Personal Development

Throughout the Personal Development programme, the rationale is to support our young people to progress into healthy, happy, responsible and successful global citizens whilst being effective learners throughout their secondary education.  To this end, pupils will follow a thematic approach, revisiting themes advised by the Personal Development Association throughout their Key Stage 3 and 4 studies.  Themes will include Relationships, Health and Wellbeing, and Living in the Wider World.  Each theme will be revisited on several occasions each year allowing pupils to be introduced to new age-appropriate knowledge, whilst revisiting and consolidating their learning over time.  Health and demographic data indicate that the needs of our young people across the Dean Trust are comparable and we have allowed for a ‘flexi-lesson’ where the challenges that are pertinent to a local area can be addressed.

Elements of Religious Education (RE and RS) are taught amongst Personal Development curriculum during KS4, as RE is not provided as a core curriculum subject. However, the same ethos and delivery that go into RE lessons is used here. Pupils are encouraged to think critically and discuss major world issues – such as crime and punishment, or poverty – in a supportive environment.

Throughout the Personal Development programme, the rationale is to support our young people to progress into healthy, happy, responsible and successful global citizens whilst being effective learners throughout their secondary education.  To this end, pupils will follow a thematic approach, revisiting themes advised by the Personal Development Association throughout their Key Stage 3 and 4 studies.  Themes will include Relationships, Health and Wellbeing, and Living in the Wider World.  Each theme will be revisited on several occasions each year allowing pupils to be introduced to new age-appropriate knowledge, whilst revisiting and consolidating their learning over time.  Health and demographic data indicate that the needs of our young people across the Dean Trust are comparable and we have allowed for a ‘flexi-lesson’ where the challenges that are pertinent to a local area can be addressed.

Personal Development Curriculum Aims

The Dean Trust’s Personal Development Curriculum encompasses several areas of learning including Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE), Relationship and Sex Education (RSE), Careers Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG), Citizenship and British Values.  The Trust’s curriculum is a balanced model of the various priorities as we provide a holistic approach to supporting our learners’ personal development through to adulthood.

To embrace the challenges of creating a happy and successful adult life, pupils need knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships and to build their self-efficacy. Pupils can also put this knowledge into practice as they develop the capacity to make sound decisions when facing risks, challenges and complex contexts. Everyone faces difficult situations in their lives. These subjects can support young people to develop resilience, to know how and when to ask for help, and to know where to access support.

At key stage 3, pupils build on the knowledge and understanding, skills, attributes and values they have acquired and developed during the primary phase. Personal Development education acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people experience, beginning with transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence. It teaches the knowledge and skills which will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life. Pupils learn to manage diverse relationships, their online lives, and the increasing influence of peers and the media.

At key stage 4, pupils deepen knowledge and understanding, extend and rehearse skills, and further explore attitudes, values and attributes acquired during key stage 3. Personal Development education reflects the fact that pupils are moving towards an independent role in adult life, taking on greater responsibility for themselves and others.


Year 7 Personal Development Curriculum

Year 7 Personal Development focuses on the issues of change that may affect our younger pupils as they transition into a new environment in order to build their resilience as well as addressing physical changes, and the feelings that may come with that change. There is a focus on building positive relationships with the people around them in order to support their development in a new school environment, and challenge peer on peer abuse. Additionally, through Year 7 Personal Development our pupils will develop aspirational views of themselves as well as the self confidence needed to reach those aspirations and succeed.

Module 1: Transition to High School and safety – How can I make a positive start to High School?

As an introduction to Year 7, during ‘Module 1: How do I make a positive start to high school?’ pupils will explore the transition they are making from primary to secondary school. Pupils will be able to identify how to manage the transition, build resilience and a growth mindset

Module 2: Developing skills and aspirations – How do I make my future self a success?

Progressing onto ‘Module 2: How do I make my future a success?’ pupils are given the opportunity to recognise and develop their transferable skills set and begin to forge the links between their curriculum learning and living in the wider world, beginning their careers conversations to raise their aspirations.

Module 3: Diversity – Why are our differences worth celebrating?

During the Relationships themed ‘Module 3: Why are our differences worth celebrating?’ pupils will contemplate their responsibilities as national and global citizens for the respect and celebration of diversity. Pupils will recognise their individuality whilst understanding the need for respect and tolerance within the rule of law. Pupils will be equipped with the tools to combat prejudice, discrimination and bullying behaviours

Module 4: Health and puberty – How do I be a healthy teenager?

