Curriculum Information for Personal Development

Personal Development at Tottington High School reflects our school's vision to ensure our students ‘believe they can achieve their future aspirations and will be successful in the future’. By educating our students to become independent young people, they will be able to make informed choices to keep themselves healthy and safe, develop essential life skills and will make a positive contribution to their communities. We accomplish this by ensuring all PD lessons underpin THS core values ‘working together, aiming high, achieving success.’ By working together, our students will improve their physical, emotional and social wellbeing to inspire them to be confident learners who will thrive in an ever-changing world. We also encourage all our students to respect everyone’s learning by behaving in the correct way to make the classroom a safe and positive learning environment. This allows our students to communicate and articulate their feelings and opinions in a supportive setting. Our students will aim high to achieve success by raising their aspirations to help every young person realise their full potential to enhance their employability and transferable skills in preparation for the future.

Our learning journey follows the PHSE Association Thematic Model which allows students to follow three key themes throughout their personal development journey. The three key themes are Health and Wellbeing, Relationships (including RSE) and Living in the Wider World. 

Personal Development Learning Journeys

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Each year group will study each key theme twice in an academic year studying related topics. This is carefully mapped using the UK awareness days calendar to ensure the units of work link to the wider world to ensure students can see the relevance and importance of their learning outcomes. With this in mind considering the nature of the subject; current affairs, issues and social trends are highlighted through our lessons to ensure we are quick to address and support our students’ wellbeing. 

We are mindful within each key theme the lessons must be age appropriate based on the nature of the subject therefore the curriculum is a 5-year, journey which builds on key facts, concepts and skills to enable our students to thrive, develop and recall their knowledge through stage of their personal development through their time at Tottington High School. 

In Personal Development lessons at Tottington you will see an engaging environment with a range of pedagogy from class discussions and debates, group work, independent learning and real-life examples/experiences. A key link is class discussions to ensure our students' voices are listened to and challenged where necessary to ensure we are preparing them for a life in the wider world.  All students are given an exercise book where they complete classwork and have opportunities to reflect on their personal thoughts, allowing them to feel more comfortable in expressing themselves. This allows us to see how students have understood learning outcomes to support ongoing development and their wellbeing but also this can highlight any cause for concern. For example, if we become concerned for a student who makes a disclosure or writes about a situation or feeling we are able to inform the designated safeguarding leads to provide the appropriate intervention. 

We assess progress in Personal Development by completing three end of term assessments which is a chance for students to showcase their understanding and knowledge acquired. Each assessment structured by 20% prior learning in a quiz and 80% current learning with a structured comprehension task. Each piece of work is assessed using a progress tracker with criteria outlined which progresses in difficulty using Bloom’s Taxonomy. This is graded on a scale of below, on or above. Each student will also receive an ATL grade for their overall attitude to learning in PD; all of which is recorded into SIMS to create student reports. In addition to this all lessons start with a "do now" recall activity designed by class teachers to assess prior learning and plug gaps in knowledge which have been identified in exit ticket tasks. Lessons end with an exit ticket to reflect on learning aims allowing students to consolidate learning. Questioning, quizzes and class discussions form a huge part of Personal Development lessons and are key formative assessment tools you will see to give teachers immediate feedback whether it is positive or to address misunderstandings to ensure our curriculum is a consistent model of assessment. Formative assessment is recorded half termly in student books using a skills based progress tracker.

We enrich the curriculum by providing one project-based unit per year in KS3 which allows our students to access the curriculum in a more vocational way. Immersion opportunities within the project will allow students to build context on their learning allowing them to see the bigger picture. Furthermore, there will be homework tasks for all year groups once per half term. Throughout the school year there are other enrichment opportunities that link to the Personal Development curriculum such as key speakers, assemblies, options evenings, careers evenings and work experience. 

Personal Development will allow all students to become well-rounded, independent young people to live responsibly in their communities. Their next steps after Tottington High School are supported by a thorough introduction to life after Tottington where they will explore their next steps and feel confident in the choices they make. They will develop skills such as resilience, confidence, empathy, communication and teamwork which are key for future education and career opportunities to encourage our students to stand out and to be successful in their ongoing personal journey.  Personal Development can lead to many career pathways which include teaching, health and social care, emergency services and medical care and law.