In order to function in society safely and responsibly, young people must be given opportunities to discuss their beliefs and experiences in an environment which is safe and nurturing, and where they can be challenged on the views in a way that supports their personal development. For some young people, knowing how to look after themselves, how to behave in social situations with others, and being aware of the expectations within an adult world does not come easily. This subject explicitly teaches our young people how to manage themselves, and others, in a range of lifelong scenarios.
Personal Development (PD) is a progressive subject that focuses on 5 main topics which are taught each year. As students progress through their academic years, the content of each topic changes to suit their age. The Drug and Alcohol Use schemes of work consists of learning sessions ranging from what is a drug to the effects of drug and alcohol on the individual user, families and the greater community. The E-Safety schemes of work range from knowing who their online friends are, to dealing with cyberbullying and online grooming. Citizenship is taught throughout the years and starts with learning about basic politics and ends with understanding Third World issues and social injustices. Each of these topics are taught on a half termly basis, whereas Sex and Relationships Education units of work are taught over a whole term. The content of this topic ranges from how the body changes during puberty and personal hygiene practices, to learning about consent and positive sexual encounters. In addition to the topics, KS3 learn about healthy living and recognising their personal qualities and how they affect the relationships. KS4 participate in lessons based around personal safety, choices and consequences, as well as lessons which support their preparation for adult life post Cornfield School.
To support each learning style of individual students, and to develop confidence across a range of communications methods, PD lessons are delivered in discussion form and role-playing; whilst also using visual aids and written tasks. Students are expected to complete tasks independently, in pairs or small groups, or as a whole class. Discussion groupings are decided upon social communication skills, whereas reading and writing tasks are differentiated according to individual and group ability. Verbal feedback is provided regularly throughout the lesson, whilst written feedback is provided each week and students respond to that feedback at the start of each lesson.
The knowledge and skills developed in PD allows for our young people to be well-functioning, safe and respectful members of society. The honest nature of this subjects allows for students to express their concerns openly and without fear.