Module 4: How do I be a healthy teenager?’ will focus on the transitions from childhood to adulthood and support pupils with their wellbeing during puberty. Pupils will be safeguarded and understand the importance of consent and issues of FGM will be brought to their attention to empower young people to make informed choices

Module 5: Building relationships – How can I be happy in my relationships?

‘Module 5: How can I be happy in my relationships’ focuses on the skills needed by pupils to foster strong positive relationships with the people around them. They will develop their understanding of personal boundaries, abuse, the impact of child on child abuse as well as the role modern technology has in our relationships. There will be some discussion around romantic relationships, supporting a positive outlook towards things like consent, respect and understanding.

Module 6: Financial decision making – Does money buy happiness?

This module supports a basic understanding of the economy that powers our country. It will explore economic issues and financial decision making to support fiscal responsibility with our pupils. Further still, it will explore the impact of particular financial issues can affect society and personal health (such as gambling, money stresses and the impact of financial pressure’

Year 8 Personal Development Curriculum

Year 8 Personal Development builds on the topics discussed in year 7 in order to create a stronger understanding. Year 8 pupils will consider many aspects of modern living – such as modern technology, media and changing definitions of personal identity – and how they can impact our lives. There is a focus on developing an inclusive attitude towards community and developing positive relationships with the people around them. Pupils will also focus on developing new key skills for the modern world – such as digital and media literacy – helping them to find their own place in this developing world and construct their own understanding fairly.

Module 7: Addiction, drugs and alcohol – How do I avoid the dangers of addiction?

During the initial half term, whilst studying ‘Module 7: How do I avoid the dangers of addiction?’ as part of Health and Wellbeing, pupils will explore the dangers associated with different types of addictions. The topic will raise awareness on the reasons behind and as to why individuals become addicted to alcohol, smoking, drugs and gaming. Pupils will be able to identify risks and methods of help that are out there.

Module 8: Community and careers – What is the difference between equality and equity?

During the module ‘What is the difference between equality and equity’, pupils will be encouraged to discuss the ideas behind equality and whether that is enough when we consider the disadvantages that face some people. They will discuss diversity as a community, as well as challenging stereotypes that may appear in such societies. Additionally, they will consider what an equitable workplace would be like, and help encourage their aspirational career choices.

Module 9: Discrimination – Why are these characteristics protected?

During the module ‘Why are these characteristics protected?’ pupils will consider the 2010 Equality Act and the importance that it has in modern Britain. Pupils will consider why some groups need to be protected by considering the discrimination that they face, and the stereotypes that are constructed about them. This will help pupils understand the diverse world that they are part of and encourage global inclusivity by making them global citizens.

Module 10: Emotional wellbeing – How do my choices affect my wellbeing?

During the module ‘How do my choices affect my wellbeing?’ pupils will discuss and assess the effect of the modern world on their own self-esteem and our emotions wellbeing. Pupils will assess how their decisions/outlook can affect their own wellbeing by examining issues like body image, anxiety and peer pressure, as well as media reliability. As a result, our pupils will be able to make informed decisions about their own lives and the media that they consume

Module 11: Identity and relationships – What is the difference between sex, gender and sexuality?

During the module ‘What is the difference between sex, gender and sexuality?’ pupils will explore issues surrounding personal identity and how that affects relationships. This is important as modern understanding of gender and sexuality is evolving so pupils should be aware in order to promote equity and inclusivity. Pupils will also reinforce their understanding of the law regarding sexual relationships, including consent, in order to support and promote positive romantic relationships.

Module 12: Digital literacy – How do I stay safe online?

During the module ‘How do I stay safe online?’ pupils will develop their understanding of the modern world and the technologies that have become central to our lives. They will learn key digital literacy skills, as well as important skills in recognising gambling hooks, and stealth advertising that may feature on social media. As a result, pupils will be able to consume modern media in a healthier way – avoiding the negative impact of an over-reliance on tech and media

Year 9 Personal Development Curriculum

Year 9 Personal Development further develops the themes discussed earlier in KS3 to reinforce and build on their previous understanding, as well as introducing new, and relevant topics. There will be an increased focus on career options and aspirations as the Year 9 cohort consider their options for GCSE. Support from Personal Development will make this easier and provide time for them to consider their immediate options and how that will lead to future goals. Further still, year 9 will develop a more mature understanding of romantic relationships. There will be discussions on sexual health, contraception/protection as well as the law on sexual relationships and consent. This will help pupils to develop a healthier and more realistic understanding of what an intimate relationship would look like.

