Health and emotional well-being related questions
- How does sex and relationships education relate to PSE?
- What opportunities exist in PSE to teach about domestic abuse?
- How does substance misuse education relate to PSE?
- Do schools have to teach first aid?
- What about food and fitness / obesity?
- What is being done to promote ‘emotional well-being?
The Health and emotional well-being theme addresses Welsh Government priorities. For example,
- Food and fitness
- Children and young people’s mental health
- Sexual health
- Substance misuse prevention.
Sex education is a statutory requirement within the curriculum in Wales. Governing bodies of all maintained schools are required to make, and keep up to date, a separate written statement of their policy with regard to the provision of sex education. All maintained secondary schools are required to include, as part of the basic curriculum of the school, sex education for all registered pupils. However, primary schools are not required to provide sex education as part of the basic curriculum. Primary schools can provide sex education but whether they do so is at the discretion of the school governing body.
The Health and emotional well-being theme provides clear opportunities to teach sex and relationships education, including opportunities for learners in the secondary phase to understand
- the law relating to aspects of sexual behaviour
- about contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV within the context of relationships
- the importance of sexual health and the risks involved in sexual activity including potential sexual exploitation
An underpinning aim of the PSE framework is to promote self respect and respect for others. There are also clear opportunities to address the social and emotional aspects of relationships.
Although domestic abuse is not mentioned explicitly in the PSE framework, there are several contexts for schools to teach about all aspects of relationships within the Health and emotional well-being theme. Specifically young people should be given opportunities to understand the features of safe and potentially abusive relationships and to develop their interpersonal skills including negotiating behaviour in personal relationships. They should also be helped to develop their interpersonal skills including strategies for managing anger, frustration and aggressive feelings effectively, and resolving conflict.
Domestic abuse is also addressed in the All Wales School Liaison Core Programme which is delivered successfully by trained police school liaison officers through the PSE programme of most secondary schools across Wales.
There are opportunities within the Health and emotional well-being theme of the PSE framework to teach young people about all aspects of substance misuse. Central to the process is equipping them with the skills and knowledge to make informed choices, so that they resist unwanted peer pressure and behaviour and take increasing responsibility for keeping the mind and body safe and healthy. In addition to understanding positive health choices, they should be made aware of the potential risks of the use and misuse of legal and illegal substances. Specifically, schools are encouraged to address binge drinking as part of their approach to substance misuse education.
We recognise the need for pupils to develop practical life skills. First aid is named in the PSE Framework as an example of an important skill for schools to teach to young people.
The PSE framework reinforces the Welsh Government’s commitment to promoting all aspects of healthy living with children and young people in Wales. A guidance document Food and fitness in the curriculum in Wales has also been developed and distributed to schools.
Within the Health and emotional well-being theme, there are clear opportunities to teach about
- the factors that affect mental health and the ways in which emotional well being can be fostered
- the statutory and voluntary organisations which support health and emotional well-being.
Equally the PSE framework clearly identifies the intrapersonal skills learners need to practice and develop to become emotionally literate.
The SEAL (Social and emotional aspects of learning) materials have the potential to contribute to a broad balanced programme of PSE. The SEAL materials for primary schools are in the process of being adapted and translated for use in Wales.
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