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 understanding, we recognise and support protected characteristics and we grow skills essential in a successful life through our READY values.
Personal Development now incorporates what used to be our PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) 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 helps students to understand ways of staying healthy, both 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. Our READY values 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.”
2022-23 Tutor Time Schedule
There will be a “stop the clock” rewards and attendance session every half term.
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.
Like many schools we subscribe to “Picture News” as a means of generating debate and developing student voice. ‘Picture News’ is a current affairs platform where students learn about what’s going on in the world and debate these issues. The resources are designed to provide opportunities for children to learn from our world and develop respect for other’s beliefs, feelings and faiths. They encourage exploration, discussion, challenge and inspire children to learn. We have covered a variety of topics this year including student appearances in relation to ethnicity, Artificial Intelligence and whether robots will make the world a better place, the NHS strikes and the reasons surrounding nurses decisions to strike. Through these discussions we aim to build knowledge of protected characteristics, teach British Values and support students in understanding the UN Rights of a Child.
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 April 2023 is 'Active April'
Even when facing difficult times, we can still take positive steps forward and find reasons to be hopeful. Join us for a Active April and enjoy daily actions to boost your wellbeing and bring happiness to others.
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 Mrs Walsh at the Academy.