Module 13: Peer influence and street crime – Is there such a thing as a ‘gangster’s paradise’?

Firstly, during Module 13, pupils will explore different factors that will affect their health and wellbeing. Pupils will look into the impact and consequences of illegal drugs, knife crime, substance abuse and peer pressure. Pupils will identify the aim of community based sentences and how the law in Britain treats young offenders. Pupils will examine specific aspects of modern Britain to assess how this can contribute to street crime and gang life – such as portrayals in the media, deprivation, influence from peers and county lines

Module 14: Active citizenship – What’s politics got to do with me?

During the module ‘What’s politics got to do with me’ we will challenge apathy regarding politics and consider the wide-reaching importance that modern politics offers. Pupils will learn about the political system active in modern Britain, as well as a general understanding of the political spectrum. Pupils will assess specific aspects of the rule of law – such as Human rights, and the government laws on diversity, equity and inclusivity, as well as the importance of democracy as one of the fundamental British values.

Module 15: Setting goals – How do my choices ensure a successful future?

During the module ‘How do my choices ensure a successful future’ pupils will consider the skills that need to be developed in order to find easier success in the future. This takes place during this time of year in order to support the year 9 options process by having pupils consider their aspirations for the future, and their pathway there. They will focus on developing resilience and time management skills, as well as supporting a growth mindset

Module 16: Respectful relationships – What responsibilities do we have within our relationships?

During the module ‘What responsibilities do we have within our relationship’ is a topic that reinforces previous learning on the development of positive relationships. In year 9, this will develop into assessing more intimate relationships. Pupils will discuss what a positive romantic relationship looks like, as well as managing expectations. Pupils will also address challenges that they may face in their life, such as relationship breakdown, and red flags, and how to manage them constructively. This should allow pupils to create a realistic understanding of romance, with a complete understanding of consent.

Module 17: Healthy lifestyle – What influences my healthy choices?

During the module ‘What influences my healthy choices?’ pupils will build upon earlier learning of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle by considering unhealthy practices as well as the things that influence them. There will be an increasing focus in creating a balanced lifestyle and supporting a positive mental wellbeing, raising awareness of social media influence on eating disorders. This builds on previous discussions by addressing issues like anxiety, stress, depression as well as unhealthy coping strategies, such as self-harm. This will help keep pupils healthy in mind and body.

Module 18: Intimate relationships – What’s love got to do with it?

The module ‘What’s love got to do with it?’ focuses entirely on intimate relationships. This is part of Personal Development statutory learning and so it is essential that pupils understand this topic. This topic promotes good sexual health and hygiene, as well as the danger of Sexually Transmitted Infections and the importance of contraception/protection. Further still, pupils will consider the law on many aspects of sexual relationships such as FGM, consent, private photographs and sexual harassment in order to create a realistic and safe understanding of what goes into a healthy and equal romantic relationship.

Year 10 Personal Development Curriculum

Year 10 Personal Development builds on the themes and topics discussed in KS3 and introduces more mature and controversial themes. The topics are relevant to our Year 10 cohort and chosen to reflect their maturing understanding of the existing themes – such as romantic relationships, and preparing for work – to ensure that they understand these key issues and how they affect their life. Pupils will also consider more complex issues – such as the process of radicalisation and how extremists are groomed into terrorist action – as part of their understanding of the modern world. Although this may be discussed at other points, this topic will allow pupils to explore this issue on a deeper level and assess how stereotypes and misunderstandings can contribute to radicalisation. This is part of creating a more inclusive and supportive community as global citizens.

Module 19: Healthy relationships – How has the media ruined love?

During the module ‘How has the media ruined love?’ pupils will develop on previous modules on relationships by considering the role that media plays in our relationships – both intimate and platonic. New apps and social media have changed the way we interact so this topic will help pupils navigate the challenges that this presents. This will challenge negative expectations created by media and sexual imagery, as well as negative interpretations of groups (based on gender or sexuality). They will also consider what the law says regarding different aspects of romance/sex. This will help pupils to safeguard their own emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

Module 20: The right to life – What is a life worth?

This is the first module of RS (Religious Studies) to take place in Personal Development. This module (‘What is a life worth?’) will consider deep questions and concepts regarding the sanctity of life. Key concepts like abortion, and euthanasia – both of which remain key controversial legal issues – will be explored as pupils create their own understanding of these concepts and debate their own opinions on the topic.

Module 21: The right to life – Do the ends justify the means?

