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Personal Development

What is the Intent of our Personal Development curriculum? 


The overall intent of the Personal Development curriculum is to develop confident individuals who are equipped to make informed decisions and live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.  Furthermore, the curriculum aims to develop responsible citizens who respect the rights of others and make a positive contribution to society. The curriculum takes a thematic-based approach and groups competencies under three categories: ‘Health and wellbeing’, ‘Relationships’ and ‘Living in the wider world’.   


The curriculum is delivered once a week and includes activities and experiences that improve awareness and identity, develops talents and potential, builds character and cultural capital, enhances students’ quality of life and encourages aspiration. 

The curriculum meets the statutory requirements of spiritual, moral, social and cultural education; relationships, sex and health education; UK government and law; responsible citizenship; financial planning; careers. The teaching of Personal Development is complemented by Tutor time activities, Theme of the Week, additional events including speakers and trips, and all Curriculum areas. 

How do we deliver our curriculum? 


  • Our curriculum builds on prior learning with well-constructed schemes of work that provide a framework for planned progression and increasing levels of challenge. 

  • The programme of study is based on the PSHE Association’s three core themes of health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing and careers education). 

  • The programme includes the 2019 Department for Education statutory guidance for the introduction of compulsory health education, relationships education and relationships and sex education (RSE) which is compulsory from 2020. 

  • The programme of study includes the statutory Citizenship curriculum as outlined in the aims. 

  • CEIAG (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance) is taught as part of the programme and is matched to the GATSBY benchmarks. 

  • Personal Development is taught discretely at Key Stage 3 and 4.  Students also have planned Personal Development opportunities through assemblies and the tutor time theme of the week. 

  • Personal Development is enhanced through planned trips and the use of a wide range of outside agencies/individuals that deliver aspects of the curriculum. 

  • There are opportunities for students to accredit their learning and personal skill and attributes through PLTS reward systems. 

  • There are regular formative assessments which provide key opportunities for feedback to inform students of their next steps in learning. 

  • Students are taught age-appropriate, accurate knowledge that is relevant to their current stage of learning. 

  • Students are taught Personal Development using the 21st Century Trivium model (grammar, dialectic, rhetoric) so that they can think about and apply their learning in a range of new and challenging contexts. 

  • We employ a range of metacognitive and cognitive strategies to meet the learning demands of the curriculum. 

What is the impact of our curriculum? 


  • Personal Development will enable students to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. 

  • Annual departmental reviews, including work scrutiny, will establish strengths and weaknesses leading to RAG-rated departmental development plans. 

  • Regular reflection on the appropriateness of the curriculum will ensure teaching, learning and assessment is appropriate and challenging. 

  • Monitoring ‘engagement in learning’ outcomes will reveal students’ attitude and motivation towards their learning as being good or better. 

  • Analysis of destination data will demonstrate that students have been well prepared for their next steps in education, training or work. 

  • Regular review of the Personal Development programme will ensure we are meeting the statutory requirements and offering a rich experience to help develop the young people at the academy. 

  • Analysis and data tracking of Key Stage 4 pathways and work experience allows for review and evaluation of their effectiveness. 

What will students learn in Year 7? 



  • Growing Up. 

  • Human rights, democracy and the UK.  

  • Government. 

  • Healthy Relationships.

  • Getting to Know Myself.  

  • Future life skills 1.  

  • RSE (Relationships and Sex Education). 


Year 7 starts with a module called growing up which is designed to help with transition to secondary school and the changes brought on during puberty.  Within this module are two lessons investigating how race is a social construct and how it continues to do harm. Next is a unit on human rights, democracy and the UK Government, culminating with a discussion around migration of people around the world.  This is followed by a unit investigating healthy relationships both online and in real life.  Getting to know myself is the next unit which focuses on building resilience, personal aspirations and goal setting.   The summer term introduces students to the law, banking basics and fake news.  The final module is relationship education looking at friendships, conflict, an introduction to consent and, importantly, how to be anti-racist and the problems of stereotyping. The final lesson gives students time and space to reflect upon all their achievements during that academic year, both in school and outside, and apply them to our Personal Learning and Thinking Skills: creative thinker, effective participator, team worker, reflective thinker, independent enquirer, self-manager. 

What will students learn in Year 8?  



  • Body confidence and Positive Mental Health.

