Textbooks for PSHE - worth the investment?

Textbooks for PSHE - worth the investment?

Although textbooks had fallen out of favour in recent years, with photocopying budgets down many teachers are visiting their stockcupboards to rediscover hidden treasures. But what about investing in new textbooks? Is it really worth raiding your precious budget? John Shuttleworth gives us the lowdown on the most popular PSHE textbooks currently on the market.

PSHE Education for Key Stage 3
Lesley de Meza, Stephen De Silva
Hodder Education, £16.99

Pros: Good for modern issues around technology and its misuses and social issues such as bullying, peer pressure and gangs. The format is straightforward and attractive and with a good text-to-image ratio. Complements the PSHE Association guidelines and suggested topics for each year group nicely.

Cons: Stretch and challenge could be better. You may find yourself needing to provide additional material for your most able, depending on your class. A class set could work out a little pricey - remember this is £16.99 per book, so if a class of 30 are sharing you are still looking at spending £250.

PSHE Education for Key Stage 4 Teacher’s Resource Book + CD
Philip Ashton, Lesley de Meza, Stephen De Silva
Hodder Education, £130

Pros: A handy teacher’s book to have at your desk for planning KS4 lessons. Organised clearly and effectively, with a good range of discussion points to get your class talking. Many useful ideas and activities, but not so strong for those looking for an entire curriculum of fully differentiated ‘ready to teach’ lessons. Works out much cheaper than buying a class set of textbooks, however, and a great starting point for planning a KS4 curriculum.

Cons: Could be worded better at times. ESOL students may struggle with phrasal verbs like ‘come up with’ where a simpler verb would be more accessible. Also uses adjectives like ‘normal’ where ‘average’ would be better. You will still be doing a fair bit of work yourself to cover every issue recommended by the PSHE Association and the DfE for the new 2020 guidelines.

21st Century Citizenship & PSHE Book 1
Eileen Osborne and Stephanie Yates
Oxford University Press, £20.99

Pros: The first thing that struck me with this was the unusual imagery. The front cover for a start seems incongruous - however it is very pleasant to look through with a good use of cartoons to illustrate contemporary issues and attractive presentation. The book encourages discussion and reflection of various stereotypes, assumptions, and preconceptions. It covers a range of Citizenship and PSHE topics, so good for those in the PSHCE classroom.

Cons: It’s one of the pricier books on the market. For the price, I’d want better stretch and challenge provision. Some of the activities might backfire with certain classes (e.g. an open ended task writing about a friendship problem that they have had). You're looking at £300 for a class set of 15.

Your Life Student Book 1 (4th Revised Edition)
John Foster, Simon Sharpe-Foster
Collins, £15.99

Pros: Uses a lot of personal stories/case studies in order to interest students in the issues covered, making the book have a feel of being very relatable. Lots of great discussion points and interesting ideas for further tasks. Covers a wide range of Citizenship and PSHE topics. Good variety of activities, pitched accessibly. Useful for PSHCE and form time.

Cons: Not much specifically on very latest technology and its various dangers and risks (e.g. revenge porn, cyberbullying through SnapChat / Insta-pressures etc.)