Personal Development

Curriculum Intent for Personal Development


  1. Development of key life skills and attributes

Our high-quality personal development education provides students with an opportunity to  develop a robust set of skills and attributes that will enable them to confidently face life’s challenges and opportunities, now and in a fast-changing future. Promoting the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of students and of society, and prepares students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life’. Personal development education enables young people to be successful learners, and confident individuals.


  1. Empowered to make informed and safe decisions

As a school we feel very strongly about developing students as a whole person. Creating a deeper understanding of who they are and empowering them to make safe choices for their future. Personal Development gives students a safe environment in which to learn about high risk scenarios from all walks of life and shows students how to make positive decisions. Personal Development is one of the first lines of defence in the safeguarding of our students; through this curriculum we educate students on how to keep themselves safe in everyday situations. 


  1. Develop socially responsible, community members

We aim to develop confident and responsible members of the school and wider community.  The personal development curriculum contributes to students’ well-being and to community cohesion by promoting mutual respect and tolerance in a diverse society. Personal Development gives them the knowledge, skills and understanding to discern and value truth and goodness, strengthening their capacity for making strong moral judgements and acting on these. We aim to build resilience to anti-democratic or extremist narratives and enable students to build their sense of identity and belonging, which helps them flourish within their communities and as citizens in a diverse society. It encourages empathy, generosity and compassion.  Ensuring that students’ foster a keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld

  1. Engaging and challenging curriculum that meets the statutory requirements

Our core purpose is to deliver an engaging and challenging curriculum through outstanding teaching that meets all aspects of the statutory RSE and PSHE requirements, in an age appropriate manner.  

All students will explore:

Mental Wellbeing:

  • How to talk about their emotions accurately and sensitively, using appropriate vocabulary 

  • That happiness is linked to being connected to others

  • How to recognise the early signs of mental wellbeing concerns 

  • Common types of mental ill health (e.g. anxiety and depression) 

  • How to critically evaluate when something they do or are involved in has a positive or negative effect on their own or others’ mental health 

  • The benefits and importance of physical exercise, time outdoors, community participation and voluntary and service-based activities on mental wellbeing and happiness

Online Safety and Media Awareness:

  • The similarities and differences between the online world and the physical world, including: the impact of unhealthy or obsessive comparison with others online (including through setting unrealistic expectations for body image), how people may curate a specific image of their life online, over-reliance on online relationships (including social media), the risks related to online gambling including the accumulation of debt, how advertising and information is targeted at them and how to be a discerning consumer of information online

  • How to identify harmful behaviours online (including bullying, abuse or harassment) and how to report, or find support, if they have been affected by those behaviours.

  • Their rights, responsibilities and opportunities online, including that the same expectations of behaviour apply in all contexts, including online  

  • About online risks, including that any material someone provides to another has the potential to be shared online and the difficulty of removing potentially compromising material placed online 

  • Not to provide material to others that they would not want shared further and not to share personal material which is sent to them 

  • What to do and where to get support to report material or manage issues online 

  • The impact of viewing harmful content 

  • That specifically sexually explicit material e.g. pornography presents a distorted picture of sexual behaviours, can damage the way people see themselves in relation to others and negatively affect how they behave towards sexual partner 

  • That sharing and viewing indecent images of children (including those created by children) is a criminal offence which carries severe penalties including jail 

  • How information and data is generated, collected, shared and used online

Physical Health and Fitness (and Healthy Eating): 

  • The positive associations between physical activity and promotion of mental wellbeing, including as an approach to combat stress 

  • the characteristics and evidence of what constitutes a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, including the links between an inactive lifestyle and ill health, including cancer and cardio-vascular ill-health. 