  • Making Choices. 

  • Laws and Justice. 

  • Keeping healthy and safe. 

  • Healthy relationships and Cyberfirst. 

  • Caring for the environment. 


Year 8 begins with a module on body confidence and positive mental health to try and counter the impact on self-esteem brought about by external pressures and finishes with a lesson on healthy coping strategies.  This is followed by a module called ‘Making Choices’ which aims to empower students to make informed choices in their life and treat everyone with equality.  This covers lessons on what to watch, disability awareness, gender identity and redefining racism.  Next is a topic on laws and justice where students learn about the UK judicial system and take part in a mock trial.  A topic on keeping healthy and safe is next investigating diet exercise, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.  The summer term begins with a topic on how to recognise and maintain healthy relationships and this includes influences on relationship expectations and in particular issues around sending sexual images (nudes), gender identity and sexual orientation plus consent and how to avoid assumptions. Next is a unit called Cyberfirst looking at how to keep personal information safe online, cybersecurity, how to recognise online scams and how to report them.  The term finishes with a topic created by Plastic Free North Devon about caring for the environment both in your community and globally, plus the importance of active citizenship and role models.  The final lesson gives students time and space to reflect upon all their achievements during that academic year, both in school and outside, and apply them to our Personal Learning and Thinking Skills: creative thinker, effective participator, team worker, reflective thinker, independent enquirer, self-manager. 

What will students learn in Year 9? 



  • Physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Firework safety then careers.

  • Relationships.

  • Drug and alcohol education.

  • Future life skills 2.

  • Attitudes to democracy and others. 


Year 9 begins with a module entitled physical and mental wellbeing which covers unhelpful thoughts, body image and wellbeing.  We also cover basic first aid here with resources from St John’s ambulance.  Next is a lesson on safety to coincide with bonfire night, followed by a topic on careers to complement initial discussions around options for KS4 occurring at this time.  Spring term begins with a Relationships module investigating how to navigate interactions in healthy relationships, consent, contraception, sexual health and nudes. Next is a module on drug and alcohol education.  The summer term begins with a module on life skills for the future which includes lessons on spending, tax, filter bubbles and human rights.  The summer term finishes with a module on attitudes to democracy and others to include lessons on British values, local elections, respect of others, the importance of representation and a challenge to Andrew Tate. The final lesson gives students time and space to reflect upon all their achievements during that academic year, both in school and outside, and apply them to our Personal Learning and Thinking Skills: creative thinker, effective participator, team worker, reflective thinker, independent enquirer, self-manager. 

Key Stage 4 


Year 10 

Year 10 begins with a module on Careers focussing on students identifying their strengths and weaknesses and managing their online presence.  This leads to students completing their CVs and beginning their preparation for Work experience.  Students then complete a unit on supporting their mental health as teenagers and a unit on Citizenship investigating our legal system.  In the Spring term students work with Plastic Free North Devon to explore our local natural environment, volunteering and actions for the future.  This accompanies Careers sessions with Careers South West exploring LMI, our local labour market.  Students continue with a unit on Healthy relationships, then Economic wellbeing finding out about tax, national insurance, pay slips and university funding. In the Summer term students complete their Work Experience preparation focussing on health and safety and identifying their key objectives for the week.  They then review their Work Experience identifying their learning and how they will use it for future Career aspiration.  The year finishes with taster day visits to Petroc and Exeter College. 


Year 11 

Year 11 begins with a module on Mental Health which considers the challenges students face and how they can support their emotional well-being. Careers South West support students with sessions on post 16 choices and the academy hosts the Post 16 Information Evening for local providers.  Students update their CV’s and write personal statements in preparation for Mock Interview days. Students will also hear from local post 16 providers in assemblies and attend local open evenings. Students will prepare and take part in their Mock Interview. In Spring term students will do a module on Risk Taking which examines substance abuse scenarios and how to seek support. They will then look at Relationships which covers sexual health, fertility and pregnancy choices.  Students will also complete a personal finance for teenagers' unit.  In the Summer term students will study 2 units, Families and My Health. Families is about exploring relationships, marriage and parenting.  My Health gives students awareness about breast cancer, testicular cancer and organ donation. 

Right to withdraw your child 


As part of your child’s Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education you have the right as a parent/carer to withdraw your child from some Sex Education lessons.  


