a whole school approach to personal development

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					       A Whole-School approach to Personal Development

                       SUPPORTING INFORMATON

A Whole-School approach
How can schools develop a whole-school approach to the personal
development curriculum?

1.   Start by reviewing the current statutory requirements and non-statutory
     guidance.
2.   Then review your school’s current provision of PSHE, RE, citizenship,
     careers education, PE and work-related learning, including staff
     deployment and resource allocation.
3.   Consult with students, parents and relevant community partners.
4.   Set up a working group led by the responsible senior manager and involve
     relevant specialist staff.
5.   The working group will produce a rationale and plan for implementing a
     coordinated approach to the personal development curriculum. This will
     include:
      a statement of student entitlement to a personal development
         curriculum
      a feasible timescale (of at least one year before delivery)
      an estimate of resources needed and their annual cost
      planned staff development.
6.   Don’t try to do it all at once. Start by coordinating two or three related
     content areas – perhaps the ones that are strongest in your school.
7.   Explore ways of recognising achievement, including awards and
     qualifications (for staff and students).

How will schools know they have been successful?

    You have a clear vision of the benefits of coordinating the personal development
     curriculum. Everyone understands how this supports students’ achievement and
     progression in their academic, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
     The vision builds on current good practice and is communicated to all staff by the
     head teacher. Students clearly value the personal development curriculum and
     their learning improves.
    A member of the school’s senior management team has responsibility for the
     strategic management of coordinating these aspects and there are clear lines of
     communication between the staff responsible for them.
    A governor has specific responsibility for supporting and monitoring the personal
     development curriculum. All governors receive induction into the why and how of
     effective coordination.
    You have a written policy, endorsed by the governors, which includes the aims of
     the personal development curriculum, the rationale for a coordinated approach
     and awareness of statutory requirements and non-statutory guidance.
    There is regular review of the effectiveness of coordination. This leads into a
     development plan for coordinating personal development and links to the school
     and staff development plans.
    Funding and resources are allocated to support the coordinated programme.
    Support staff, parents and external contributors know how they are involved in the
     process.
    All the school’s collaborative partners, Connexions advisers, FE college partners
     and training providers and others as appropriate, are involved in the process.
A needs-led planning process

How can schools ensure a needs-led planning process?

1.   When identifying students’ needs, think about the choices they have to
     make about the world they live in. Whether the choices are about
     friendships, using drugs, or which degree to take, students use the same
     decision-making processes and skills. You can help them understand
     those processes and acquire those skills through experiences which lead
     to learning around these common themes:
      knowing about themselves
      knowing about the options available to them
      knowing how to choose
      preparing for the implications and consequences of choice.
2.   Your planning will be helped by referring to
      the national curriculum programme of study for citizenship
      the framework for PSHE
      your local agreed syllabus for RE and the non-statutory framework for
         RE (from September 2004)
      the frameworks for careers and work-related learning.
     These are a good starting point for identifying objectives and broad
     learning outcomes for the personal development curriculum.
3.   Effective coordination of the personal development curriculum should be a
     core strategy of the Inclusion chapter of the national curriculum.

     You can expand from these starting points to make other aspects of
     personal development more explicit; for example financial awareness,
     parenthood or sustainable development.

How will schools know they have been successful?

    Curriculum provision meets individual learners’ needs, concerns and
     aspirations.
    Students can explain the differing outcomes for citizenship, careers, RE,
     PSHE and other subjects that contribute to the personal development
     curriculum.
    Issues of equality and diversity are tackled and the needs of minority
     groups are met. You have taken note of the Inclusion chapter of the
     national curriculum.
    Learning objectives and outcomes help to develop self-esteem and skills
     and are appropriate to the key stage, and students achieve their potential.
    Activities are designed to achieve the outcomes, while the distinctiveness
     of the component subjects is maintained.
    Activities are planned for the most appropriate times of year.
A programme of planned learning opportunities across the curriculum

How can schools create a programme of planned learning opportunities
across the curriculum?

1.    Use current practice, statutory and non-statutory guidance and
      consultation with students to develop objectives and learning
      outcomes.
2.    Combine a variety of experiences – timetabled lessons, specific
      subject-based activities, whole-day events, tutorial sessions, assemblies,
      extra-curricular and out-of-school activities – within a coherent
      programme.
3.    Ensure that assessment of personal development learning is supported
      by a sound rationale. When planning assessment, consider:
      - student self-assessment
      - observation by staff, or staff and students together
      - sampling of work completed
      - using a variety of evidence; for example, photos, video clips, ICT.
4.    Explore the opportunities to accredit work-related learning within the
      personal development curriculum, using both formal (eg GCSE
      Citizenship and RE) and informal awards.
5.    Consider student-led recording and reporting based on a mechanism
      such as the Progress File.

How will schools know they have been successful?

Your school has mapped out and documented its personal development
curriculum. This has been planned in consultation with the staff responsible for
the curriculum and for student support. Students’ views are referenced in the
documentation.

