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Supporting Healthy Relationships through PSHE Education

Wiltshire and Swindon Healthy Schools Conference July 2014

Wiltshire and Swindon Healthy Schools worked with the PSHE Association to provide a free conference for schools, focussing on promoting healthy relationships education.

The conference, hosted by New College, covered a range of topical issues including the importance of emotional health, body confidence and self-esteem, abuse in relationships, bullying and mindfulness.

Keynote speaker Joe Hayman (CEO, PSHE Association) provided an overview of the national picture and clarified the important role of schools in providing good quality relationships education as part of PSHE. Joe shared the latest evidence showing the links between health education, health and academic success.

Liz Holmes (chair of Swindon Children’s Trust board) set the local context and highlighted the important role of schools in supporting children and young people to form the good relationships that not only help them lead happy and successful lives, but also protect them from abuse and exploitation. After lunch Amy Bird (Wiltshire Public Health Consultant) reinforced the key messages of the conference before delegates attended a range of workshops.

Deputy member of the Swindon Youth Parliament Wilf Steenbergen-Cockerton talked about the importance of good relationships education from a young person’s perspective.

Lucia Barton from The Dorcan Academy explained how an anonymous on-line survey was used to focus relationships education to the needs of students.

Helena Jones from the Chalet special school gave a presentation on the importance of good relationships and sex education for students in special settings.

Beccy Nolan, deputy head teacher from Ferndale primary school, explained how a school can be completely turned around by focusing on building good relationships throughout the school community.

Delegates were treated to a “summer picnic” lunch provided by Holy Rood Junior school, one of Swindon’s Food for Life award winning schools.

A range of local and national groups who work with schools in Wiltshire and Swindon supported the conference including: Sixth Sense Theatre in Education, Jigsaw, NSPCC and Childline, the RSE hub and colleagues from Wiltshire Public Health and Wiltshire Community Safety.