Personal Development

personalised learningpersonal developmentYear 7 Personal Development

In Year 7 the Personal Development programme delivered by the tutor seeks to develop a wide range of skills through a variety of topics and active teaching methods. Throughout the Personal Development Programme, students are encouraged to think independently and reflect on a range of issues. Group discussion is a regular feature of lessons and students become confident in articulating their own opinions and responding appropriately to the contributions of others.
Initially ground rules are developed by the Tutor Group as students settle in, leading to consideration of school rules, and appropriate ways of working together within a community. Self reflection, increasing confidence and an awareness of the many aspects of personal safety, risk taking and Sex Education are all included at an age appropriate level.

Year 8 Personal Development 
The Year 8 Personal Development Programme is delivered by the tutor. Students cover a range of topics focusing on aspects of personal identity and Citizenship. Issues such as peer group pressure, self esteem and coping with change are covered early in the year. Prejudice, discrimination, equal opportunities, conflict and the media are also considered. Students are also introduced to the world of careers, money and choices via the Electronic Real Game Group. Discussion is a regular feature of lessons and students become confident in articulating their own opinions and responding appropriately to the contributions of others.

Year 9 Personal Development 
The Year 9 Personal Development Programme, delivered by the Tutor seeks to develop a wide range of skills through a variety of topics and active teaching methods. Lessons focus on personal identity, risk and managing situations effectively. The objective is to raise student awareness and ability to consider the outcomes or consequences of their decisions. They also cover money management and a range of Citizenship topics such as the community, media and justice. Group discussion is a regular feature of lessons and students become confident in articulating their own opinions and responding appropriately to the contributions of others.

Year 10 Personal Development 
In Year 10 Personal Development the tutor teaches students “Personal, Social, Health, Economic & Citizenship Education.” Initially, there is an emphasis on training students to cope well with the various changes involved in the transition to the ‘GCSE years including an exploration of students’ perceptions of Key Stage 4, organisation, coursework and note-making and other skills needed to succeed.  The overarching themes during the year are: Politics, Healthy Lifestyles, Study Skills, “Active Citizenship” and Careers. They are taught during one period each week. Active learning strategies, group work, team presentations, ICT, guest speakers, DVDs and assemblies all contribute to enriching the students’ experience of the subject.
Specific themes addressed include an exploration of students’ personal preparation for the world of work, consideration of a range of issues relating to health, including “our misconceptions about drugs”, healthy lifestyles, racism, stereotypes, consumer issues, (particularly those concerned with banking and finance), and topics relating to parliament, including voting. Study skills are also revisited in preparation for Year 10 examinations.

Year 11 Personal Development 
In Year 11 Personal Development the tutor teaches students “Personal, Social, Health, Economic & Citizenship Education.” There are many, varied topics covered during the year and the two main areas of focus are “the world of work,” (including careers education & guidance), and preparation for exam success.  The programme seeks to develop a wide range of skills that are targeted at the specific situations Year 11 students will be encountering in the coming months. A variety of topics are taught using active teaching methods. There are lessons dealing with current affairs, sexual health, war, “excessive behaviours” and human rights & justice. Following interview skills training in the autumn term and consideration of mental health, the focus moves to future pathways, examination preparation, revision and study techniques. Post-16 options are taught and presented by a variety of methods including lively, engaging presentations by guest speakers.

Year 12 and 13 Personal Development 
This programme is an essential part of the school’s support for individuals as they mature and develop into independent and capable young adults.
All young people need support and guidance as they develop the skills and understanding necessary to make a success of sixth form studies. Likewise, they need an opportunity to discuss the most important and relevant issues of the day which impact on their lives, from environmental concerns, to issues of morality, social exclusion and equality. Equally, they need to learn more about personal health and relationships appropriate for their age, and be prepared for the world of work and higher education with close guidance on UCAS/job applications and financial awareness. This programme combines all of these elements to help our young people understand their place in the world and develop the skills and understanding necessary to be successful and effective.
Each week, students engage with a different topic from the programme, led and facilitated by the Tutor, during one period. The time may include an assembly, which will either serve to introduce or develop the theme from the session, or may be an opportunity for the whole school to gather to celebrate community and achievement. There is careful use of outside speakers and specialists to illuminate key issues. Two, day-long workshops, one at a Higher Education conference, and one to explore business and enterprise issues, offer in-depth focus on key topics. Students engage through discussion and debate, role play and group work learning

Specific topics addressed in Year 12 include settling in to the Sixth Form and advanced study skills, preparing winning job applications and CVs, the nature of war, substance abuse, social exclusion and being an effective Citizen. We also begin to explore Higher Education opportunities, look further at making the right career and employment choices and enterprise learning, as well as address issues around lifelong and independent learning.

Specific topics addressed in Year 13 include accessing Higher Education: support with writing UCAS applications, choosing courses and colleges, and dealing with subsequent offers. Help is also available with designing a gap year, and students who choose not to apply to university, have their own programme outlining writing an effective CV, gaining employment and the different options available to them post 18. Understanding personal finance and health related issues as well as topical moral, environmental and ethical debates also feature.