Skip to main content


Beyond the books: RIC's commitment to personal growth and wellbeing

At Rochester Independent College, we reckon education is much more than just acing those exams. It’s about nurturing well-rounded, confident, and resilient young people ready to take on the world. At RIC, our Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE), and Careers courses form the bedrock of our holistic approach to student growth. 

We get it – those teenage years are a whirlwind of change, self-discovery, and gearing up for what’s next. That’s why our courses are designed to equip you with the know-how, skills, and values to thrive in every aspect of life.


Personal, social, health and economic education

In the Lower School, our dedicated PSHE sessions team up with our morning Form Time to make sure our curriculum is spot on. We mix in guidelines from the PSHE Association with our own creative spin to cover a wide range of topics that help young people navigate the twists and turns of modern life. 

As you move up to Sixth Form, we bring in workshops and talks from seasoned pros to keep things fresh and vital. Whether it’s mental health, emotional wellbeing, financial literacy, or digital citizenship, our PSHE lessons are lively, interactive, and right on point. We create a space where you feel safe and supported to dive into these crucial issues. Through open chats and hands-on activities, you'll learn to manage your emotions, build healthy relationships, and make smart decisions. Our goal? To empower you to lead a healthy, balanced, and fulfilling life.

Relationships and sex education 

At Rochester Independent College, we handle Relationships and Sex Education with a good dose of sensitivity, respect, and inclusivity. Our RSE program, woven into our PSHE sessions, gives you accurate, age-appropriate info about relationships, sexual health, and personal safety. We believe that when you're well-informed, you’re better equipped to make positive choices and build respectful, consensual relationships. Our curriculum spans a broad spectrum – from consent and body image to gender identity and sexual orientation. We strive to create a learning environment where every student feels valued and understood, no matter their background or experiences. By fostering respect and empathy, we help you build healthy, positive relationships and appreciate the importance of respecting yourself and others.

Our supportive environment

At the heart of our PSHE, RSE, and Careers program is a commitment to a supportive and inclusive environment where every student can shine. Our dedicated staff are passionate about guiding and mentoring you, providing the tools and encouragement you need to succeed. We take a personalized approach to education because we know each of you is unique, with your own strengths, challenges, and dreams. Our small class sizes ensure you get the attention and support you deserve, and our open-door policy means help is always within reach.

Continuous improvement and feedback

At Rochester Independent College, we're all about continuous improvement. We regularly review and update our PSHE, RSE, and Careers programs to keep them relevant and effective for our students. We value feedback from students, parents, and staff, using it to tweak and enhance our practices. 

Our mission is to deliver top-notch education and support, empowering you to tackle life's challenges with resilience, confidence, and a sense of purpose. The PSHE, RSE, and Careers courses at Rochester Independent College is a cornerstone of our mission to educate and inspire well-rounded individuals. We're proud of the comprehensive and compassionate approach we take in supporting your personal development and prepping you for the future.


Students in the Sixth Form will participate in a series of talks and workshops covering key content of the PSHE and RSE Curriculum. These will take place during one enrichment day each term when timetabled lessons will be suspended. 

Tip of the Iceberg - A drama performance and workshop with a focus on consent, pornography, toxic masculinity, coercive and controlling relationships, domestic violence, sexual assault & rape

The Mizen Foundation - A workshop delivered by the parents of a child who was killed as a result of bullying and violence.  The session focuses on bullying, consequences of actions, anger, forgiveness and personal responsibility. 

Tanya Adolph’s session will focus on recognising when they, or others, need support with their mental health and effective strategies to address difficulties and promote wellbeing.

My BNK will deliver a highly interactive session designed to get students thinking and caring about their finances, both now and in their short and long-term futures.

Connect Futures are running a workshop around ‘Fake News’ where students are encouraged to question and critically engage on the topic of extremism within the context of news - both face to face and online, deepening knowledge of violence, extremism and exploitation.

Mark Young will deliver a session on online safety. Looking specifically at effectively challenging online content and maintaining a positive professional online presence. 

