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The Personal Development (PD) curriculum, delivered through form time for Years 10-11 and through a combination of Morning Meetings and Form time for Years 7-9 and Years 12-13, aims to support pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives: now, and in the future.

It aims to help children and young people to stay healthy and safe, whilst preparing them to make the most of life and work. All years engage in PSHE (Personal, Social, Health & Economic Education) where there are 3 core strands to the curriculum: Health & Wellbeing, Relationships, and Living in the Wider World. Alongside PSHE, there is focus on RSE (Relationships & Sex Education); EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion); British Values; CRC (the Convention of the Rights of the Child), and Careers (through our chosen platform, Unifrog). Years 9-11 continue RE with CoRE sessions and in addition, House events and the House Championship build on our sense of community and all Years, from Year 7–13, participate in House events. (We also focus on each individual’s sense of achievement through our Rewards system involving House Points and Golden Tickets)

At KS3, students build on the knowledge and understanding, skills, attributes and values they have acquired and developed during the primary phase. PD education acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people experience, beginning with transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence, and their increasing independence. Students learn to manage diverse relationships, their online lives, and the increasing influence of peers and the media. At KS4 and KS5, students deepen knowledge and understanding and further explore attitudes, values and attributes acquired during KS3 alongside investigating more real world topics and issues. At KS5 in particular, there is a greater emphasis on their next steps – whether this be university, further education, apprenticeships or full time employment. KS5 students also have the opportunity to develop their interpersonal skills by taking part in the KS5 PD Leadership Programme which offers opportunities to positively influence our in-school community and to support the local community outside of school.

PD education reflects the fact that students are moving towards an independent role in adult life, taking on greater responsibility for themselves and others. We wish for our students to embody resilience, respect and compassion for others; to know where to go for support should they ever need it, and to go on to be happy, healthy individuals.

In addition to our PD Curriculum, afternoon Form time (DEAR time) sees all students from Years 7-10 engage in the reading of a choice of fiction and non-fiction books. These books have been chosen to be age appropriate and not only do they aid in improving the skill of reading but they also enable discussions around health & wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world, guided by the teacher(s) in the room. Years 11-13 continue their engagement with our core PSHE strands through their use of ‘The Day’ – an online daily newspaper for young people (made for educational settings) – which helps teach critical thinking of current affairs and topical issues through discussion and debate whilst extending pupils’ development as knowledgeable, respectful, compassionate individuals.

Please follow these links to view the choice of books read in afternoon DEAR time.

And check out www.theday.co.uk to view the resource used in Years 11-13.


Ultimately, our PD curriculum at The Howard School aims to support students to develop in line with our values and vision statement:

“We aspire for all our students to gain the academic results and personal skills to make a positive contribution to society, both now and in the future. Our core purpose is to provide every student with an excellent education. We want our young people to have the maximum life choices and an excellent education is central to that. 
We are shaping the adults of the future and our purpose is to ensure that our students can live happy and fulfilled lives.  We want our students to value themselves and to be a force for good in the local and global community.
We have very high standards because this supports our students to achieve and be the very best that they can be.”