PSHE: resources to keep pupils healthy and safe

Good PSHE is tailored to your pupils. Use these resources to strengthen the knowledge, skills and connections young people need to prepare for life beyond school

Taught well, personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education helps children and young people stay healthy, safe and prepares them for life and work in modern Britain. PSHE encompasses many areas of study including:

  • RSE
  • physical health
  • mental health
  • personal safety
  • money and finances
  • careers.

Why is PSHE important?

Ignore PSHE at your peril’, Dana Abdulkarim warns. PSHE offers regular learning on how to be safe and adds to a child’s sense of nurture, belonging and trust.

Schools are free to tailor their PSHE programme to reflect the needs of their pupils and context, while equipping them with a good understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.

If we ignore PSHE or underestimate its importance we run the risk of leaving children and young people ill-equipped to be themselves, know themselves and challenge what they see. Dana explains more on how to use PSHE to support safeguarding needs in your setting.

Teaching effective PSHE

One of the first things to do is have an up-to-date Relationships, sex and health education policy. This should be accessible to all staff and show how RSE and health education are addressed in your curriculum and how you meet statutory requirements. For pupils with disabilities and other additional vulnerabilities, the lessons may need deeper thought and repetition to ensure they are accessible.

PSHE is more than just RSE and it needs trained teachers to deliver it effectively. Take a look at the suggestions for how to develop your PSHE team, alleviate fears they may have around it and improve their confidence in providing it.

PSHE lead skills audit

If you’re responsible for implementing and delivering a strong PSHE curriculum, our PSHE lead skills audit will help evaluate your skills as a PSHE leader and ask you to consider how you demonstrate your work in the following.

  • Curriculum planning
  • Development of a whole school approach
  • Subject knowledge
  • Identifying staff training needs

From reaching out and gaining feedback to getting your staff on board, we have seven ways to lead and develop a PSHE curriculum.

What to teach

There is no one right way to deliver PSHE and schools have the room to design a curriculum that fits within their specific context and responds to the needs of their pupils. The PSHE Association pulls together the various topics for study under three overarching themes of:

  1. health and wellbeing
  2. relationships
  3. living in the wider world.

1. Health and wellbeing

This covers mental and physical health including:

  • food choices and exercise
  • drugs and alcohol education
  • positive body image
  • first aid
  • sleep
  • dental health
  • changes during puberty.

2. Relationships

This doesn’t just include sex education but also friendships, bullying and discrimination and understanding and managing emotions. It covers gaining the knowledge and vocabulary to understand a range of emotions and articulate them.

Relationships can be confusing at times, both the one we have with ourselves and the ones we have with others. The downloadable A-Z of healthy relationships poster helps pupils explore different relationships, understand intimacy and what good friendships look like.

3. Living in wider world

This includes teaching about the importance of:

What next?

Wondering how to fit teaching so many areas in? DSL and PSHE lead Luke Ramsden explains more about what to cover when planning your PSHE curriculum to support pupils across many topics.

There is no right or wrong way to teach PSHE. The important thing is to devote time and resource to it. Train and support your staff in teaching it and give pupils a voice when it comes to what they are learning to ensure you are meeting their needs and helping set them up to flourish in the wider world.


Last Updated: 
14 Feb 2023