Personal development

Personal development lessons aim to provide students a well rounded learning experience in a wide range of subjects such as personal health and relationships, social and mental wellbeing, citizenship and economic education.
The study of this equips students with the skills and knowledge they need to live healthy, safe and positive lives.

Lead Practitioner

Hiri Arunagiri   |

Our Ethos

Our students are going through adolescence in an increasingly complex world within which to navigate. They are living their lives both on and offline. Whilst this poses many challenges and risks, this also can open doors to many positive and exciting opportunities which they can explore safely, if they are well informed. Our role as a school is to ensure that our curriculum is broad enough to help them manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive manner in order to be safe and healthy. At Acland Burghley we wish to equip them with sound knowledge on which they can make informed decisions, a broad skill set with which to make confident choices and with personal attributes that foster all students’ wellbeing and character so that they become successful adults.

How is Personal development taught?

The developing PSHCE curriculum aims to be age and developmentally appropriately and it is key that it is taught sensitively and inclusively, respecting the wide ranging backgrounds and beliefs of our students. We want students to believe that they can achieve goals through periods of uncertainty and also be able to develop resilience so that they have the skills to recover from setbacks during this challenging period in their lives.

All students in Y7 to Y13 will have one Personal development lesson every fortnight, most likely to be delivered by their tutor or through workshops run by staff and external experts. Students will develop their understanding of British values, laws and institutions and consider their role in society. They also develop various strategies to manage their emotions and ensure good health and well-being. This will be complemented by a series of weekly tutor time activities and 3 discreet “drop down” days in the year.  The curriculum has been sequenced and fully embedded with both the knowledge and skills needed for future learning and employment.

Below is an outline of the sessions that will be covered for each year group. The programme has been developed alongside the statutory framework to ensure that students at Acland Burghley have the knowledge and cultural capital they need to succeed in life.

Student Voice

Student Voice aims to establish strong collaboration between staff and students to help shape school policies.

We want to empower our students to have their opinions heard, and we do this in the following ways:
  • Student council – assists with school events, assemblies and decisions made around the school
  • Our Y9 Youth Parliament representative in Camden Council
  • Student surveys – these focus on a range of topics to help make improvements in the school
  • Jack Petchey award – to showcase the excellent achievements of our students.

Relationship and Sex Education (RSE):

Relationships and Sex education (RSE) is learning about the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up, relationships, sex, human sexuality and sexual health.

This is an important part of PSHCEE as it enables young people to receive factual information about sex and relationships as well as address myths and misconceptions which can be dangerous. Good quality RSE enables young people to equip themselves with the necessary skills and confidence to make positive and informed decision about their relationships and their health. It will also help young people learn to respect themselves and others and move with confidence from childhood through adolescence into adulthood. The full RSE policy is available here and Ms Arunagiri will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the specific and age appropriate content of these sessions.

The Personal Social Health Citizenship and Economic (PSHCE)

The PSHCE curriculum is a programme of learning through which our students acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives now and in the future.   

As part of a whole-school approach, PSHCE develops the qualities and attributes students need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. PSHCE contributes to personal development by helping students to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. It enables them to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings.

Developing an understanding of themselves, empathy and the ability to work with others will help students to form and maintain good relationships, develop the essential skills for future employability and better enjoy and manage their lives. The curriculum encourages them to be enterprising and supports them in making effective transitions, positive learning and career choices and in achieving economic well-being. A critical component of PSHCE education is providing opportunities for students to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes and explore the complex and sometimes conflicting range of values and attitudes they encounter now and in the future.