Hackney PSHCE Conference

How schools can further develop pupils’ wellbeing, resilience and social engagement

The Tomlinson Centre, Queensbridge Road, E8 3ND
Thursday 18 June 2015 9.00am – 4.00pm

Why this conference?

The Education Select Committee recently highlighted the essential role that Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) plays in supporting schools to fulfil their statutory duty to safeguard their pupils’ health and wellbeing recommending that it be made a compulsory subject. This one day conference looked at key issues for PSHE and Citizenship including how to implement evidence-based PSHE programmes as part of a whole-school approach to improving health, wellbeing and social engagement to support achievement.

There were also opportunities to network with other practitioners and organisations who can help plan and deliver a PSHE and Citizenship programme that equips young people to thrive in the wider world both now and in the future.

Participants learnt about mental health and resilience in secondary schools, Global Citizenship and teaching difficult subjects in Sex and Relationships Education. Janet Palmer, National Lead for PSHE at Ofsted, provided a key-note speech highlighting how and why schools cannot afford to neglect PSHE. Jeremy Hayward, Institute of Education and Chris Waller, Association of Citizenship Teaching talked about Citizenship and its role in the emerging debate around ‘British values’ in schools.


  • Learn about mental health and resilience in secondary schools, Global Citizenship and teaching difficult subjects in Sex and Relationships Education
  • Discover how and why schools cannot afford to neglect PSHE
  • Find out how to implement evidence-based PSHE programmes
  • Question our expert speakers
  • Benefit from networking with other practitioners and organisations

Who attended?

The conference was tailored for the following in primary and secondary settings:

  • Headteachers
  • Senior Curriculum Leaders with strategic responsibility for personal and social development PSHCE / Citizenship
  • Primary and Secondary Teachers


9.00am – Registration, refreshments and networking

9.30am – Welcome and introduction from Chair, Martin Buck, Head of Secondary, Hackney Learning Trust

9.40am – How good PSHE education contributes to safeguarding and to good overall outcomes for pupils – Janet Palmer – HMI, Ofsted National Lead for PSHE Education

This keynote talk concentrated on the following areas:

  • Key findings from the national Ofsted review of PSHE, ‘Not Yet Good Enough’(2013)
  • Why PSHE education is a central part of schooling
  • How PSHE education supports schools duties around safeguarding, SMSC and improves attainment
  • What constitutes good and outstanding PSHE

10.10am – Citizenship education and the promotion of British values in schools – Jeremy Hayward BA, PGCE – Institute of Education, Lecturer in Citizenship.

Placing the current emphasis on the promotion of British Values in a wider philosophical context and the role citizenship education can play. This talk:

  • Explored the philosophical and historical context of the recent push to promote British values in schools
  • Critically examined the contribution that citizenship education can make to the promotion of British values
  • Made practical suggestions of how to address this agenda

10.40am – Living together in the UK: Things we forgot to remember – Chris Waller – ACT Professional Development Officer.

After twelve months dominated by Trojan Horse and stories of radicalisation, what can Citizenship pedagogy offer to support schools, pupils and community in addressing a range of concerns that are emotive, often misunderstood and certainly complex. This keynote reflected on three questions:

  • Why have notions of identity and belonging become so concerning?
  • How can a strong pedagogical response in Citizenship classes provide a robust and authentic response?
  • What should my school do next?

11.00am – Tea/coffee break, networking and visiting exhibition stands

11.20am – Hackney Youth Parliament representative

11.40am – Plenary session/panel discussion with all speakers

12.00pm – Workshop Session 1

13.15pm – Lunch, networking and visiting exhibition stands

14.00pm – Workshop Session 2

15.15pm – Tea/coffee break, networking and visiting exhibition stands

15.25pm – Hackney Youth Parliament led activity

15.45pm – Closing remarks

16.00pm – Networking and visiting exhibition stands, and close of conference


Booking workshops

Delegates had the opportunity to book onto two workshops of their choice. One for the 12.00pm session and one for the 14.00pm session.

Workshop 1- Global Citizenship understanding in primary schools. Run by Tower Hamlets Humanities Centre.

HEC has just published “Talking time and Place: A Guide to Oral History and Place Based Learning” The workshop will be exploring this in more detail in terms of the local environmental understanding.

