By Diane Turner PSHEC coordinator, AST Citizenship

We believe that Citizenship is an entitlement for all students supported by different enrichment activities. Part of this enrichment includes a planned input of outside speakers and agencies which may come in to curriculum time in PSHEC or as an off timetable session so building on and reinforcing teaching and learning within the programmes of study for the new national curriculum.

At Hitchin Girls school PSHEC dedicated curriculum time is one hour lesson per week for year 7 and one lesson a fortnight for years 8-11

External agencies used to support our PSHEC program:

Please note that in line with Local Authority protocol there is no intention to promote any particular agencies.

Hertfordshire constabulary and community support officers

WHAT are we trying to achieve?

Our aims are :

For the students to develop a respect and awareness of the police community role and to foster a rapport so that the benefits of working together as responsible citizens can be realised and embraced.

For the students to understand the risks and local issues so that they are more informed to be able to make safe choices.

To extend knowledge and understanding of 4 key community, rights and law issues covered in the PSHEC curriculum- Personal safety, Anti- social behaviour, drugs and alcohol.

HOW do we organise these learning opportunities?

Mandy and Louise our Police community support officers have targets set by the Youth Crime Prevention officer for a certain amount of input in schools. There is also a teachers resource pack for them to utilise provided by the constabulary. We discuss and plan input to compliment with our hour long PSHEC curriculum lessons to fit in with the relevant year group and module and are given to classes of around 30 students.

At present this is:

Internet safety ( child exploitation and online protection) Year 7

Personal safety Year 8

Drugs and alcohol Year 9

Anti-social Behaviour and Crime Year 11

Their aims are to deliver lessons from a proactive point of view, encouraging young people to make the right decisions in life and give them direction. Also to prevent them from offending and to provide them with advice and guidance on the law and their rights as young people.

All sessions are open to group discussion and below is a brief synopsis of the content.

Internet safety- A power-point delivery explaining the risks online for young people, how to report abuse online, the law around sending offensive or threatening texts or MSN messages and possible consequences. Advice on how to safely use the internet. It also includes a short clip from CEOP about the risks of paedophile behaviour and how to recognise inappropriate behaviour.

Personal Safety- A power-point delivery covering personal safety, keeping safe, managing and recognising risk and making safe choices. The session covers personal safety whilst out and any local issues or places to be aware of, home alone, mobile phone and internet safety and a short piece on alcohol. There is also some interactive group work dealing with scenarios.

Alcohol- A power-point and interactive session with alcohol goggles to show the effects of alcohol particularly how it affects young people. The power-point covers units, the effects, the risks and the law. It discusses how many units are in drinks, confiscation of alcohol, statistics, what to do in an emergency and personal safety tips. There is a case study on the detrimental effect alcohol can have on young people. Local alcohol and drugs issues are covered.

Anti-social behaviour and crime- A power point delivery covering the following: What is anti-social behaviour, local examples. How the police deal with ASB, stop and search, the Government respect project, crime and young people. Reprimands, final warning and criminal records and their long term implications. This session involves group discussions on anti social behaviour and young people with a local focus and explanation of local initiatives.

HOW well are we achieving our aims?

Students and staff verbal feedback and written evaluations from all these sessions are very positive both in terms of making the topic real and relevant to young people and the learning outcomes for the students. I would thoroughly recommend to any school to make full use of any police support offered.

Note- The local community support officers have also been involved for the past four years in an off timetable anti bullying drama based session in various formats for all year 7 as part of our anti- bullying week activities which is in line with the National anti-bullying week.

Hertfordshire Community Health Services

WHAT are we trying to achieve?

To help students develop key life skills through exploring issues around managing Emotional Health and Wellbeing and building and maintaining successful relationships

An understanding of sexual health risks and how to minimise them

A deeper understanding and knowledge from acknowledged experts of the advice and support agencies available for a range of health issues

•HOW do we organise these learning opportunities ?

We have worked closely for many years with the local health team to enhance our Sex and Relationship and personal well being curriculum agenda. Health advisors supplement our schemes and are never one off sessions but form part of our planned SOW. Their core program is offered to all secondary schools as well as regular drop in sessions for the students.

Herts community health services now have a core program, complete with lesson plans, which standardises what is offered to schools throughout the County.

At the end of year 7 one session is offered to raise awareness of the HPV jab they will have in year 8 and to follow on from their SRE in year 6

In year 9 two sessions are offered on sexual health and relationships which includes safe sex, contraception, condom workshops and advice and help available locally.

In year 10 a standard session on managing Emotional health and well being is offered including stress management, recognition of deterioration in emotional health and well being, coping strategies and support available.

•HOW well are we achieving our aims?