You cannot withdraw your child from Health Education or the Relationships Education element of Relationships and Sex Education because it is important that all children receive this content, covering topics such as friendships and how to stay safe. 


If you do not want your child to take part in some or all of the Sex Education lessons delivered at secondary, you can ask that they are withdrawn. Your child’s head teacher will consider this request and discuss it with you, and will grant this in all but exceptional circumstances, up until three school terms before your child turns 16. At this age, your child can choose to receive Sex Education if they would like to, and the school should arrange for your child to receive this teaching in one of those three terms (unless there are exceptional circumstances). 


If your child’s school is planning to teach these subjects from September 2019, your right to withdraw your child from Sex Education will be governed by the current legislation and so is absolute for the 2019/20 academic year – your child cannot opt in, and the head teacher will not overrule this request. This will remain the case until September 2020, when the new subjects will become compulsory and the new right to withdraw provisions will apply. 


The science curriculum in all maintained schools also includes content on human development, including reproduction, which there is no right to withdraw from. 

Theme of the Week 


Theme of The Week is based on key qualities, attributes and events that will contribute to our students’ development. It helps to raise their awareness, entice curiosity, provide challenge and engage interest in the world around them.  Students are involved in the selection of topics that are the Theme of the Week.  Theme of the Week is delivered by Tutors in period 6. 


The Theme of the Week is based on 'What's Happening in the News?' 

Promoting British Values 

The Department for Education have reinforced the need "to create and enforce a clear and rigorous expectation on all the schools to promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs." 


The Government set out its definition of British Values in the 2011 'Prevent Strategy', and these values were reiterated in 2015. At Braunton Academy these values are constantly reinforced: we keep an audit of all such teaching and learning opportunities. 



At Braunton Academy, the students have many opportunities for their voices to be heard. We have detailed Academy and House Councils which meet regularly to discuss issues raised by either the students or staff in the Tutor Group meetings. The Academy Council has its own budget and can genuinely effect change within the Academy. Please see the ’Student Voice’ page in the ‘Student’ section of our website. 


The Rule of Law 

The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the classes, the Academy, or our country are constantly reinforced throughout our regular school day, as well as when dealing with behaviour and through Academy assemblies. Students are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from, and positive relationships with, a wide variety of authorities such as the Police and Fire Service help reinforce this message. 


Individual liberty 

Within the Academy, students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As an academy we educate and provide boundaries for students to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and an empowering education. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and advised how to exercise these safely, for example, through our E safety and PSHEE lessons. Whether it be through the choice of a learning challenge, of how they record information, of participation in numerous extracurricular clubs and opportunities, students are always given the freedom to make choices. 


Mutual respect 

Our Academy respects the rights of others; mutual respect is at the heart of our values. Children learn that their behaviours influence their own rights and those of others. All members of our community treat each other with respect. 


Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs 

Braunton Academy is situated in an area which is not greatly culturally diverse; therefore, we place a great emphasis on promoting diversity with our students. Assemblies are regularly planned to address this issue either directly or through the inclusion of stories and celebrations from a variety of faiths and cultures. Our RE, PSHE, and extracurricular teaching reinforces this. Members of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the Academy. Students visit places of worship that are important to different faiths. 


Braunton Academy will actively challenge our students, staff, or parents/carers who are found to be expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including extremist views. 

Extra-curricular and Enrichment Opportunities 


  • Eco Club. 

  • Gay Straight Alliance Club (GSA). 

  • School Council - Link with Live Well which is promoting wellbeing in the community and allowing our students to have an input into its direction. 

  • Year 8, 9 and10 Careers Speed Dating. 

  • Year 7/8 - BAE Systems Roadshow. 

  • Year 8 London trip - visit to Parliament. 

  • Year 8 Ocean Explorers. 

  • Year 9 Oxford University visit to Exeter College as part of Bletchley Park trip. 

  • Year 9 Living Me course (girls). 

  • Year 10 Petroc Masterclass series. 

  • Year 10 Work Experience.

  • Year 10 Petroc taster day. 

  • Year 10 Exeter College Gifted and Talented day.

  • Year 10 Exeter College Discovery Day. 

  • Year 11 Mock Interviews.

Useful links 


Braunton Academy RSE and Health Education Policy 

Parent year 10 letter 

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