Never has mental health been more important with young people, especially with the pandemic. Mental…
The Importance of PSHE in Schools
PSHE stands for ‘Personal, Social, Health and Economic education’ and is a vital part of a young persons eduction in todays society. Although many students may not prioritise their PSHE lessons due to added pressure from subjects they are taking an exam on, PSHE prepares teens for adulthood and aims to give them knowledge and skills to lead confident and healthy lives – arguably, these lessons are just as important as an English or Maths lesson.
Constantly evolving, technology has many benefits, but has also bought with it an added pressures for teens. With access apps such as: Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, there is now an added pressure on teens to ‘fit in’ not only in real life, but on social media aswell. With many teens feeling they need to appear a certain way on social media platforms or comparing themselves with others. This means that, lessons in PSHE on body image and self-esteem are now more important than ever, with young people knowing where they can find help and support for these pressures they are experiencing. Social media can also affect the behaviours of many young people, with constant access to what their peers are up to, there is often the promotion of alcohol and drugs. It is important that PSHE lessons are up to date with the trends of the behaviours of young people, to make them as impactful as possible. It is now essential that students are aware of the dangers of social media, the impact on mental health and where they can find support if necessary.
How Theatre can add value to PSHE lessons
Subjects, such as: relationships, sex education and alcohol education within PSHE can be difficult to teach as they can be sensitive and often uncomfortable for young people to speak about. At Solomon Theatre, we aim to add value of PSHE lessons by assisting in allowing students to be educated on these important subjects in an immersive and engaging way. Using theatre as a tool in education is effective as it instigates important conversations with students whilst providing entertainment and provoking emotions. By watching a show unfold in front of them, students are often able to relate in some way to the what the characters are experiencing and, without even realising, be given advice and knowledge. Each show follows the experience of the main character(s) as they navigate their way through life and the issues they are facing. We aim to make the main character(s) as relatable as possible to young people to have the best impact. We often find that students may speak up about the issues they are having themselves after watching our shows, and often feel a connection to the characters.
We aim to weave the PSHE curriculum into our shows, making them easily adapted into lessons with a range of shows to cover topics within the curriculum:
Human (KS3) Social Media, Self-esteem and Alcohol Abuse
Daisy is 14 and new to her school, she quickly befriends ‘popular’ boy James . Daisy’s friendship with James develops and he then then pressures her into taking an indecent image of herself which she is uncomfortable doing. This image is then spread throughout the school without Daisy’s knowledge. The show aims to aid PSHE lessons on peer pressure, pressures of social media and the spread / taking of indecent images.
Time Out (KS3) Peer Pressure (alcohol and drugs) and Mental Health
Tom typically gets good grades and works hard at school. However, he is struggling with the pressures of exams, peer pressure and navigating his way into adulthood. In a bid to cope with theses stresses, he is influenced by his best friend, Lucy, to begin drinking partying and even tries drugs. The show aims to aid PSHE lessons in coping with stress, mental health and drugs / alcohol as a form of stress relief.
Last Orders (KS3) Alcohol Education and Consent
Cassie and Kim are best friends. When they are left by themselves at Cassie’s house one evening, they become bored so raid the drinks cabinet. The two girls then decide to invite Dan, an older boy who Kim has been messaging, round. Dan then completely takes advantage of the situation as he is able to peer pressure the girls to continue drinking. The show aims to aid PSHE lessons on consent, alcohol abuse and the law.
Power of Love (KS4) Exploitation and the forms of abuse
Lucy has a new boyfriend, he’s everything she’s ever wanted; smart, funny and handsome. But as their relationship develops, Lucy notices changes in his behaviour. He becomes increasingly controlling over her, attempting to control what she does and who she is friends with. This psychological abuse then turns physical. The show aims to aid PSHE lessons on healthy relationships, cyber safety and the forms of abuse.
Skin Deep (KS4) Knife Crime, Discrimination and Gang Violence
Denny is groomed into a gang by a her best friends older brother. The gang are racially abusive towards their opposing gangs and Dennys ‘boyfriend’ is consistently violent. When Dennys best friend is secretly dating dating a boy from the other gang, Denny finds herself in-between and in a dangerous situation with a knife. The show aims to aid PSHE lessons on gangs, racism and discrimination.
Choices (KS4) – The future and education avenues
Lucy, Alex and Shaun are about to make decisions on what their next steps should be in order to reach their career goals. Each of them go on a journey and are visited by inspirational people who provide them with advice. The show aims to aid PSHE lessons on A-levels, Btecs and apprenticeships.
For more information on how we can help your school with our shows please contact us.