In order to support the personal development of our students and their families we are publishing the Action for Happiness calendars again and will promote the small things someone can do.
The theme for January 2022 is 'Happier January'
Even when facing difficult times, we can still take positive steps forward and find reasons to be hopeful. Join us for Happier January and enjoy daily actions to boost your wellbeing and bring happiness to others. Let’s get 2022 off to a better start
Personal Development at Lancaster Academy
Lancaster Academy has a strong commitment to ensure that students leave school as well-rounded individuals who are READY for the future. 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. We develop their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, recognise and support protected characteristics and develop skills essential in a successful life through our READY values.
Personal Development now incorporates what used to be our PSHE programme which allows students to learn skills such as how to keep safe both on and offline, improve knowledge of the economic realities of life as well as careers and understand different relationships. It also supports the understanding of ways to stay healthy, mentally and physically.
The support of parents and carers is vitally important to the success of our students and working in partnership will give us the chance to help your child fulfil their potential. We would encourage you to talk to students or your child about what they do in lessons and how this has helped them develop their personal skills.
We have a set of statements which are based on our READY values. We believe that by demonstrating and developing these values students become well equipped for the future and 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. Our READY pledge is read at the start of all registration sessions and assemblies.
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.”
There is a 25-minute tutor time slot every day. Each week, students will have an assembly, ‘Votes for Schools’ (see below), two reading sessions and a rewards and attendance session.
We have Young Ambassadors who champion various important issues such as good mental health and anti-bullying providing an opportunity for students to share their opinions, to have a voice and to help improve aspects of school life. Recently students and staff took part in the democratic process of voting for a new Young Ambassador Senior Team from students in Year 11 including a Principal Young Ambassador.
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 discuss current issues and then vote yes or no to a relevant 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 in the last year 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 and promoted?
Many curriculum subjects cover Personal Development such as History looking at Black History, or Religious Studies covering work on different world faiths. In Maths we look at crime statistics and the origins of Maths.
Following a recent assembly, our students voted to support several charities which include: the British Heart Foundation; The Brown Dog Cancer Charity; Water Aid; Goldhill Foodbank and the Air Ambulance and we look forward to sharing stories about fundraising events and achievements throughout the year.
Teaching is conducted in a safe learning environment where good behaviour is an expectation 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 for students. Our standardised lesson templates recognise our values of READY.
We run an extensive extra-curricular programme over three nights a week with a large number of different clubs to meet the interests of students. All teaching staff take part in running the clubs which include: chess, board games, coding, LGBT, badminton and fitness.
We recognise that for some families Covid 19 has affected them in different ways. Aspects of Personal Development have included supporting others. Students and staff took part in a non-uniform day in 2020 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.
Do I have a right to withdraw my child from weekly Personal Development lessons?
If you do not want your child to take part in some or all of the Relationships and 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.
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.