St. Joseph's Catholic College


Course Outlines

Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) encourages students to learn more about themselves as growing and changing individuals. Through PSHE lessons students will learn the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary for making informed decisions about all aspects of their lives, as they change from children into young adults.

Citizenship covers issues such as rights and responsibilities and how students can contribute positively as active, caring citizens in College and the communities they live in. Citizenship is taught across the whole curriculum and is very much a part of the ethos of the college.

Through the topics studied students will learn to respect and empathise with the views, needs and rights of others, including people of different genders, ages and cultures to themselves. Careers, drugs, sex and relationships education (see sex and personal relationships), emotional health and healthy living are taught in every year. All students receive one discreet lesson each week and other opportunities for study across the curriculum.

Course Content

In Year 7 students discuss the differences between primary and secondary school, learning about change and personal responsibility. Topics studied include first impressions, considering others, making and keeping friends, communication, human rights and democracy.

In Years 8 and 9 students cover topics such as personal safety, assessing risk, the law, First Aid, against bullying, peer pressure, conflict resolution, influence of the media and Key Stage 4 option choices.

In Years 10 and 11 students gain knowledge and understanding of careers and options at 16+. Students in Year 10 prepare for work experience in PSHE lessons before completing a two day work placement. Drugs and sex and relationships continue, emphasising choices and consequences. Other topics studied include global citizenship, human rights, road safety and preparation for exams.

Parental Support
We encourage students to raise and discuss issues at home. Talking and listening openly and honestly with young people about their worries, concerns and hopes for the future can help develop mutual trust and respect between parents and their children, as well as relieve the stress and pressures on young people as they complete their secondary education and enter adulthood.

Sex and Personal Relationships
St Joseph's seeks to present its students with opportunities to think about, discuss and explore the real meaning of personal relationships. This includes considering the nature of relationships in families, the nature of relationships with the opposite sex, and sexual behaviour.

The aims are:

To support the personal, moral, social and spiritual development of all our young people
To ensure that young people have the ability to accept their own and others' sexuality in positive ways and build self-esteem
To encourage a responsible attitude towards sexual behaviour
To provide support and information for young people and help them resist peer, social and media pressure when in conflict with sound moral judgement

Organisation and Guidelines
Sex and personal relationship education is taught in an age-appropriate way within classroom topic work, using outside agencies where necessary and involving the school chaplaincy and the school nurse. All education in personal relationships will be guided by the teachings of the Church. Education for personal relationships permeates all our work with the children, and will be explicitly addressed in the areas of Religious Education, Science, and Personal and Social Education. Parents are entitled by law to withdraw their child from aspects of the programme which are not included in the National Curriculum. However, in order for children to understand this information in context and to be given an opportunity to explore the issues involved, the Governors strongly recommend that students be allowed to participate fully in all aspects of the programme. Should withdrawal from all or part of the lessons be sought, parents are asked to contact the Principal in writing, in advance.