PSHE / Life Matters
At St Catherine's our own Life Matters courses address topics and issues from the PSHE curriculum. Life Matters at St Catherine's seeks to equip our students with balanced and accurate information with which they can make good choices for life, and forge happy and healthy relationships, both now and in the future.
Changes made for new legislation starting in 2021
We are very proud of our existing program, and the legislation that came into effect in Summer 2021 for PSHE gave us exciting opportunities to review our Life Matters curriculum further. The new government mandatory requirements for the teaching of Relationships and Sex Education covered much familiar content, and also contained updated guidance on the teaching of Mental Health. A significant difference was the new requirement to assess student progress, and we leveraged some of our favourite digital tools (Kahoot, Quizizz, Google Forms, Kialo etc.) to achieve this in an engaging way in class time, without adding to student workload. Since September 2020 we introduced “Friday Reflections” into tutor time as a means to consolidate the work done in Life Matters lessons during the week.
Through the academic year 2020-21 we consulted parents and students, and piloted some new courses and content, to ensure St Catherine’s girls continue to receive the very best PSHE /Life Matters education. The Life Matters Policy is currently under review .
Life Matters during Lockdown, Spring 2021
All year groups have had a series of interactive lectures aimed at equipping the girls with tools to boost their emotional resilience and self compassion during lockdown, building on the work we did on Chimp Management in Summer 2020. We have looked at: RULER (recognising, understanding, labelling, expressing and regulating emotions); the importance of self compassion as a more reliable self care strategy than boosting self esteem; the nature of thoughts and strategies to help us remember that we are not our thoughts; the importance of sleep, nutrition, exercise and hydration; happiness boosters including gratitude, kindness, savouring and meditation. Most year groups have also had the opportunity to review the level to which they have ownership of different aspects of their lives by considering their position on the “ownership ladder” and whether their behaviour is more “cow” or “rhino”. Parents who would like to hear more about this will be offered the opportunity to attend a lecture with our Resident Psychologist, Dr Anna Shipton, towards the end of the Spring Term in which Izzy Mclean, Head of Life Matters, will be there to explain the above in greater detail.