Personal Development in Kingswood Secondary Academy
Aim of the Personal Development Curriculum
The aim of the Personal Development (PD) curriculum is to provide our young people with the knowledge and skills to embrace the exciting opportunities this modern world brings, and to deal effectively with the challenges and risks they may encounter. We want our pupils to clearly understand how to keep themselves (and others) safe and healthy (online and offline), to be accepting of diversity, to show empathy and kindness, and to make a positive contribution to their school, local, and wider communities.
Our PD curriculum also plays in a key role in the safeguarding of our pupils; adopting a preventative approach and signposting to people/organisations to offer support, advice and guidance. Our curriculum is also flexible and responsive to dealing efficiently with school, local and wider issues as they arise – providing a safe and supportive environment to discuss complex, sensitive and current topics.
We pride ourselves in providing an inclusive approach to PD. For example:
- Lessons are carefully differentiated to cater for the varying needs of our pupils with any special educational needs.
- Our ‘Relationships and Sex Education’ (RSE) aims to ensure that the needs of all of our pupils are adequately met.
- Ensuring our curriculum is relevant to the lives of all our young people and actively promoting acceptance and celebration of diversity, and equality for all.
- Termly meetings for our Student Council, Kingswood Ethnic Minority Group and LBGTQ+ to ensure all student voices are heard.
How does our Personal Development Curriculum support SMSC?
Supporting the social, moral, spiritual, and cultural (SMSC) development of our students is at the core of our school culture, vision, and ethos, and is embedded across our curricular and extra-curricular provision. We are passionate about providing our students with a well-rounded curriculum that incorporates the ‘hidden skills/knowledge’ that will help our students nurture their own personal development. Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to learn how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.
Some aspects of our PSHE/RSHE/SMSC programme of study incorporate challenging topics, and we make no apologies in ensuring these are delivered to all our students in a safe learning environment. This is so students can ask questions, learn about common misconceptions and prejudices, and be able to make their own informed decisions and choices, after being presented with the full facts.
Our PD curriculum also plays a key role in supporting SMSC. For example:
All pupils in Key Stage 3 have lessons in ‘Religious Studies’ where they reflect on their own beliefs and develop understanding and respect for different faiths/religions. This is reinforced in PD lessons where they are taught directly about religious tolerance and explore the multi-cultural nature of the UK. They are provided with ample opportunity to reflect upon what makes them who they are (e.g., in lessons on ‘personal identity’ and ‘mindfulness’) and explore how others are different.
Our young people learn about ‘the rule of law’ and the legal position in relation to topics surrounding sex, relationships, and broader safeguarding issues (e.g., substance misuse, criminal exploitation, radicalisation/extremism etc). Pupils engage in regular, thoughtful discussions to explore the far-reaching consequences associated with their behaviour and choices (e.g., when teaching topics such as drugs education and bullying) and they learn about the role of the legal system in the UK.
Pupils frequently engage in paired and group work to actively encourage interaction with others from different backgrounds. They are expected to construct their own informed opinions and listen respectfully to the views of others. As a school we encourage active citizenship (e.g., through supporting charities, the NCS programme, School Council, Kingswood Ethnic Minorities & LBGTQ+) to support the school, local and wider community, and pupils are provided with many extracurricular opportunities/electives (e.g., sporting, drama, music, cultural), allowing them to develop skills in cooperation, conflict resolution, teamwork, and an appreciation of difference. (Timetable of clubs link here) At the heart of our PD curriculum is promoting acceptance and respect for diversity; actively living the shared values that promote community cohesion and preparing our students for life in modern Britain.
We adopt a spiral curriculum approach to the teaching of PD, whereby topics are re-visited frequently in increasing depth, in an age and developmentally appropriate manner.
From September 2020 all students in years 7 – 11 complete during form time the Personal Development Curriculum which includes: Literacy, Jigsaw PSHE program, (link to PSHE) Votes for School (Link to VFS), weekly assemblies (Link to Schedule), Self-regulation, and Target setting sessions. This is also complemented with drop-down days, workshops, guest speakers where pupils receive specialist input from trained professionals (e.g., Police, university guests, productions, charity speakers) and other organisations/groups (e.g., Hope not Hate, Stand up Against Violence). This curriculum is planned / monitored and evaluated by the Head of Personal Development and is delivered by a team of specialist teachers.