Very successfully, the student evaluation forms always mention how valuable these sessions were and for year 9 under three things that they enjoyed the condom exercise is generally a favourite!!

North Hertfordshire District council-

Environment presentations. Youth Question time. I’m a councillor get me out of here. Cragrats and Waste management, the three R’s presentation

WHAT are we trying to achieve?

Students to have a better awareness of the role of the district council, its councillors, waste management and how they can influence any decision making affecting communities and the environment.

HOW do we organise these learning and active citizenship opportunities ?

In year 7 A member of the council delivers a power point presentation with video clips on local waste disposal on waste and recycling in North Herts. This is delivered as part of their PSHEC module on the environment and the focus is on the serious nature of our local and national waste problem and how the students can make a difference.

WE have had the Cragrats theatre group funded by NHDC for the last three years who have presented their theatre workshop to the whole year group on an waste issue in an entertaining but though provoking way. They also supply a booklet with background notes and activities to follow up in PSHEC lessons. They run a workshop for a group of 30 interested students straight after the performance to explore the issues and come up with actions that will make a difference. This is often followed up through a group which then submits an enter to their competition. In 2007 Hitchin Girl’s school won first prize which was £1,000!

Annually councillors and NHDC representatives on youth issues come into school to get the views of young people to effect change. Named I’m a Councillor get me out of here! I organise this in a small group of students from all age groups selected by invitation and reputation of wanting to air their views. It is always a lively session and as the session starts off with a review of the changes made in the light of the previous years sessions which make the students feel valued.

Also annually, as part of Local Democracy week, NHDC run an event called Youth Question timewhen a local school hosts the event attended by a group of councillors, youth workers and people interested in young peoples views. Local schools are invited to take a group of 14 students and I try to take a mixture of year groups. Each student comes up with a burning question to put to the panel and these are emailed in advance. Refreshments are provided and the event is run liked the BBC question time. It is a very rewarding experience for the students and they enjoy the opportunity to put across their views to people in a position of influence.

Amnesty International speaker

Amnesty International produced some excellent DVD and materials on Human rights issues and a representative will come in free of charge to talk to students in lesson or assembly time. At Hitchin Girls’ School Veronica Raymond delivers an hour session complete with power point and DVD footage, in Year 10’s Social Moral and Environmental module to explain what Amnesty International as an organisation does, to show case studies of their latest projects and show how students can be involved and make a difference. The talk forms part of the program which looks at a variety of pressure groups and how active citizenship can make a difference. The students respond well to this enthusiastic real presentation and all are more informed about the work and campaigns of Amnesty at the end of the session.

At Hitchin’s girls’ school we have had the following programmes:

Wasted- Substance Misuse with year 8

The package comes with a useful book of follow up activities

WHAT are we trying to achieve?

For the students to be able to identify a range of legal and illegal drugs

For the students to explore possible health and social consequences of drug misuse and consider personal responsibilities and informed safe choices

For the students to gain some life skills in resisting peer pressure.

HOW do we organise these learning and active citizenship opportunities ?

At Hitchin Girl’s school we have an off timetable session of one hour ( which is a reduction in time of what is offered)

Adad show a powerful drama performance, details of which can be found on their website followed by a short workshop in which searching questions are asked about drug misuse, and the characters of the play are explored with opportunities for the students to pinpoint moments of choice and change the behaviour and outcomes of the characters. The numerous twists and turns of the performance keep the students attention throughout.

HOW well are we achieving our aims?

The evaluations from both staff and students are outstanding in terms of both entertainment and education. The performance powerful, suitably relevant to the age of the students and imparts hard hitting messages. The workshops are engaging, well managed and interactive. The students leave buzzing with the issues. Written evaluations confirm that all the aims were met and the students have grasped the clear message that they have to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

Behind closed doors -Relationships with year 10

WHAT are we trying to achieve?

To consider relationships and perceptions of what behaviour is normal and acceptable within a relationship.

To explore what makes a healthy relationship

To look at gender stereotypes and how they are perpetuated.

To gain insight into how power and control can lead to abuse and how to challenge the development of abuse in a relationship.

HOW do we organise these learning opportunities?

At Hitchin Girl’s school we have an off timetable session of one hour ( which is a reduction in time of what is offered)

Details of the play can be found on ADADS website and this was followed by engaging workshop activities

HOW well are we achieving our aims?

The play and the workshop dealt with all the sensitive issues in a thought provoking but fun way and the feedback from our girls was extremely positive. A strong theme in the student evaluation was that the students has not considered how some of their behaviour whilst out in a group impacted on how boys felt about it. All aims were fully met and I felt that this session had an lasting impact on the students which I hope that would help them to form and maintain healthy relationships in the future