Powerful knowledge in Personal Development
To understand the world around us, and how we fit into that world, we must attempt to understand the cultures, traditions, customs and beliefs of the people we share it with, as well as developing a better understanding of who we are. It is every child’s right to become equipped with the powerful knowledge that will allow them to be a respectful, tolerant, and active citizen who can form and evaluate their own opinions whilst accepting those of other people.
Within Personal Development, and through the subjects of Religious Studies, PSHE (including RSHE) and Citizenship, we believe that the powerful knowledge that enables pupils to achieve this through:
- being taught about how to make their own decisions about moral, ethical and current affairs
- understanding the differences and similarities we hold with others and to celebrate these in order to open minds, reduce prejudiced views and limit narrow-minded behaviours
- being empowered on how to make decisions that will have a positive impact on their physical and/or mental wellbeing
- understanding how to form meaningful and happy relationships
- knowing that many things are ambiguous, and developing empathy to see things from other perspectives
- developing pride in one’s own sense of self
- inspiring students to look beyond their own sphere of experience
- knowing the choices that are open to everyone, and how to make the most of these choices.
Personal Development at Priestnall High School gives students the opportunities to become aware of the world, the people and the issues that surround them. Religious studies explores philosophical, theological and sociological disciplines; through this academic rigour, our pupils can develop a full understanding of what it means to be religious and how that looks in modern Britain and throughout the world. They will engage with these lessons throughout both KS3 and KS4, ensuring that our ethos follows them through all facets of their education.
Through PSHE and Citizenship, students will learn: how to care for themselves and others; how to debate key topics; engage with modern and historical ethics and themes. Building on a grounding of PSHE, Citizenship and Religious studies, Personal Development gives students the power to apply these ideas to the world that impacts them. Personal Development delivers and coordinates the Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) statutory content across the school. Students are asked to think politically, decisively and analytically in order to make their own decisions, evaluate the decisions of others and engage with modern topics whilst being knowledgeable, respectful and thoughtful.
The Personal Development curriculum is complemented by assemblies, form times, drop-down sessions and special events. Out of the Personal Development department, we work with the local religious leaders, charities andorganisations and run events to ensure the religious make-up of our school is represented, thereby giving students an opportunity to engage with a living religion. Events such as Inter-Faith Week allow students to engage with different cultures and communities. Students are invited to participate in the Personal Development house competition allows students to engage with their own beliefs.
‘Difference is the essence of humanity. Difference is an accident of birth, and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity.’