In an effective programme:

    the component subjects are visible
    the knowledge, skills and understanding that students should gain from the
     activities are clear
    students experience a variety of learning experiences in a range of
     locations and they are differentiated to meet students’ needs
    students play an active part
    there is adequate timetabled time for delivering the curriculum
    the purpose, focus and mode of assessment are clear
    accreditation of achievement is used where appropriate
    recording and reporting arrangements are specified
    unnecessary repetition of learning experiences is minimal
    continuity and progression are assured.
A committed team of staff

How can schools ensure the personal development curriculum is
delivered by a committed team of staff?

1.   Take the delivery of the personal development curriculum into account
     when recruiting staff.
2.   Identify staff with particular specialisms, skills or motivation to teach one or
     more aspects of the personal development curriculum.
3.   Be clear about the role of citizenship, PSHE, RE and careers and the
     dedicated time for these subjects.
4.   Have effectively managed staff development activities to build staff
     commitment. Plan for convenient times and pleasant settings.
5.   Be imaginative and flexible about staff deployment. Choices of how to
     deploy staff should harness tutors’ personal knowledge of their students,
     and the specialist knowledge of those teaching aspects of the personal
     development curriculum.
6.   Look at how contribution to the personal development curriculum is
     expressed in tutors’ and subject teachers’ job descriptions, and take this
     into account in staff deployment.
7.   Ensure that teachers who plan and deliver the personal development
     curriculum receive professional development. This should be updated as
     required and certificated where appropriate.
8.   Use the support and resources of the LEA advisory service and the local
     Connexions service when planning staff development.
9.   Invite health professionals, Connexions personal advisers, local employers,
     police, local members of faith communities and others to come into school
     to enhance the planning and delivery of the personal development
     curriculum. Ask them to attend planning and briefing sessions to ensure
     their contributions are focused on students’ learning.

How will schools know they have been successful?

    A committed team of staff, effectively developed and well-supported, is confident
     in delivering the curriculum.
    Teachers and support staff are aware of the benefits of a coordinated personal
     development curriculum and are prepared to contribute to planning and delivering
     some aspects.
    There is a good climate for teaching and learning about sensitive and
     controversial issues and they are not avoided.
    Teachers specialising in the key aspects of the personal development curriculum
     (head of RE, careers coordinator, PSHE coordinator and so on) undertake
     certificated training.
    Aspects of the personal development curriculum are planned and reviewed by
     these trained specialists under the leadership of the senior manager responsible
     for personal development.
    The form tutors’ role in relationship to the personal development curriculum is
     clear and tutors are trained to implement it.
    All participating staff can describe their role.
    Participating students can describe why the programme is stimulating and
     worthwhile.
Student participation

How can schools ensure that student participation goes beyond active
learning?

1.   Give students the opportunity to take part in both formal (for example, the
     student council) and informal activities where they can express their views.
2.    Ensure that students understand the objectives and intended learning
     outcomes during teaching. Use documentation to convey these to parents.
3.   Invite students to share their out-of-school experiences with each other and
     with staff. This will develop their understanding of the demands of adult life
     and the world of work (for example, use experience of part-time work to
     identify learning objectives for work experience).
4.   Ensure that students take part in extended activities and give them
     responsibility for aspects of planning and delivery.
5.   Have strategies to ensure that students’ skills are sufficiently developed for
     full participation.
6.   Encourage students to take on challenges, enterprise activities and
     voluntary work, and to understand how these can contribute to their
     personal development and employability.
7.   Talk to students about the successes of the personal development
     curriculum and areas for development.

How will schools know they have been successful?

    Activities help students to become enterprising and responsible members
     of the school and the wider community.
    Students are involved in the planning, delivery and assessment of aspects
     of the personal development curriculum.
    Students can describe the benefits of the personal development curriculum
     for their achievement and progression.
    Students can describe what they have learned in personal development
     activities.
    Students use their experiences and achievements outside school to inform
     their personal development, for example sports activities or a part-time job.
Student support and guidance

How can schools ensure that student support and guidance is clearly
linked to the personal development curriculum?

1.   Involve the senior manager responsible for student support as a member of
     the personal development working group and in curriculum planning.
2.   Devise activities that help students to develop their skills in personal review
     and planning. This will help them get more value from individual review
     sessions with tutors and/or mentors.
3.   Clarify for students how they can access useful services in the school and
     the community, including the Connexions service.
4.   Clarify the roles and responsibilities of external partners coming into school
     to provide students with additional support. Find out how students can be
     referred to them (for example, by inviting external contributors to speak at a
     staff training day).

How will schools know they have been successful?

    Senior managers responsible for student support and the personal
     development curriculum are clear about their respective roles. They help
     staff and students understand both the distinction and the links between
     the two.
    Students regularly review their progress, set targets and plan their
     learning, with the help of tutors and mentors. Individual learning plans help
     to improve learning, promote personal development and enable progress
     to the next stage.
    Students can find information, guidance and support from both within and
     outside school.

				
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