The Other 16 Hours - Sophie McPhee
Academic subjects teach you how to deal with eight hours of each day. And PSHE? The other sixteen hours.
Last year, I decided to join the thousands of other teachers who have taken to Twitter to share views, ideas and resources, to expand my professional reach out of my school with a view to eventually moving (at least part-time) into outreach and consultancy work, and writing under my own personal brand. After some deliberation as to what my brand should be called, I remembered a phrase from a whole-school assembly I had given the previous year on the importance of PSHE and immediately, it felt exactly right.
So what does ‘The Other 16 Hours’ mean? I work at a school where many pupils aspire to become lawyers, doctors, or engineers, and for some, there is immense pressure from parents for them to have the kind of status that these professions bring. The pupils themselves cite a high salary as a main reason for wanting their chosen career, and can be narrow-minded when it comes to the importance of certain subjects. I want to be a doctor; music is not important. I want to be an engineer; I don’t need history. This has contributed, in my view, to the decline of arts and languages within our secondary schools, as the goal of education is increasingly seen to be to leading to a certain job, not to stretch and challenge our intellect for its own sake.
And yet, we are often told that we are not our job. Indeed, for the vast majority of us (I assume), working hours do not take up the greatest proportion of our day. Therefore, if our academic subjects prepare young people for a third of the 24-hour cycle, what will prepare them for the remaining two-thirds? Good parenting and life experience, yes. But which subject can provide a support mechanism when either of those are deficient? Personal, social and health education.
PSHE teaches pupils how long they should sleep for, what they should eat, how they can be active citizens in their communities, how to conduct their relationships, how to be safe online. It teaches them how to look after not only their physical health, but their mental and financial health too, and encourages them to explore their own values and morals. The world needs doctors, lawyers, engineers and thousands of other kinds of people in other kinds of jobs in order to be able to function, but it needs those people to be healthy in every sense of the word in order to function well.
Therefore, to deny PSHE a place on the main curriculum is to deny an interest in cultivating the whole person, to deny the definition of a successful life as anything other than professional achievement. What we need is a passionate team of specialist teachers dedicated to their own continuing professional and personal development, in order to give our children and young people the information and skills they need so they can radiate this learning outwards and onwards to their colleagues, friends and their own families. The ideal curriculum cultivates the mind as well as the brain, teaching that both are of equal importance if we are to thrive in all aspects of our life, not just professionally. Academic subjects teach you how to deal with eight hours of each day. And PSHE? The other sixteen hours.
is a PSHE and MFL teacher at a grammar school in the West Midlands. Alongside teaching PSHE, French and German, she has devised and runs a primary school outreach programme called ‘Change Your Mind’, where Year 12 pupils plan and deliver mental health workshops to Year 6 classes across the local area, and coordinates a staff and pupil Wellbeing Group.
Comment copied from original blog location hosted on Cre8tive resources Website "This is so insightful and thought provoking. Thank you for sharing your views"
Comment copied from original blog location hosted on Cre8tive resources Website "it has helped me to think and learn myself - still a work in progress! In my opinion you are pointing out something that is extremely important here. You are looking for what well rounded human beings need in order to lead a happy productive life. You are also pointing up that although many of us are convinced by the idea that money always brings happiness and success in life, this is not necessarily true. We may be trained to work but still be poverty stricken in the ability to live well, adapt and appreciate our world. Your work with year 12's also shows you appreciate that supporting them to analyse issues with year 6's is helping them to work out ways to support their own and other people's well-being. This is a good collaborative research project - lots of opportunities to learn from learner voice data and I wish you luck. According to Hilde and Ylva Ostby (2018) in 'Adventures in Memory' - we are 'ultrasocial' animals and our memories are very much informed through our intrapersonal skills. In PHSE you are developing the whole person, improving your own and learners' ability to relate knowledge to pleasure as well as teaching how to use it for practical survival in areas other subjects may have little time to explore."
Comment copied from original blog location hosted on Cre8tive resources Website "This is why the government finally waking up to something we've been shouting about for years is so welcome!"
Sign in or register to add a comment.
Add a Comment
Welcome to the PSHE Academy
Upgrades, Expansion & USB's
Deep Dives, Inspections & Interviews
Consultation & New Reforms
Training, CPD and Workshop Providers
Specific Support & Advice
Sourcing Free Teaching Materials
Cre8tive Curriculum PSHE USB Schools
Q and A
Six Core Cre8tive Spiral Themes
Blue Core theme 1 RBV
Green Core Theme 2 - CDE
Pink Core Theme 3 - RSE
Orange Core Theme 4 - ONF
Purple Core theme 5 - H&W
Yellow Core theme 6 - LBS
Best Practice Examples
Project Work & Competitions
Top Tips Section
Consultation & New Reforms
Different PSHE Providers Q&A
Specific Support & Advice
Training, CPD & Workshop Providers
Sourcing Free teaching materials
GCSE Citizenship Revision
Active Citizenship Campaigns
Different Exam Boards
Politics & Government
Law & Legal System
Constitution, Media & Everything else
International Relations & UK
Identity & Diversity in the UK
Free Teaching Resource Links
National Competitions & Events
Religion & World Studies
Terms of Service
Useful Hints and Tips
Created with PlushForums
© 2021 The Academy