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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