Get Set Days
In Years 9-11 students are given ‘Get Set Days’ every half-term, where students are taken off normal curriculum. These days are broadly broken down into the following topics:
- Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) - including Relationship and Sex Education
- Philosophy and Religious Education (PRE)
- My future self (careers, employability and exam preparation)
We try to encourage speakers to come into the school to supplement the days, for example in 2021 we had St Giles come in to talk to Year 10s about Knife Crime, Gangs and Drugs.
PSHE & RSE
In Year 9, students just cover the PSHE element of the Get Set programme, in "off curriculum" days, with the Relationship and Sex Education covered in a lesson once every half term by a trained specialist.
In Year 10, students learn about a range of topics from mental health, healthy relationships, citizenship, financial decision making and exploring influence of drugs and gangs. Consent is explored as part of the programme. The RSE element of the programme is delivered by trained specialists.
In Year 11, there is a session called ‘Conception & Misconception’, which looked at the emotional, physical and financial constraints of becoming a teen parent, using real life teen mums from Hampshire.
A further session covered both mental health and careers. Sapphire, a local performer and song writer, performed covers and original work with her band, and went on to talk about career aspirations, how to believe in yourself, achieve goals and overcome the mental strain of revision for GCSEs.
My Future Self
In Year 10, students begin to research college options and future career paths. A number of local colleges and apprenticeship providers present to students about the variety of routes available, and the relevant requirements.
Later in the year, the students begin to work on their CV, and a covering letter, having been shown several successful examples of both. This is in advance of ‘interview day’, when local business people voluntarily come into school to give students their first experience of an interview, asking searching questions about their skills, qualities and experience to date.
In Year 11, the focus switches back to college applications. Again, we welcome local colleges to speak to students, including a ‘speed dating’-style event.
Across Key Stage 4, we educate students on the science of the meta-cognition of ‘how we learn’ and the best ways to ensure a stress-free exam period in Year 11.
This includes sessions on ‘growth mindset’, to enable students to develop a ‘can do’ mentality and build their resilience. We focus on revision strategies, including managing time effectively, and maximising the resources available to students, such as online platforms like Seneca Learning.
Philosophy and Religious Education
In Year 10, students receive a broad range of activities in ‘Get Set days’. For example, in 2018/19, we hosted a Holocaust survivor, who spoke movingly about her experiences in childhood (students had learned about the Holocaust in the build-up to this event via tutor time activities, and follow-up tasks allowed students to reflect on the Holocaust, including parallels with the 21st century).
Many of the religious studies activities involve debate. This year, the topics have included the sanctity of life, the death penalty and climate change. In all cases, students are presented with facts and required to reflect on their personal responses in a mature fashion.
In Year 11, the emphasis on sensible debate continues, although students are also provided with enlightening opportunities to discover the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, which they feel particularly beneficial in the build-up to exam season.
As most learners will already have some form of online presence and familiarity with online spaces, the purpose of this unit is for them to start thinking more critically about how they, and others, conduct themselves online. Students will also be asked to discuss key debates around the online world, such as the extent of their right to privacy, and which powers should be granted to organisations and states. As much as possible, students should be encouraged to develop their own ideas and opinions in order to become engaged citizens when it comes to online rights.