Personal Development Learning (Herne Junior School)
At Herne Junior School, we strongly believe PDL (Personal Development Learning – made up of PSHE and Citizenship) is an essential area of the curriculum, integral to our children’s wellbeing, achievement and development as global citizens in a multicultural society. We aim to equip our children with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. Our PDL curriculum has been designed for the needs of our pupils in order to develop the qualities and attributes they need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of their local community, diverse society and the wider world. Using the PSHE Association’s Programme of Study we have developed a comprehensive and inclusive curriculum which supports and embeds our school’s HARMONY and SMSC Values. We encourage the children to be critical thinkers and to ask perceptive questions to enable them to make informed choices, identify bias and inequality and to keep themselves healthy and safe. We want the children we teach to leave Herne as confident, self-aware, active global citizens with an acute sense of social justice, a love for the natural world and a desire to look after and protect the environment. We believe PDL allows the children we teach to have the opportunity to share and form opinions, develop essential communication skills, be reflective and develop empathy in a safe and encouraging learning environment. We also know that PDL helps pupils to achieve their academic potential. There is a proven link between pupils' health and wellbeing, and their academic progress. At Herne Junior School, we believe every child has the right to achieve. We believe the teaching of PDL plays a fundamental role in achieving our vision ‘Knowing Every Child - Inspiring Every Mind – Achieving Every Day’ and is key to encouraging life-long learners. Although, PDL is not identified as a statutory subject by the government, large parts of our PDL curriculum such as, Families; Friendships; Staying safe; Mental wellbeing; Internet safety; Physical health; Healthy eating; Growing and Changing; Keeping Active; Substances; Health and Hygiene and Relationships, Puberty and Reproduction, are identified as statutory under the government’s latest guidance, ‘Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education’ (Crown copyright 2019.). PDL is a crucial element in providing our pupils with a holistic education and is too important to be left to chance.
Our pupils receive discrete, engaging PDL lessons. We use the PSHE Association’s Programme Builder: Cross Phase model. The regular, planned units of learning are carefully developed, using a spiral approach. The spiral approach revisits themes throughout the school gradually extending thinking, expanding knowledge and developing skills. Prior learning is returned to in order to progressively build skills, knowledge, attitudes and attributes over the children’s four years at Herne. Our balanced, empowering and positive PDL curriculum is taught through a variety of relevant life contexts. There are three core themes: Health and Wellbeing; Relationships and Living in the Wider World. Each year group has six units of study which all fall under at least one of the three core themes. These units take place across the school and throughout the year to ensure regular teaching of PDL in every year group.
Units of study for each year group:
Year 3 – Shared Responsibilities; Friendships; Emotional Wellbeing; Physical Health; Staying Safe; Economic Wellbeing;
Year 4 – Friendships; Families; Staying Healthy; Communities; Economic Wellbeing; Growing and Changing;
Year 5 – Respect and Bullying; Mental Wellbeing; Staying Safe; Keeping active; Substances; Media Literacy
Year 6 – Personal Identity; Health and Hygiene; Friendships and Staying safe; Careers; Puberty and Reproduction; Managing Change
Across all year groups – Shared Responsibilities (RR UNCRC Class Charters) and Whole school events such as Fairtrade Fortnight and Anti-Bullying week
Where possible, our PDL curriculum is also enriched through planned visitors, events and trips to areas in our local community. Each year group also begins the year with a Rights and Respect unit to guide them in developing their individual class charter and to remind them of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). We also use Jenny Mosley’s circle time structure to plan and deliver circle time sessions. Our whole school assemblies will sometimes add to or develop core themes from our PDL curriculum but they are an addition to our PDL curriculum only. As educators, we are constantly adapting our curriculum to ensure that it is inclusive, so all our pupils feel represented, valued and have a sense of belonging. PDL forms part of our school’s pastoral care and support for pupils. However, when children need bespoke support they may receive this from our Social and Emotional Wellbeing team.
When pupils leave Herne Junior School, their learning in PDL will have equipped them with key skills, knowledge, attitudes and attributes in order to be confident, active, critical global citizens. They will appreciate and acknowledge their self-worth and the contributions they can make as individuals in their local community, society and the wider world. Our pupils will have a strong sense of respect for and value diversity within our communities in Britain and worldwide. They will be able to make informed choices using their critical thinking skills and will know who to go to and how to seek help when needed in order to keep themselves safe and healthy. Our school’s unique concept of HARMONY behaviours will have helped to foster independent, collaborative, respectful, honest, motivated and resilient learners. Our hope is that our pupils will leave us having developed a moral compass, which will guide them through life and help them to build positive relationships. They will be equipped with the personal skills, knowledge, attitudes and attributes they need to be content, successful life-long learners and global citizens in order to achieve their hopes and dreams while supporting others in doing so too.
“Education is the great engine of personal development.”