PSHE is one of those lessons that, as a classroom teacher, I can sometimes find a little dry to teach. Whilst it’s very important to start with what children know and have experienced for themselves, you have to be careful when touching on potentially sensitive subjects and many of the more traditional, text-based resources can seem rather boring. I find that role-playing scenarios work very well but I have been searching for an interactive resource that would really fire up my pupils, engage the more reluctant children and further embed ICT skills into their everyday learning.
So, when I was asked to take a look at a new online resource, 1Decision (www.1decision.co.uk), I was intrigued as to how this could be different to what I’d seen before. This PSHE resource is a web-based interactive learning platform for children aged 5-8 that enables either teachers to use the software to deliver to the whole class within the classroom (via a smartboard, computer, projector, laptop or iPad) or individually to students, through an individual log-in system.
As one of the first products to be kite marked by the PSHE association, 1Decision has created, in my opinion, a product that can help teachers to cover Key Stage 1 PSHE requirements in a way that will help all different types of learners, be they visual, auditory or kinaesthetic in their approach and help promote social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL). By using this resource with individual children, teachers can utilise the subtle videos to help approach areas of concern around a child in a sensitive manner, which can help with aspects of safeguarding.
On logging into 1Decision via my iPad, I was struck by the simplicity of the resource and how easily accessible and applicable it is to everyday classroom teaching. The current version of 1Decision comprises five learning modules that quite neatly cover the delivery of PSHE within a Key Stage 1 setting. The website is bright and simply designed and easy to navigate – a must if it’s to be used within an ICT lesson by a whole class! When I accessed the website via the computer network at school, my pupils were instantly engaged and were able to find their way around quite quickly.
Each module comes complete with a range of resources, both interactive and printable. 1Decision has an engaging character called DeeDee who asks the pupils watching for help. Through the videos, pupils are given a scenario and then asked to make choices as to how the characters within it should progress. For example, a child who has kicked a ball into the road can either go and fetch it themselves or get an adult to help. By clicking on choice buttons, pupils can then see the outcomes of their decisions and discuss them within the classroom safely (enabling them to virtually access scenarios that wouldn’t be safe otherwise). DeeDee is a constant throughout the 1Decision framework, which creates a sense of stability and a clear routine for PSHE lessons.
All of the videos included within 1Decision are visually very appealing and by using the extra printable resources, module charts and certificates, teachers can keep a close eye on an individual child’s progress. By using the resource via individual log-ins, data can be recorded about each child and children can even access their work at home.
Each module comes complete with a clear set of teacher guidance notes that gives clear learning outcomes, thorough explanations of each of the resources contained with the module and lots of detailed suggestions for how to further enhance the learning within the classroom. There are also links to additional resources and websites. By using these as a base for planning, teachers can be certain that they are covering everything that they are required to do in a way that will keep the children stimulated and help to promote lively discussions.
All in all, 1Decision is a great addition to any teacher’s PSHE bank of resources and well worth looking at. By having a character that pupils will look forward to seeing, I feel that 1Decision has really injected a lot of fun into their scheme of work. I found the guidance notes really helpful and straightforward when planning my lessons – very useful when you’re busy and run off your feet in the classroom! The ability to click on a button to compile data on a child’s progress in all areas of PSHE is fantastic, and there are plans to add extra resources to cover requirements from Key Stage 2.