LIFE (PSHCE and Citizenship)

Our most recent Ofsted report stated that:

Leaders ensure that pupils are aware of the risks they may face outside school. ‘LIFE’ (Learning is For Ever) lessons are part of the school curriculum. Pupils learn, in an age-appropriate way, about topics such as prejudice and discrimination, human rights and extremism. Pupils value these lessons, and talked clearly of how helpful they are in giving them useful skills and knowledge."

Our 2015 report recognised that:

“the personal, social and health education programme tackles topical, controversial and challenging issues head on.”

The report also stated that:

“the LIFE course is particularly outstanding and contributes significantly to students' preparation for life in modern Britain. It epitomises the school's anti-discrimination stance, its equality of opportunity for all and its inclusive community.”

At Cheam High School 

We aim to provide our young people with an education which will allow them to achieve to the very best of their ability and go on to success in further education and careers. 

We also want our students to be safe and happy, be well-equipped for adulthood and be positive contributors to our society. 


LIFE: PSHCE and Citizenship

At KS3 and KS4, our LIFE (Learning is for Ever) department is dedicated to ensuring our students experience a specifically developed PSHE and Citizenship curriculum which supports the above aim.   

PSHE stands for Personal, Social, Health Education. It consists of a number of interrelated themes of which the principal threads are:

·         Health Education, including statutory Sex and Relationship Education (SRE) and Drug Education

·         Careers Education and Guidance including Work Related Learning

·         Personal and social skills development

·         Enterprise and economic understanding

·         Citizenship e.g. British Values and democracy, confronting extremist views.

PSHCE and Citizenship, like many subjects, requires an emphasis on active learning, an enquiry approach, and a discussion of issues, problems and events which are set in a topical context.

Students are provided with opportunities to discuss critical issues, to work together, to make decisions, to take responsibility for their own actions and participate in school and community events. 

Curriculum developments and content:

Welcome to LIFE!

KS3 LIFE Coordinator - Miss Cutting

KS4 LIFE Coordinator - Mrs Kelly

Students study an hour of LIFE each week in Years 7 - 10. Students also receive an additional series of lessons in Year 11 to help consolidate previous knowledge and prepare them for life as they leave Cheam and go out into the wider world.

Students have the opportunity to study a varied range of topics which include:

Key Stage 3:

  • Introduction to LIFE
  • Healthy Relationships & Friendships
  • Growing up
  • Safety
  • Healthy Lifestyles
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Youth Crime
  • Safer Internet Day/Anti-bullying week

Key Stage 4:

  • Human Rights
  • Gender Equality
  • Marriage & Partnership
  • What is religious extremism?
  • Emotional resilience
  • Finance
  • Sex and Relationships
  • Global citizenship
  • Medical ethics

Relationships and Sex Education:

During the second half of the Spring Term, all students will receive age-appropriate lessons on Relationships and Sex Education. If you would like further information then please get in contact at:

Enrichment and Extra Curricular

We are lucky to be visited by a range of external speakers in LIFE lessons so students can be prepared for life outside of the classroom, and see and understand topics from other’s perspectives gaining insight and empathy. In the past we have been visited by speakers from the police to explain "stop and searches"; Fiona Spargo-Mabbs (founder of the Daniel Spargo-Mabbs Foundation) to empower students to make informed choices around drugs and alcohol; a nurse to teach about bodies and relationships; a representative from Stonewall to share experiences of some people from the LGBT community and many more.

Sutton Schoolswork also visit lessons in Year 8 to discuss County Lines and Knife Crime and helping students to make informed choices around these issues. 

Students are also able to access LIFE in tutor time and in assemblies through our Thought for the Week, which is linked to the topic they are studying in their LIFE lessons.

We continue to stay on top of recent events to feed into and develop our scheme of work on Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation. 

Relationships Education, Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education:

From September 2020, the new statutory curriculum for Relationships Education, Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education became mandatory to teach for all schools.  Cheam High School is an early adopter of the new curriculum and we have updated our Schemes of Work accordingly to mean that we have delivered the new statutory curriculum from September 2019.

Information on Sex and Relationship Education can be found here.

PSCHE and Citizenship Policy

This policy gives more information about what is taught when, and can be found here.  It should be noted that there are a number of different activities across the school which support the delivery of PSCHE and Citizenship in addition to LIFE lessons and activities.  These include:

  • Outside speakers eg assemblies or special events.
  • Other subjects delivering aspects of the curriculum eg Sex Education in Science.
  • Extra-curricular activities and events eg school council representation, business studies enterprise events.
  • Careers interviews, work experience and visits to university and/or work.
  • A Thought for the Week, which builds on that week's assembly and gives students the opportunity to discuss issues raised and further develop their thinking and debating skills.

At Post 16, there is a tutor programme that includes issues such as RSE, drugs and alcohol, democracy and British Values, alongside advice on progression through education and employment.

LIFE is a major contributor to SMSC Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education) within Cheam High School.  More information can be found on the SMSC webpage here.