This module builds on the previous right to life topic by exploring ‘Do the ends justify the means?’. This is another key philosophical question that will encourage opinion and debate, and allow pupils to explore another controversial concept. This topic revolves around whether it is morally right to do harm in order to reach a positive outcome so pupils will explore what that means in order to make their own decisions on these issues such as war.

Module 22: Poverty and change – Does charity begin at home?

The final RS module of year 10 deals with poverty and change and explores the idea of ‘Whether charity begins at home’. This module will explore the issues surrounding poverty and the correct response needed in order to resolve these issues. Once again, pupils will consider their own perspectives on this and justify their own opinions about the issue. Further still, the topic encourages a better understanding of poverty in the community, and what could be done in order to create a more equitable community

Module 23: Addressing extremism and radicalisation – What’s the impact of extremism and radicalisation?

During the module What’s the impact of extremism and radicalisation? pupils will address their own perceptions of terrorism, and what aspects of that perception may be based on stereotypes. They will consider where those stereotypes come from, and how they can negatively affect marginalised groups. Further still, we will consider the process of radicalisation and the steps that go into it (e.g. grooming – both in person and online) in order to challenge extremism and support communities. Pupils will become more resilient, and self-confident in the face of negative influence to support good decision making and a more inclusive community.

Module 24: Preparing for work and work experience – Am I ready for a 9 – 5?

During the module ‘Am I ready for a 9-5?’ year 10 will consider the skills required to be a successful and productive member of the workforce. Pupils will build on existing knowledge of transferable skills in order to develop key workplace skills, ensuring that pupils are prepared for work. Further still, we will address the financial decisions that people will have to consider once they are paid, such as tax, national insurance and the impact of financial decisions. This will help ensure that pupils spend wisely and make positive decisions with their disposable income.

Year 11 Personal Development Curriculum

Year 11 Personal Development is the final year of our pupil’s 5 year Personal Development course and, naturally, deals with more complex and mature issues. However, the main focus of this year will be to prepare our pupils for the wider world outside of High School. This will range from the future of their academic career, to their future employment. Further still, they will be examining more complex aspects of romantic relationships in order to support previous discussions on healthy relationships. This will help them in their future relationships as they will have realistic expectations of what is acceptable in a relationship, while retaining their own individuality. This extends to family planning as they will explore the real cost of family planning, marriage and taking relationships further. This will support positive decisions to be made and help ensure their future life is one that is happy, healthy and successful.

Module 25: Building for the future – What’s next?

This module (‘What’s next’) is a topic focused on preparing our year 11 cohort for their life outside of high school, and what comes next in their progression towards their aspirations. They will learn about future opportunities, and the application process for colleges and jobs, as well as the skills that are desirable for employers (such as self-efficacy, time management and lifestyle balance). There will also be further support in what makes a diverse yet equitable work environment and how the law supports that.

Module 26: Crime and punishment – Can crime ever be justified?

The RS module ‘Can crime be justified’ is another chance for pupils to discuss, debate and assess large questions that are morally relevant to them. During this module, they will consider the impact of poverty and social situation on the creation of crime, and whether our modern punishment system is one that can effectively support people in need. Pupils will engage with these ideas in order to forge their own ideas, and justify them to others.

Module 27: Crime and punishment – Is an ‘eye for an eye’ still relevant today?

The final RS module is ‘Is an eye for an eye still relevant today?’ is something that builds on previous discussion on crime and punishment to explore the idea of whether retribution is a suitable punishment for criminals in a modern world – especially considering the increased role of rehabilitation in modern British society. Pupils will examine case studies from all over the world to assess their own beliefs on things like the death penalty.

Module 28: Communication and independence – Can you be an individual in a partnership?

The module ‘Can you be an individual in a partnership?’ explores the nature of communication and independence while in a romantic relationship. It will revisit topics like the importance of communicating consent, being assertive and what a positive relationship looks like but it will also develop ideas about nurturing independence while in a partnership to avoid dependence or exploitation. It will discuss complex and mature topics, such as the different forms that abuse may take, such as gaslighting and manipulation.

Module 29: Families – Is blood thicker than water?

The final Personal Development module (‘Is blood thicker than water?’) will examine the role families have in our lives, as well as what goes into having a positive family relationship yourself. Different types of families will be discussed (including childless couples) as well as the decisions that go into starting a family. This will build on existing ideas discussed such as the role of supportive parents but will go into greater detail about marriage, pregnancy and childcare, as well as the law’s attitude to things like forced marriage. This will support pupil’s understanding of what a positive family environment looks like, and help them in the future.

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