Personal Development Programme (PDP) lessons are designed to encourage students to discuss and debate a wide range of topical issues that directly affect their day to day lives. Topics are challenging and age relevant. Whilst most of the PDP lessons are delivered by the tutor using a wide range of taching methods, some lessons are delivered by guest speakers such as the police, Trading Standards, dentists, Fire fighters, and touring pop bands/drama companies. Discussion is a regular feature of lessons and students become confident in articulating their own opinions and responding appropriately to the contributions of others.
All students complete the Milestones programme, which requires students to develop a variety of skills and explore a variety of topics, which are assessed half termly through tasks such as presentations, role plays, poems, posters etc.
Year 7 Personal Development
The first half term is designed to help students settle into life at St Bartholomew’s School, where ground rules are established and students explore appropriate ways of working together within a community. There is an introduction to careers through a Careers Planet game to encourage the investigation of different jobs, boosting knowledge and understanding of careers available. The game aids exploration of the labour market and expands horizons about what the future world of work might look like for them. Students also cover developing healthy, positive friendships and look at ways of developing their self-esteem. Throughout the rest of the year students cover many other topics such as puberty, and healthy choices (which covers road safety, online safety, smoking, healthy eating and body image).
Year 8 Personal Development
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 online Real Game programme and spend a considerable amount of time look at safe behaviour, focusing on drugs, cyberbullying and alcohol.
Year 9 Personal Development
Lessons focus on personal identity, risk and managing situations effectively. They cover money management (using Fast Tomato – an online career programme) and a range of Citizenship topics such as the community, media and justice. Students explore different political parties and have the opportunities to create their own laws, take on the role of a MP and debate current issues within their tutor group. Students also explore healthy lifestyle choices, covering alcohol, mental health, body image and healthy relationships. As part of the relationship topic, student discuss sexual health where they find out about contraception and STIs.
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 and their future preparation for the world of work and higher education with UCAS/job applications and financial awareness. 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. 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. During an additional enrichment session 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, offering 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 job applications and CVs, mental health, social exclusion and being a global citizen. We also begin to explore the vast range choices for life post-sixth form, including apprenticeships, gap-years and university.
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.