What Schools Should Really Teach

16 October 2014

By Lauren E. White

English, Maths, Science and a plethora of other subjects are taught in schools as part of the national curriculum – but there are some lessons that are considerably more valuable than finding the value of x or working out why our bodies produce stomach acid. What schools really need to be teaching us are life lessons in the time we have dedicated to pastoral time.

Schools  teach us all about drugs and alcohol in citizenship classes but they lack the teaching of crucial real-life situations which should include mental health and self-respect.

It’s really quite worrying when you weigh up just how many girls are beginning to dress inappropriately and revealingly – this is not called being ‘old-fashioned’, but being respectful and reasonable. The amount of boys who see girls as just an object or see themselves as existing only to get the attention of girls and to be with girls is increasing and it is thoroughly astonishing and saddening that boys and girls, as young as 13,  are thinking they are on this planet to please others rather than themselves. Schools really are missing key points when it comes to their curriculum.

Self-respect should be a focus – whether it be in an assembly or dedicated pastoral tutor time. It is important that both girls and boys understand the importance of loving yourself in a way that is healthy for your mind – after all, if you can’t love and respect yourself, who else is going to?

But the one mammoth point schools are totally disregarding is mental health. With a horrifying statistic of one in five people being clinically depressed, it is a huge mistake not to teach students about mental health disorders. Schools need to make each individual aware of the serious effects mentally unhealthy people suffer and therefore, it is a complete must to make all students aware that if they feel depressed or alone, it is perfectly acceptable to come forward and tell a member of staff. After all, the numbers in young people suffering with mental illnesses is growing. So, how many more people need to be diagnosed before schools will become aware and teach it to students as part of their curriculum?

At the end of it all, what’s really important is that young girls and boys grow into mature adults with the self-respect they deserve to have, a healthy mind and complete respect from others around them. This is what schools should really be teaching.

If you think you are suffering from a mental illness or are struggling with things at the moment, you can tell a parent, a teacher or contact the people below:

ChildLine – 0800 1111

Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90

SANE – 0845 767 8000

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