The Personal Development Faculty aims to provide pupils with opportunities to grow and develop as individuals so that they are fully equipped for life in modern Britain. Allowing pupils the opportunity to discuss and debate in a safe and secure environment will help to equip them with the key skills of empathy, respect, tolerance and responsibility.
The curriculum is planned to ensure pupils have access to a broad and balanced range of topics whilst dealing with current issues and preparing them for the next stages in their development.
In Year 7, pupils are supported in the transition process by examining values, relating to being a good citizen, and examining their rights and responsibilities. Areas of mental and physical health are covered during units on wellbeing, diet, substance abuse and puberty. Lessons on diversity and prejudice encourage pupils to challenge stereotypes and celebrate differences, whilst topics focusing on conflict and risk help to equip them with the skills to deal with challenging situations. Careers education in Year 7 aims to challenge gender stereotypes and raise aspirations, with a particular focus on STEM subjects. Other topics covered during Year 7 include family life, self-esteem, ethical financial decisions and local government.
The curriculum in Year 8 builds on these topics but has a greater emphasis on pupil wellbeing. E-Safety and mental health including the impact of social media are taught, alongside strategies for managing change and loss, peer pressure and personal safety. Careers education in Year 8 focuses on the different types of work available and pupils are offered personalised guidance by industry professionals alongside their classroom based learning.
In Year 9, pupils are taught about coping strategies and the impact of poor lifestyle choices on their mental and physical health. Lessons on how to challenge prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes help to further develop their understanding and appreciation of diversity. The SRE unit looks at the consequences of high risk behaviour whilst educating pupils about consent, contraception and pregnancy. The power of peer pressure is also explored in more depth through looking at gang crime, online pressures and how pupils can assert themselves in these situations. Careers education looks at identifying their key strengths and career goals and how this information can be used during the options process.
Pupils should have the knowledge, skills and understanding that enables them to make positive choices in all aspects of their lives. By helping them to develop as resilient individuals it is hoped that they feel confident in making informed choices when taking care of both their physical and mental wellbeing. They should be equipped with the skills needed to contribute positively in society in whatever path and career they choose.