Whilst it is important to provide students with an excellent academic education it is equally important that we equip them with the skills they need to use this education in the real world around them.
Personal Development supports students in learning about the role they play as part of a local, national and international community and about the challenges and risks they face outside the classroom and in turn how best to deal with these. ‘Non scholae sed vitae’ – we learn not for school but for life.
All teaching staff at Uffculme are expected to engage with and teach the Personal Development Curriculum. They participate through their role as a tutor and/or through the teaching of the subject during the weekly Monday PD session.
In Year 7 the Personal Development curriculum focuses on developing the students’ understanding of themselves and their role within the school and community. We look at a range of topics starting with team building and how to get to know and work well with others around them. This is followed by spending the second half of the Winter term focusing on themselves as a learner and how best they can fulfil this role. In the Easter term they start on the first stage of their RSE studies (Relationship and Sex Education) where they look at the physical and emotional changes they will experience over the next few years before spending some time at looking at how to build up their resilience and self-esteem to make them more robust in dealing with the challenges they may face. Finally, in the Summer term, we look at their role as part of a national and international community by exploring the diversity of the world and communities around them. To develop their relationship with their tutor all sessions are tutor led throughout this year.
In Year 8 and 9 the students are taught by teachers who take on a subject specialist role, teaching the same topic to different groups throughout the year. They are taught on a rolling carousel of four different 7-week topic blocks. At certain points they will return to have one-off sessions with their tutors on subjects such as bullying, aspirations and internet safety. In Year 8 the topics the students currently study are: RSE, Drugs and Alcohol, Democracy and Character. In Year 9 the 4 topics they cover are: RSE, Body Image, Mental Health and Radicalisation.
At KS4 (Year 10 and 11) the Personal Development curriculum focuses on careers and developing study skills, but also revisits and develops some of the key areas of previous KS3 learning. This is delivered through one-off sessions, visiting speakers and 'drop down days' focusing on personal safety and wellbeing, looking at aspects such as drugs and gangs, developing strong relationships, safe sexual behaviours, mobile phone use, safety on the roads, being safe online and the concept of consent. The topics covered through the Personal Development curriculum are often developed or complemented by teaching delivered in other subjects and through regular assemblies and morning tutor times.
Extra Curricular Opportunities
There is a wide range of extra-curricular input into the Personal Development curriculum. We regularly have visiting speakers participating in our carousel sessions. In Year 8, these include local magistrates running students through a mock trial and the police talking to them about the risks of Drugs as well as the fire service coming to talk to them about dangers of prank phone calls and arson. In Year 9 the school nurse develops their understanding of RSE when looking at Body Image. Through links with Next Steps South West we bring in outside support for students relating to their career choices and post-16 decisions throughout Years 9 -11, either in class groups or more individualised support.
We also run a series of 'drop down days' with various year groups, focusing on diversity and the importance of community in Year 7, through to looking at the personal safety of students in various aspects of their life in Year 11. We combine these with bringing in relevant and topical speakers and theatre groups to support the topics we cover in their sessions.
If you require any further information about the Personal Development programme, please contact Mrs Hayes, Head of PD, at HayesC@uffculmeschool.net