Invite them in

24th March 2006 at 00:00
Q: I'm trying to think up ways of getting away from the text books and worksheets routine of our PSHE time. I thought I might get some guest speakers in, but don't know where to start. Any ideas?

A: There are guest speakers everywhere, and they're closer than you might think. Many are part of your local community. There's a good source of local contacts at, but the best way to find speakers is to work with your pupils to identify them. Look at the Teachernet PSHE curriculum pages at the aforementioned address and identify the issues that an outside speaker could explain. At key stage 3, for example, money management is a defined topic. Any bank or building society would be happy to send someone to explain the basics.

Use your parent body and governors; many of them will work in areas that will throw light on PSHE subjects. Use school staff - a talk from your catering manager could shed light on healthy eating issues. Don't forget the national organisations: charities, Childline, Greenpeace and local services such as fire, police and ambulance. Tap local employers.

Your guests' eyes may be opened by the perceptions your pupils have of them and their organisations, and that could lead to change. Give your pupils responsibility. Let them write the letters of invitation, act as hosts, and brief the guest.

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