A new approach to personal social and health education at a Shropshire school has been deemed a huge success.

The PSHE Wellness Event at Ellesmere College saw a fair set up with stalls covering a wide range of personal and social health issues where pupils browsed, picked up leaflets and asked specific questions of invited specialists. There was also a video on health and wellbeing, key speakers invited to talk to students and more.

The event, for Year 12 students, was completely different to the classroom based lectures of previous years.

Eiry Davies, Senior School Nurse, said it was a huge success.

She said: “It was a really fantastic day which all the students engaged with. They asked some really thoughtful questions and gained a lot of information about a variety of subjects.

“They were not embarrassed to ask anything and all the staff involved  felt like better conversations were had than when you have to ask questions in front of the whole class.

“It was great to have the outside contributors from charities and other areas, they really added to the overall impact of the event.

“By doing it like this it made it a much more personal experience for each individual student, they were able to look at subjects they wanted to or were interested in in as much detail as they liked, but also got a good overview of all the subjects we wanted to cover.

“They could pick up information leaflets without having to speak to anyone if they wanted to as well. There was a video about men’s mental health, featuring footballers being released from contracts too. The students watched this and it prompted healthy discussions.

“It has been so successful that we believe we’ve just revolutionised the way we teach PSHE to sixth form and will continue to do it like this in years to come.”

The day covered subjects such as health, wellbeing, alcohol, smoking, vaping, illegal drugs, relationships, consent, sexual health and contraceptive methods, how to register with a GP when starting university, accessing 111 and pharmacies and also preparing for pregnancy in later years.

Key stall holders included the school nurses, a GP, a midwife, representatives from breast health awareness charity CoppaFeel! and the OddBalls Foundation which raises awareness of testicular cancer, LGBTQ+, CDS service, Rest Easy Method, mental health support and a very popular, friendly therapy dog called Luna..

The new approach to PSHE was inspired by student feedback from previous years.

They said the three lectures covering these subjects were intense, with a lot of information and in a short period of time and they wanted a more informal approach.

Eiry added: “It was important to cover subjects like registering with a GP as our international students don’t know how to do this. We have weekly GP surgeries at Ellesmere College so it’s not something they’ve had to do themselves. These are new life skills for when they leave for University.

“Further evaluation from the pupils and staff will enable us to prepare an even better Health Fair for 2024.”

The event took place on June 22. For more information about Ellesmere College visit www.ellesmere.com.