Personal Development Curriculum
At Lionheart Educational Trust, we invest in our learners so they have more than exam results when they leave our institution. In order to succeed in future life, young people must be educated in all areas surrounding academia.
We make it our mission within The Lionheart Educational Trust to focus on our young people’s development.
Our holistic work is underpinned by the 4R’s, a key part of our ethos and culture. These are resourcefulness, resilience, reciprocity, and reflectiveness.
We believe that the 4R’s are crucial for our young people to become integral parts of society. Our curriculum also provides students with a voice, so they can share opinions and views in a respectful but confident manner.
Our young people experience this rich and diverse learning experience through our carefully curated Personal Development Curriculum (PDC). PDC covers all areas of personal development, including PSHE, RSE, CEIAG, citizenship, SMSC, with key themes such as character development and the fundamental British values embedded throughout.
This curriculum allows our pupils time to explore varied schemes of work, from dealing with financial issues through to understanding how social media can influence relationships. We have a huge focus on diversity. We recognise the vast number of communities that our trust schools contain, and therefore we highlight to students how to interact with and respect everyone. For example, we routinely teach students about the protected characteristics, and how they link to reducing discrimination.
Our pedagogical methods to deliver our curriculum are steeped in evidence and research. Pupils discuss aspects of life that are critical to the future of our society, and explore their feelings in a safe and protective learning environment. In addition, our ethos and culture are key threads that are visible throughout PDC, which helps us to develop resourceful, resilient, reciprocal, and reflective learners. PDC is delivered by our excellent tutor teams who are pupil-centred and positive, ensuring our learners become the best version of themselves.
The Personal Development Curriculum is designed to have width and breadth, to ensure students are ready for their next steps in life. Our learning is split into three distinct blocks, interleaving topics as to maximise learning. Key learning strategies such as retrieval practice and elaboration are also woven through the curriculum, enabling knowledge to remain ‘sticky’. We shape our pupils to excel at all aspects of life, including significant focus on literacy and oracy.
Throughout a child’s journey in our schools, they revisit previously taught material in an age-appropriate manner, discovering how similar concepts can be applied to unique circumstances. This also is a huge factor in building a pupil’s knowledge to retain information for longer. By building in regular assessment points to our curriculum, we identify where progress has been achieved, and where further progress could be made. Within lessons, students will cover topic areas that spark debate, topic areas that are sensitive and topic areas they will require as soon as they leave school. We actively encourage students to participate in their learning, and to make morally just decisions. To facilitate this, all learning begins with creating a safe and respectful learning environment, by setting clear but concise ground rules. Learning ends with signposting, so learners know where to receive further support, even with the most challenging issues.
Whilst having a common curriculum across our network of schools secures student understanding, no matter which school they attend, our curriculum is ever-changing to respond to the demands and needs of our local communities and wider society. Our schools are incredibly diverse, with different communities within and between our network of academies. We are committed to providing students with the best education possible, and therefore must prepare them for the society they will enter. Learners receive impartial advice and guidance on key issues that are affecting the wider world, and are given time to reflect on the bigger picture. Whether this is through our Global Issues programme, tackling the largest issues humankind faces today, or addressing local safeguarding threats, PDC provides pupils with the most up-to-date knowledge and information to thrive in their future.
Our PDC programme is tailored to meet the needs of our diverse cohort of learners. It goes beyond the statutory requirements placed on us, giving students vital information around careers, as well as the first fifteen things they will need after leaving college, whilst also giving a boost into life after academia. We provide opportunities for all learners to be resourceful, resilient, reciprocal, and reflective, whilst also having the tools to be successful within and beyond school life.
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. The principal will consider this request and discuss it with you.
The science curriculum in all maintained schools also includes content on human development, including reproduction, from which there is no right to withdraw children.
There are huge personal and social benefits of a young person receiving RSE education any withdrawal may have detrimental effects on the child. This could include any social and emotional effects of being excluded, as well as the likelihood of the child hearing their peers’ version of what was said in the classes, rather than what was directly said by the teacher.
From September 2020 parents and carers cannot withdraw their child from Health Education or the Relationships Education element of Personal Development, because it is important that all children receive this content, covering topics such as friendships and how to stay safe. A young person, up until three school terms before they turn 16, can choose to receive Sex Education if they would like to, and we as a school should arrange for your child to receive this teaching in one of those three terms.
Whilst every effort is made, sometimes relationship and sex topics can arise incidentally in other subjects, lessons and situations and it is not possible to withdraw pupils from these relatively limited and often unplanned discussions.