As well as the opportunities for social and moral development implicit in their academic subjects, all students take ‘Personal Development’ for one period a week. This is a wide-ranging subject covering a wealth of personal, social and moral issues.
There is a curriculum that all students will cover within the year which includes a range of age-appropriate issues from personal hygiene to drugs awareness, but teachers will tailor the order and content of the programme to the specific challenges facing that class or year group at a given time. This might mean handling the topic of ‘developing friendships’ with a particular focus in response to events in the year group, or taking advantage of national charitable campaigns in order to ensure students are engaged compassionately in the world around them.
Highlights of the PD programme have previously included question and answer sessions with guest speakers from banks and from homeless centres, student-run environmental campaigns and charitable fundraisers, student presentations on aspects of their lives outside school and group projects such as designing a dream school.
Students are given plenty of opportunity to hone their skills as leaders, debaters and team players, and are challenged to take a mature, ‘bigger picture’ view of current affairs and controversial topics.
To be able to take a meaningful place in the world as responsible citizens, students need to be engaging with their world and interrogating it in a supportive environment from a young age and our PD programme offers just that.