Chestnut Grove Academy
45 Chestnut Grove
Balham, London SW12 8JZ
T: 020 8673 8737

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What is HEALTH?

Health is a broad subject encompassing personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and citizenship. PSHE includes sex and relationships education (SRE).

  • Citizenship education develops the knowledge and skills students need to play a full part in society as active and responsible citizens. It is the study of politics, the law, the economy and human rights.
  • PSHE develops the knowledge and skills students need to understand themselves, their relationships and the world around them. It covers a broad range of topics including health lifestyles, economics, employment and relationships. Good quality PSHE education contributes to young people living healthier and safer lifestyles. 
  • SRE is the study of the emotional, social and physical aspects of puberty, relationships including but not limited to sexual relationships, human sexuality and sexual health.


Aims of HEALTH

Health lessons seek to cover issues that affect the physical and mental wellbeing of young people, helping them to be safe and happy, as well as to assist them in becoming well-informed and valuable citizens. High-quality Health is essential in ensuring that students are able to learn in their other subjects and remain safe in and outside of school. It seeks to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and well-informed decisions in their everyday lives, from the expectations they place on personal relationships to the factors they should consider when voting or organising their finances. The subject helps students think critically and practise debating moral issues, as well as reflect on their own identity in a safe space. It does not seek to replace the teaching of parents but, rather, supplement it to give students ample time to consider these important issues.

The Health curriculum aims to ensure that students develop a sound understanding of:

  • Finances, including tax, budgeting and debt
  • How laws are developed in the UK, how the UK is governed, the importance of voting and British institutions such as the NHS and police force
  • The role of law and the justice system in society
  • Democratic means of creating positive social change, campaigning for rights and challenging injustice in society, including through volunteering
  • The effects of drugs on individuals and their communities
  • The importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle, including physical activity, the importance of hygiene and the effects of puberty on the body and on wellbeing
  • Sexuality, gender identity, race, disability and other factors that affect identity
  • Ways of reducing stress and improving self-esteem and mental health, including ways of accessing support
  • Wellbeing in relationships including the use of contraception, consent, respect, abuse and exploitation
  • How to protect themselves from grooming, including into gangs, terrorism and prostitution, and how to stay safe online

The Law, Including the Right to Withdraw

Health lessons are compulsory. This is because the government rightly see it as an important way for schools to fulfil their statutory duty to keep children safe. However, against the advice of the school and government, students may be withdrawn from modules that cover sex education only. Parents do not have the right to withdraw children from relationships education, including lessons on grooming, online safety and radicalisation. This right is granted up to three terms before a child turns 16. At this point, the child can request to attend lessons on sex education.

The school strongly advises against removing children from any Health lesson. Effective sex and relationships education does not encourage early sexual experimentation or seek to influence student sexuality. Rather, it recognises that, no matter when or if a young person engages in sexual behaviour, they should be given age-appropriate knowledge to help protect them and make well-informed decisions about their own health and wellbeing. The Health curriculum rarely focuses on the ‘mechanics’ of sex but, rather, the importance of respect and consent in healthy relationships. Parents do not have the right to withdraw their children from science lessons on reproduction and human development. This is of note since only Health lessons require that students reflect on the emotions involved in sexual relationships and ways of staying physically and mentally safe in them.

Where a parent or guardian has concerns over what is being taught, they should speak to their child’s tutor, the head of Health (Jo Taylor-Campbell) or the headteacher (Christian Kingsley). A meeting can be arranged to look at resources or to discuss any concerns.

If a parent or guardian, following conversations with the relevant staff and against the advice of the school, decides to withdraw their child from sex education lessons, they should write to the headteacher. During lessons where sex education is covered, students will be asked to bring work to the library or another suitable location and complete it there during the time in which these lessons are covered.

On occasion, parents may wish to withdraw their child from a different lesson that covers an issue that may be particularly sensitive for them. Please contact your child’s tutor and Ms Taylor-Campbell ( in advance of the lesson so a suitable plan can be put in place.


The Curriculum

All students receive 45 minutes of Health every week (Monday Period 1). Health is taught by tutors wherever possible within tutor groups. If lessons are not completed on Monday, content may be taught in other tutor time sessions. Many schemes of work are re-visited each year, developing student knowledge further in a timely and age-appropriate manner. Some lessons may be taught by outside agencies as needed. Students will be asked to complete an 'ambassador' project every half term which encourages them to raise awareness of the issue they have been studying.

Health Curriculum - Find out what units they will study in each year group

Sample Health Lessons 1

Sample Health Lessons 2

Sample Health Lessons 3

Our Health curriculum is regularly reviewed in line with feedback from our stakeholders. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Jo Taylor-Campbell