School of Sexuality Education will be delivering 2 different workshops on identity and anatomy as a part of the Relationship and Sex education curriculum for Key stage 5. 

School of Sexuality Education will be delivering 3 different workshops to complete the curriculum of Relationships and Sex education in the sixth form.  These will focus on consent, sexual violence and the media. . 

Ian Duxbury will deliver a session around maintaining work-life balance, including understanding the importance of continuing with regular exercise and sleep.

Nick Hickmott from Substance Consultant UK will focus on understanding how alcohol and drug use can affect decision making and personal safety, including looking out for friends, safe travel and drink-spiking

Resolveit will be running a workshop looking at personal safety and how to support friends when needed. 

St Giles Trust uses the lived experiences of presenters to run engaging sessions around county lines and grooming.

Connect Futures - Workshop around Race, Privilege and Justice will allow students to gain an insight and overview of current issues related to racial justice in the UK  and the role of history in our behaviours in and outside the classroom.

Mark Young’s session will explore how to be a critical consumer of online information in all its forms, including recognising bias, propaganda and manipulation

Darren Harris will be delivering a talk around overcoming adversity.  He is an author, speaker and coach and reflects on his experiences as a paralympic blind footballer to speak about promoting inclusion. 

Year 7

Unique me, differences & conflict, my influences, gateway emotions, belonging to a group, peer pressure, peer on peer abuse, online safety, sexting, consequences, online legislation

Bullying, prejudice & discrimination (positive and negative), Equality Act, bystanders, stereotyping, challenging influences, negative behaviour and attitudes, peer on peer abuse, assertiveness

Celebrating success, identifying goals, employment, learning from mistakes, overcoming challenges, planning skills, safe & unsafe choices, substances, gangs, knives, exploitation, emergency first aid

Stress and anxiety, managing mental health, physical activity and mental health, effects of substances, legal consequences, nutrition, sleep, vaccination and immunisation, importance of information on making health choices

Characteristics of healthy relationships, consent, relationships and change, emotion within friendships, peer on peer abuse, rights and responsibilities, being discerning, assertiveness, sexting

Puberty changes, Reproduction facts, FGM, breast flattening/ ironing, responsibilities of parenthood, IVF, types of committed relationships, media and self-esteem, self-image, brain changes in puberty, factors affecting moods, sources of help and support.

Year 8

Self-identity, influences, family and identity, stereotypes, personal beliefs and judgements, managing expectations, first impressions, respect for the beliefs of others Marriage, Protected characteristics, Active listening

Positive change made by others,how positive behaviour affects feelings of wellbeing, social injustice, inequality, community cohesion and support, multiculturalism, diversity, race and religion, stereotypes, prejudice, LGBT+ bullying, peer on peer abuse hate crime, fear & emotions stand up to bullying, the golden rule organ and blood donation

Long-term goals, skills, qualifications, careers, money and happiness, ethics and mental wellbeing, budgeting, variation in income, positive and negative impact of money, online safety and legal responsibilities, gambling issues

Long-term physical health, responsibility for own health, dental health, stress triggers and help tips, substances and mood, legislation associated with substances, exploitation and substances, county lines, medicine, vaccinations, immunisation

Positive relationship with self, social media and relationship with self, negative self-talk, managing a range of relationships, peer on peer abuse, personal space, online etiquette, online privacy, bullying and personal safety, social media issues and the law, coercion, unhealthy balance of power in relationships, sources of support

Types of close intimate relationships, physical attraction, love, legal status of relationships, behaviours in healthy and unhealthy romantic relationships, pornography, sexuality, alcohol and risky behaviour.