Workshop 2 – Mental health and resilience in secondary schools. Run by Young Minds.

Academic resilience means students achieving good educational outcomes despite adversity. For schools, promoting it involves strategic planning and detailed practice involving the whole school community to help vulnerable young people do better than their circumstances might have predicted.

It is now well evidenced that early intervention in emotional difficulties improves outcomes for children, families and wider society including:

  • increased learning and educational attainment;
  • improved behaviour and attendance at school;
  • better physical health; and
  • improved long term mental health.

This workshop introduced the concept of Academic Resilience and explored different things that schools can do to promote it. Participants were invited to examine things that they are already doing within schools and learn some new tools and activities to try within PSHE and across the whole school.

Workshop 3 – Issues based approaches through critical thinking, enquiry and action research in secondary schools. Run by Citizenship Association.

The best Citizenship learning is investigative but how to manage this in the crowded school curriculum? What are the issues that engage pupils best and how can we create frameworks to explore them. In looking at these matters, delegates shared ideas and examined a number of pedagogical approaches:

  • The essence of Citizenship is authenticity
  • Managing complex issues
  • Not another campaign!
  • Promoting pedagogy through OSDE and Community of Enquiry

Workshop 4 – Teaching challenging subjects; Sex and relationships Education. Run by The Christopher Winter Project.

This workshop explored some of the challenges involved in teaching SRE such as:

  • In what ways is SRE a challenging subject?
  • How do we teach SRE to primary age children?
  • What issues of concern for young people can be addressed in SRE?
  • What approaches and methods do we use to teach challenging subjects?
  • How do we address a subject such as FGM?
  • How do we deal with issues that may arise from teaching challenging subjects?

Workshop 5 – Planning your PSHE education programme at key stage 1 and 2. Run by PSHE Association.

This workshop explored practical, best practice ways to develop schemes of work for PSHE education that meet the needs of pupils as part of a whole school approach to promoting wellbeing and attainment

Janet Palmer

Janet Palmer is the National Lead for Personal, Social Health and Economics Education (PSHE education). Janet has been an HMI since 2005 and the National Lead since 2011. Before joining Ofsted, Janet was PGCE subject coordinator at Manchester Metropolitan University, responsible for the training of social science, PSHE and citizenship teachers. From 2002 to 2005 she was a member of the Government’s working parties for Citizenship and Initial Teacher Training and Citizenship and Continuing Professional Development, and was a consultant to the QCA for the Post 16 Citizenship qualifications pathway. As adviser to the former DfES on the ‘Certification of the Teaching of PSHE’ she worked with the Teenage Pregnancy Unit and the Health Development Agency to agree the Standards for PSHE Certification, plan and carry out the training of PSHE ‘leads’ and wrote the supporting handbook and materials.

Jeremy Hayward

Jeremy Hayward was a teacher at several schools and colleges in London. For the last 12 years he has been a lecturer at the Institute of Education, where he led the citizenship PGCE for over a decade. He is the author of a number of textbooks in both the field of citizenship education and philosophy.

Chris Waller

Chris Waller has been the Professional Officer at the Association for Citizenship Teaching since 2004. He was a teacher in secondary schools for 30 years and spent 18 years as head of PSHE and Citizenship in a community comprehensive in Hampshire. Seconded to Hampshire LEA in 1997 to work on county Citizenship guidelines he was involved in writing the Citizenship programmes of study in England prior to their introduction in 2002 and then again in 2007 and in the new 2014 curriculum. After working in Ukraine and Kosovo on ACT projects, he has recently been leading development of the curriculum in Lebanon. In England he can be found supporting teachers and others involved in the teaching of Citizenship, meeting with government departments and working with the Citizenship teacher training community.

Here’s what our attendees thought about the conference:

“A really enjoyable day. Helping to give PSHE the high profile it needs. Great to tap into so many experts. Thank you.”

“The whole day was super organised and of such high calibre. Speakers were knowledgeable, inspiring and motivating.”

“Thank you Hackney Learning Trust, this is the best CPD I have ever attended in the borough, and I’ve worked here for 12 years!”

“Good atmosphere and the timings were good. Resources provided are useful and relevant.”