authoritative voice.
I hope this gives you some insight into an important way in which we develop pupils’ understanding, self-awareness, mental health, confidence and moral compass beyond their core academic subjects. Life Education is an apt description, for it reflects our commitment to the rounded education which will help our pupils to thrive.