  • as about the science relating to blood, organ and stem cell donation 

  • how to maintain healthy eating and the links between a poor diet and health risks, including tooth decay and cancer

Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco: 

  • The facts about legal and illegal drugs and their associated risks, including the link between drug use, and the associated risks, including the link to serious mental health conditions 

  • The law relating to the supply and possession of illegal substances 

  • The physical and psychological risks associated with alcohol consumption and what constitutes low risk alcohol consumption in adulthood 

  • The physical and psychological consequences of addiction, including alcohol dependency 

  • Awareness of the dangers of drugs which are prescribed but still present serious health risks the facts about the harms from smoking tobacco (particularly the link to lung cancer), the benefits of quitting and how to access support to do so

Health and Prevention (including basic first aid):

  • About personal hygiene, germs including bacteria, viruses, how they are spread, treatment and prevention of infection, and about antibiotics 

  • About dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene and dental flossing, including healthy eating and regular check-ups at the dentist 

  • The benefits of regular self-examination and screening 

  • The facts and science relating to immunisation and vaccination

  • The importance of sufficient good quality sleep for good health and how a lack of sleep can affect weight, mood and ability to learn

  • Basic treatment for common injuries 

  • Life-saving skills, including how to administer CPR 

  • The purpose of defibrillators and when one might be needed


  • That there are different types of committed, stable relationships. 

  • How these relationships might contribute to human happiness and their importance for bringing up children 

  • What marriage is, including its legal status e.g. that marriage carries legal rights and protections not available to couples who are cohabiting or who have married, for example, in an unregistered religious ceremony 

  • Why marriage is an important relationship choice for many couples and why it must be freely entered into 

  • The characteristics and legal status of other types of long-term relationships 

  • The roles and responsibilities of parents with respect to the raising of children, including the characteristics of successful parenting  

  • How to: determine whether other children, adults or sources of information are trustworthy: judge when a family, friend, intimate or other relationship is unsafe (and to recognise this in others’ relationships); and, how to seek help or advice, including reporting concerns about others, if needed

Respectful Relationships (including friendships); 

  • The characteristics of positive and healthy friendships (in all contexts, including online) including: trust, respect, honesty, kindness, generosity, boundaries, privacy, consent and the management of conflict, reconciliation and ending relationships. This includes different (non-sexual) types of relationship 

  • Practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships 

  • How stereotypes, in particular stereotypes based on sex, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability, can cause damage (e.g. how they might normalise non-consensual behaviour or encourage prejudice) 

  • That in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including people in positions of authority and due tolerance of other people’s beliefs, 

  • About different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders to report bullying and how and where to get help • that some types of behaviour within relationships are criminal, including violent behaviour and coercive control 

  • hat constitutes sexual harassment and sexual violence and why these are always unacceptable 

  • The legal rights and responsibilities regarding equality (particularly with reference to the protected characteristics as defined in the Equality Act 2010) and that everyone is unique and equal


Intimate and sexual relationships (including sexual health and sexual safety):

  • How to recognise the characteristics and positive aspects of healthy one-to-one intimate relationships, which include mutual respect, consent, loyalty, trust, shared interests and outlook, sex and friendship 

  • That all aspects of health can be affected by choices they make in sex and relationships, positively or negatively, e.g. physical, emotional, mental, sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing 

  • The facts about reproductive health, including fertility and the potential impact of lifestyle on fertility for men and women 

  • That there are a range of strategies for identifying and managing sexual pressure, including understanding peer pressure, resisting pressure and not pressuring others 

  • That they have a choice to delay sex or to enjoy intimacy without sex

  • The facts about the full range of contraceptive choices, efficacy and options available 

  • The facts around pregnancy including miscarriage 

  • That there are choices in relation to pregnancy (with medically and legally accurate, impartial information on all options, including keeping the baby, adoption, abortion and where to get further help) 

  • How the different sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDs, are transmitted, how risk can be reduced through safer sex (including through condom use) and the importance of and facts about testing 

  • About the prevalence of some STIs, the impact they can have on those who contract them and key facts about treatment. 

  • How the use of alcohol and drugs can lead to risky sexual behaviour 

  • how to get further advice, including how and where to access confidential sexual and reproductive health advice and treatment

  • the concepts of, and laws relating to, sexual consent, sexual exploitation, abuse, grooming, coercion, harassment, rape domestic abuse, forced marriage, honour-based violence and FGM, and how these can affect current and future relationships 

  • how people can actively communicate and recognise consent from others, including sexual consent, and how and when consent can be withdrawn (in all contexts, including online)