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“ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course is varied, relevant and engaging. We love it!”


ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course supports young people of all abilities to develop their emotional wellbeing and skills to stay healthy, safe and feel prepared for adulthood. Jamie Stead, Head of ASDAN, and Liz Goldney, PSHE Tutor at Oak Bank School in Bedfordshire, tell us how the course meets the needs of their pupils.

“Oak Bank is a special school catering for pupils who have social, emotional and mental health difficulties, including associated challenging behaviour.

“We deliver ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course because it develops our pupils' life skills to make them the best possible version of themselves,” says Liz, PSHE Tutor.

“The course is perfect for our pupils who all have education, health and care plans. ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course covers topics such as Keeping safe and healthy, Financial choices and Respectful relationships. The course modules can be delivered in any way that suits the pupils’ needs, interests and learning styles,” says Liz.

Supporting flexible and tailored learning 

ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course is an internally moderated, multi-level programme that offers certification for learning across 11 topic areas.  

“The PSHE Short Course is varied, relevant and engaging. We love it!” says Jamie. “We can personalise all ASDAN Short Courses so that they are bespoke to each pupil's level of understanding. Pupils build a portfolio of evidence and gain credits that recognise their skills development and learning.

“ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course works so well because it’s relevant. It enables young people to gain an understanding of personal and social skills, how to keep safe and to make informed decisions about their health and wellbeing,” says Jamie. 

Meeting statutory guidance

ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course was updated to help centres meet the requirements of the new statutory guidance for RSE and health education in England, introduced in September 2020.

“The PSHE Short Course modules complement the Department for Education and PSHE Association’s advice and guidance on teaching PSHE,” says Jamie. “The course is brilliant for teachers because it provides a tutor resource pack with session plans and supporting resources”.

“At Oak Bank, PSHE is taught from Year 7 through to Year 11. The curriculum is designed to allow sequenced teaching and ongoing assessment of learning,” says Jamie.

Image: Entrance to the PSHE classroom with celebration of pride flags explored in Module 7: Respectful relationships

Boosting mental health and resilience in young people

Module 1: Emotional Wellbeing is particularly important,” Liz tells us. “The class makes their own ground rules and are able to open up and discuss mental health illnesses. Pupils willingly discuss their own issues and learn how to recognise and manage emotions within themselves and others.

“Through the fourth challenge, Recognise early signs of poor mental health, our pupils create a checklist and you can really see their minds ticking. They respond well to the work, they engage and become more in tune with their own emotions to recognise poor mental health and how to access support.

“We have created a safe space to talk about sensitive issues. It can get quite emotional and pupils need to be able to manage emotions, think critically and solve problems,” says Liz. “ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course really supports their progression and development into adulthood.”

Developing self-belief and communication skills

“ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course plays a vital part in building up our pupils’ confidence,” says Liz.

“Their speaking and listening skills have improved hugely because of the discussions that ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course enables us to have. It has improved their English presentation skills and general communication skills for other academic subjects.

“Oak Bank pupils study Module 8: Families and parenting in Year 10, pupils are really engaged and create some amazing work. The skill set that pupils learn in regard to building positive relationships has helped them move forward successfully into further education and work. They  thrive educationally and socially, they understand equality, respect and the wider world around them,” says Liz.

Image: Mrs Goldney's display board with message to remind learners of self-worth

ASDAN Short Courses complement blended learning

All ASDAN Short Courses can be completed either using the student book or through the online e-portfolio system.

“ASDAN accredited courses are an integral part of the whole school curriculum here at Oak Bank School,” says Jamie. “We are delivering a variety of ASDAN’s Short Courses alongside PSHE, including Careers and Experiencing Work, Science, Mathematics, English, Animal Care, and Vocational Tasters in Construction, Manufacturing and Expressive Arts”.

“We also deliver the new Personal and Social Effectiveness qualifications in Key Stage 4.  Available as a Level 1 and 2 qualification, it supports progression through scaffolded learning to further develop confidence, wellbeing and personal resilience. In addition, pupils also study ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes Bronze award in Key Stage 3.”

“We deliver ASDAN qualifications and courses as they are adaptable, engaging and cover a broad range of topics that meet Oak Bank pupils' needs”.

Please contact if you would like to share your centre's success story or would like to find out more about ASDAN’s PSHE Short Course.