Year 9

Perceptions about intimate relationships, consent, sexual exploitation, peer approval, peer on peer abuse, grooming, radicalisation, county lines, risky experimentation, positive and negative self- identity, groups, influences, social media, abuse and coercion, coercive control

Protected characteristics, Equality Act, phobic and racist language, legal consequences of bullying and hate crime, sexism, ageism, positive and negative language, banter, peer on peer abuse, bullying in the workplace, direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation. Prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping

Personal strengths, health goals, SMART planning, the world of work, links between body image and mental health, non-financial dreams and goals, mental health and ill health, media manipulation, self-harm, self-esteem, stigma, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression

Misperceptions about young peoples’ health choices, physical and psychological effects of drugs and alcohol, alcohol and the law, alcohol and drug poisoning, addiction, smoking, vaping, drug classification, supply and possession legislation, emergency situations, first aid, CPR, substances and safety, sources of advice and support

Healthy relationships, Power and control in intimate relationships, risk in intimate relationships, importance of sexual consent, peer on peer abuse, assertiveness skills, sex and the law,pornography and stereotypes, contraception choices, age of consent, family planning, consequences of unprotected sex, STIs, support and advice services

Mental health stigma, triggers, support strategies, managing emotional changes, resilience and how to improve it, reflection on importance of sleep in relation to mental health, reflection on changes, benefits of relaxation

Year 10

Human rights, societal freedom, understanding safety in UK and beyond, ending relationships safely, stages of grief, loss and bereavement, peer on peer abuse, social media and culture, use of online data, threats to online safety, online identity, assessing and managing risk, the law and social media 

Risk and emergency contacts

Positive and negative relationships

Equality including in the workplace, in society, in relationships 

Vulnerable groups including disability and hidden disability 

Workplace expectations 

Rights and responsibilities 

Power and control in relationships, coercive control 

Benefits of multi-cultural societies, Equity, equality and inequality, My health

Impact of physical health in reaching goals, relationships and reaching goals, resilience, work/life balance, connections and impact on mental health, balanced diet, vital organs, blood donation, benefits of helping others, online profile and impact on future goals and employability

Improving health, mental health, sexual health, blood-borne infections, self-examination, diet and long-term health, misuse of prescription drugs, substances and the body, common mental health disorders, positive impact of volunteering, common threats to health including chronic disease, epidemics, misuse of antibiotics.

Organ donation

Stem cells

Sustaining long-term relationships, intimacy, healthy relationship with self 

Attraction, love, lust 

Relationship choices, ending relationships safely, consequences of relationships ending e.g. bullying, peer on peer abuse, revenge porn, grief-cycle, 

Impact on family understanding love, fake news 


Impact of societal change on young people, role of media on societal change, reflection on change so far and how to manage it successfully, decision making, sexual identity gender, spectrum of sexuality, stereotypes in romantic relationships, sexual identity and risk, peer on peer abuse, physical and emotional changes, family change, sources of support

Year 11

Becoming an adult. Age limits and the law  Relationships and the law, consent, coercive control, peer on peer abuse, domestic abuse, honourbased, violence, arranged and forced marriages.

The law on internet use and pornography, Social media concerns, sexting 

Keeping safe, emergency situations, key advice, first aid, scenarios and consequences

Anxiety, solution focused thinking, sleep, relaxation, Aspiration on; career, finances, budgeting, borrowing, relationships, Skills identification, realistic goals, gambling, financial pressure, debt, dream jobs, skill set, employment, education and training options, long-term relationship dreams and goals, parenting skills and challenges, resilience, what to do when things go wrong

Managing anxiety and stress, exam pressure, concentration strategies, work- life balance, sexual health, hygiene, selfexamination, STIs, sexual pressure, fertility issues, contraception, consent, peer on peer abuse, pregnancy facts and myths, pregnancy choices including adoption, abortion, bringing up a baby, financial implications, identifying a range of risks including rape and strategies for staying safe 

Stages of intimate relationships, positive and negative connotations of sex, spectrum of gender and sexuality, LGBT+ rights and protection under the Equality Act, ‘coming out’ challenges, LGBT+ media stereotypes, peer on peer abuse, power, control and sexual experimentation, forced marriage, honour-based violence, FGM and other abuses, hate crime, sources of support.