Personal Development

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 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 10 Personal Development lessons

Students start the year focussing on careers covering aspirations and employability skills. This is to help embed the importance of resilience and keeping options open for the future. Finance is considered to include banking, loans, interest, and safety when handling money. Students then explore a unit of work based on diversity and human rights covering British values, racism, group blame, Islamophobia, torture, Syria, refugees, forced marriages and death penalty. Basic first aid is covered in detail to ensure students are safe and understand how to react in different situations, including topics such as CPR, recovery position, breaks, sprains, burns choking and shock. Healthy lifestyle choices are also considered, such as legal highs and sun safety. The final unit of work will be based upon sex and relationship education. Progress will be monitored via baseline and progress checker tests at the start and end of units.

Year 11 Personal Development lessons

The focus for the Autumn term is careers and skills for life. Students work on preparing a CV, letter of application and research job choices (using Fast Tomato – an online career programme) and employment law. This is used in an interview skills day where each student has a practice interview with a professional and receives personal feedback. Post 16 options are considered to help with next steps. A unit of work is devoted to ensuring students are exam ready and focusing on ways to reduce anxiety and stress, to support mental health. The importance of sleep and how to plan revision are also included. The last unit of work covers positive relationships. This includes consideration of sexual equality, controlling behaviour, consent, rape, grooming, homosexuality and ‘coming out’.

Find out about Personal Development in Year 12 and 13 here…