Personal Development at The Lancaster Academy
Your child will be continuing their work in their Personal Development -PSHE lessons this term which includes Votes for Schools please ensure they log on for these. would also like to share with you on a monthly basis a calendar of things you and they can do (please take into account covid restrcitions to ensure your family are compliant with lock down rules and everyone is safe if you choose an activity) to support personal well-being from the site Action for Happiness.
Please make sure you attend your PSHE lessons in week two where we will continue to work thorugh personal development information and cover votes for schools. There is also a calendar of things you can do each month to support your well-being if you want to take part, but make sure that you do not do anything to break lockdown rules or put you or anyone else in danger of covid 19.
The Lancaster Academy has a strong commitment to ensure that students leave school as well-rounded individuals. We want to work in partnership with parents/carers to help students find ways to build their knowledge of British Values and how they uphold these as well as develop skills essential in a successful life. Personal Development now incorporates what used to be our PSHE programme which allows students to learn skills such as; how to keep themselves safe both on and offline, improve their knowledge of the economic realities of life as well as careers, understand different relationships and help develop skills which lead to positive relationships. It also deals with ways to support staying healthy mentally and physically.
Parents’ and carers’ support is important to the success of our students at the Academy and working in partnership will give us the chance to help your child fulfil their potential. We would encourage them to talk to you about what they do in lessons and how this has helped them develop their personal skills.
We have a set of values statements which are based on our PRIDE acronym, and we believe that by demonstrating and developing these values students become well equipped for life. These are promoted within lessons and assemblies and we expect students to demonstrate these values in their approach to all aspects of their school life.
We recognise that the “curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life. Schools are crucial in preparing pupils for their adult lives, teaching them to understand how to engage with society and providing them with plentiful opportunities to do so.” We have restarted our student council again this year to allow students the opportunity to share their opinions, have a voice and help improve aspects of their school life. Recently students and staff took part in the democratic process of voting for a new Head Prefect and within each year group our prefect system has been reformed to support the school and other students.
We recognise that for some families covid 19 has affected them in different ways. Aspects of personal development includes supporting others and students and staff took part in a non-uniform day in support of anti-bullying week with the theme of “odd socks”. They also donated money which was given to our local foodbank at Goldhill raising over £650. Supporting our community is vital for students developing personal development skills of citizenship and learning about how to help those in need, and we are currently collecting food for the foodbank to support those in particular need at the moment.
We understand that students may be facing their own challenges and students in years 7 and 8 have begun work in addition to PSHE by taking part in a session looking at improving their mental health and supporting positive relationships.
Votes for Schools
Like many schools we have continued to subscribe to “Votes for Schools” as a means of generating debate and developing student voice. It is a current affairs voting platform where students will discuss current issues and then votes yes or no to a certain question. Anonymised data is fed into a system to show how our school has voted in comparison to other schools who have voted. We have covered a variety of topics so far including a debate around organ donation and building knowledge of our protected characteristics in the debate around the media and disability.
How else is Personal Development taught?
Many curriculum subjects cover Personal Development such as in History looking at Black History, in Religious Studies covering work on different world faiths. In Maths looking at crime statistics and the origins of Maths.
We also have discrete lessons once a fortnight for all students and include SRE. We use a variety of different teaching methods to deliver these topics including discussion, mindmaps and quizzes.
Teaching is conducted in a safe learning environment through the use of our behaviour expectations and students are supported with ways to seek help and further guidance from staff should they need it. Teaching resources are selected on the basis of their appropriateness to students.
Do I have a right to withdraw my child from Personal Development?
If you do not want your child to take part in some or all of the Sex Education lessons delivered at secondary school, you can ask that they are withdrawn details of this is in our RSE policy on the website.
The science curriculum in all maintained schools also includes content on human development, including reproduction, from which there is no right to withdraw children.
From September 2020 parents and carers are not able to withdraw their child from relationship education which covers many aspects such as different relationships and how to stay safe.
Whilst every effort is made, sometimes relationship and sex topics can arise in other subjects, lessons and situations and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions.
Should you require any further information about Personal Development please do not hesitate to contact Ms Hartshorne at the Academy.