Importance of PHSE Education for Young Learners Development
Dec. 20, 2021
What Is PSHE Education?
PSHE education is a school subject which focuses on teaching children the skills they will need for their lives, both now and in the future. From helping students understand how they can take steps to improve their wellbeing, to exploring what makes a healthy relationship, to looking at way substances such as alcohol and drugs can impact their lives – PSHE plays a crucial role in helping children learn and grow holistically, in addition to the traditional academic subjects they undertake at school.
Young learners’ personal, social, health and economic education plays a vital role as it provides them with a practical toolkit to support their relationship with themselves, others and money. They can learn to work as a team, communicate effectively, and be resilient human beings that ultimately will be able to weather the challenges they will encounter within their daily lives, as well as within society as a whole.
How Schools Can Ensure Effective Practice In PSHE Education
According to a study by the UK’s Department for Education, PSHE education can improve the physical and psychosocial wellbeing of pupils who receive it.
The study recommends teachers leading PSHE classes in a school setting to use curricula that engage pupils through a ‘whole-school’ approach and ensure that the culture of the PSHE education influences all the elements of day-to-day school life, placing children’s and staff’s wellbeing at the fore.
A beneficial PHSE curriculum should be inclusive of difference across cultures, ethnicity, disability, faith, age, sexual orientation and gender identity. It should also begin at an early age to make sure children at all levels of maturity are able to meet their developmental milestones.
Clear lesson objectives that encourage teamwork is a must, according to the UK DoE’s guidance, as is the involvement of a school’s wider community, such as agencies, parents, governors and members of the wider community, to ensure an integrated PSHE scheme of study.
Education for Health and Wellbeing – Global Scope
Studies from UNESCO show that high-quality health and wellbeing education is crucial to help youngsters understand why they need to be healthy and how to take care of oneself; it is also a fundamental way to avoid sickness and disease.
The United Nations organisation has pledged to work on the implementation of ongoing health and wellbeing education to end AIDS and promote better health worldwide. UNESCO states are “...committed to strengthening the links between education and health, reflecting growing international recognition that a more comprehensive approach to school health and coordinated action across sectors is needed.”
The organisation references statistics from their Global Education Monitoring Report, that show how influential beneficial health and wellness education is worldwide in improving nutrition and vaccination rates, lessening infantile deaths, maternal mortality and reducing HIV rates.
In their study called Making every school a health-promoting school, UNESCO say that no education system is successful unless it promotes the health and wellbeing of all those within it, specifically in the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. They speak of the way in which the pandemic has made the health and wellbeing of school populations more strained, and as a result emphasise the continued importance of PSHE education as a way to counteract this strain.
UNESCO's 'Making every school a health-promoting school' study
Resources to Develop Life-Skills
Ensuring young learners have the relevant materials and resources to develop their PSHE skills is crucial. Kid’s Academy has a range of valuable videos, worksheets, educational games and apps offering children a place to learn the necessary life-skills they need to thrive within their personal, social, health and economic education.
Learning worksheets on the website, such as the one shown below, allow young learners to develop their problem-solving skills and approach situations practically, when required, to reach a solution in their day-to-day life.
In our diverse and multicultural world, it is important for children to be tolerant, open minded and culturally informed. From this perspective, it is useful for them to learn lots about different cultures, faiths and languages so they can interact with people from all backgrounds. Effective PSHE education fosters this tolerance and uses resources, such as the ones below, promotes the learning of practical skills that can further develop this successful communication and interaction with others.
Within the Talented and Gifted app, children can enjoy the ‘Dress Up Eddie’ virtual game. This game is valuable for supporting children’s economic education as it incorporates a token rewards scheme. It allows children to dress the character up in the outfits of their choosing which harnesses their creativity and imagination.
This resource teaches valuable budgeting skills by awarding learners with tokens (stars) for successfully finished activities. They can spend the gained tokens in the virtual store and buy new clothes for their elephant pal Eddie. From here they can see the results of their hard-earned work.
This tool teaches children crucial real-life skills and introduces the idea of earning and spending money, as well as budgeting. They can experience through the app how diligence and determination lead to pleasant outcomes. The game also helps with motivation and engagement within the learning journey and offers room for creative experiments.
Creating Well-Rounded Individuals
As parents, caregivers and teachers, we can understand how important it is to ensure children, especially young children, are taught the skills they need to handle the inevitable challenges of life they will face on individual, interpersonal and professional levels. PSHE education is the space in which youngsters become suitably equipped with the techniques and knowledge they will need to prosper.
Incorporating engaging and useful resources in the learning process is a great way to aid students’ ongoing cultural, personal, social, health and economic education as they grow up.
For more information about PSHE please visit the references linked below.
About the author
Alison Carter - Play-Based Educator, ESL Teacher, Trauma Sensitive Yoga and Pilates Teacher.
Manchester, England, UK.