Wellbeing (PSHE)

Studying wellbeing, often referred to as Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), is crucial for personal development and provides a framework to explore topical issues.

Head of Department: Mrs Nicola Riddle.

Wellbeing (PSHE) is a compulsory element in Secondary Schools that aims to equip young people with the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills required to lead confident, healthy and independent lives.

The planned curriculum of Wellbeing at Downe House aims to help our girls to understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.

Wellbeing is delivered to all girls at Downe House from Remove (Year 7) to Upper Fifth (Year 11). It involves one 40-minute lesson per week and is facilitated by dedicated teaching staff and augmented with both internal and external specialists.

Fundamental to Wellbeing is the need to discuss sensitive, controversial and challenging social and moral issues, and to make sense of them in the context of the girls’ own life experiences now and in the future. We aim to provide an environment that creates a climate of trust, cooperation and support where the girls can share their feelings, explore their values and attitudes, express their opinions safely and consider those of others without attracting negative feedback.

The three main strands to the programme are:

Health and wellbeing; settling into boarding, friends and friendships, body image, self-esteem, online safety, nutrition, mental health issues, risk management and coping with changed (including grief and loss).
Relationships; identity, friends and family, power, conflict resolution, consent, diversity, equality and sexual health.
Living in the Wider World; enterprise, employability and economic welllbeing (including financial literacy and eco-sustainability).

Wellbeing is a non-graded subject and often involves interactive resource material, group tasks as well as debate and discussion. The girls respond positively to the relaxed, discursive nature of the lessons and generally participate with enthusiasm and thoughtful comment.

Meet the Wellbeing department

The department consists of four passionate advocates for good health and wellbeing; each of whom is also involved in a wide variety of pastoral and academic aspects of the school.

Mrs Nicola Riddle

Mrs Riddle heads the team and brings her strengths of teaching PE and Hauora (wellbeing) in the New Zealand system to the Downe House programme. She is also the Options Advisor in the Higher Education department and is a tutor to girls in the Upper School.

Mrs Kim Collingwood

Mrs Collingwood also has a PE degree and combines this with her main pastoral role as Housemistress of Hermitage to deliver the PSHE curriculum. Always good-humoured, she has a warm smile for all and enjoys fun, interactive lessons.

Mrs Judith Gilpin Jones

Mrs Gilpin Jones brings a strong musical background as well as the lovely lilt of her native Welsh language to the department. As Head of the Lower School she also has an academic and pastoral overview of the Remove and LIV – very apt for this subject.

Miss Katy Tinman

Miss Tinman brings a wealth of knowledge and acumen from her applied and social science degree combined with a perpetually positive outlook (from up North!) to the department. She is the Assistant Housemistress in Aisholt and will soon be starting a Master’s in Leadership of Schools’ Mental Health and Wellbeing, which will add extra depth and insight for the department and School.

For further information please contact Mrs Nicola Riddle, Head of Wellbeing

Finding Balance

Wellbeing has a huge focus at Downe House beyond the curriculum: knowing how to eat healthily, sleep well, exercise, relax and manage stress are every bit as important as other aspects of School life. We are keen to give your daughter the toolkit to find balance in her life and the self-awareness to ask for help when she needs it.

Read about how we encourage our pupils to find balance and discover self-care.

Visits & Open Mornings

The best way to find out more about Downe House, is to come and experience it for yourself – arrange a visit or join us for one of our Open Mornings?