PSE classes 'a waste of space'

3rd October 2003 at 01:00
Social education is in crisis or "a waste of space". Pupils from S1 to S6 complain of old videos, endless worksheets and teachers who do not want to be taking part.

Across the year groups, social education is roundly denounced. Pupils were turned off by constant repetition about drugs, sex education and relationships, even if some of the content was relevant.

Guidance staff were not immune from the criticism since they often delivered personal and social education. Only one secondary bucked the trend with comments that were mainly favourable.

The report comments: "The issues which pupils want to be addressed are often problematic, controversial and highly sensitive. It takes skilful teaching to create the climate in which meaningful discussion can take place. It is too easy for less confident teachers to take refuge in worksheets, videos and . . . facts."

Jim Gilhooly, acting head of service in Inverclyde, said: "We need to look at the content of PSE and the way it is taught. The kids are smart in these things."

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