Personal Development

City Heights School Intent

As a school our focus is to inspire a life-long love for learning that will enable students to have a rich understanding of the context of their lives and communities and their future. As a school we want to empower learners to overcome barriers through determination and hard work and to encourage students to aspire to be the person they desire to be, and show character and resourcefulness.


Personal Development Curriculum Intent

The intent of the Personal Development curriculum is to educate our students to make informed choices in their lives to keep themselves healthy and safe, and to develop life skills which will enable them to make a positive contribution to the wider community.

The Programme of Study is designed to:

  • deliver a programme of Fundamental British Values, Citizenship and character education
  • deliver careers provision, complying with the Department for Education Careers Guidance and Access for Education and Training Providers 2018.
  • comply with section 78 of the Education Act 2002 and the Academies Act 2010 which states that schools must provide a curriculum that:
  • promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils at the school and of society, and
  • prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life with a focus on Personal and Economic education.
  • comply with The Equality Act 2010
  • comply with statutory guidance: Relationship Education, Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) and Health Education 2019.

All our pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of the school and the wider community. In doing so, pupils learn to recognise their own worth, develop a sense of their own identity and the ability to take their place in the community as well as respect for, and working with, others. Thus, the Personal Development curriculum is delivered in a number of ways.

All students attend weekly assemblies which are focused on the careers’ employability skills, a core theme from the PSHE/Citizenship curriculum and one of the Academy’s core values. Assemblies also encourage community and a sense of loyalty to the Faculty of which they are part. Assemblies help to supplement the tutor time programme, providing a time where students can engage and enquire in a different context with the six core themes. Every assembly starts with a culturally relevant piece of music and finishes with the Academy Homily which explicitly notes tolerance and acceptance of one another’s beliefs.

Assemblies are delivered by senior leaders, middle leaders and students as well as visiting speaker

We have planned trips, including museums, universities, Law establishments which introduce our pupils to a wide and varied experience. We have a well-designed healthy extra-curricular programme and the Performing Arts Department attracts lots of interest from students and parents with great performances which allows all pupils at City Heights to develop a rich cultural capital.

Our relationship with Brixton Food Kitchen is just one of the ways our students help our local community by providing much needed food and support and our charity work through student leadership supports people locally.

To support our students to develop into successful citizens in society, a number of students are giving mentoring opportunities. This may be because they have been identified as vulnerable or disadvantaged and/or their behaviour may have highlighted the need for additional mentoring support. Some examples of mentoring on offer are listed below:

  • Manchester United Premier League Inspires
  • Inspirational Youth Strengthening Minds
  • St Mathews Football Club: Premier League Inspires
  • Goals for Girls
  • High Trees
  • Mental Toughness

We work closely with our Safer Schools Police Liaison Officer to build positive relationships with the community and gain a better understanding of the Rule of Law. This takes place through assemblies and workshops in school.

Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and to recognise how they are developing personally and socially, addressing the spiritual, social, moral and cultural and health issues that form an intrinsic part of growing up. Students will take part in acknowledging key awareness days mapped out across the curriculum to support with their development

Within Fundamental British Values, pupils are able to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England as well as accepting responsibility for their behaviour, showing initiative, and understanding how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely. Through this we embrace the following 4 strands integral to Fundamental British Values:

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs.

The PSHE curriculum equips learners to become lights within their world. They are encouraged to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible, and balanced lives. Learners are encouraged to shine by being supported in making effective decisions, positive learning, career choices and in achieving economic wellbeing. Learners are provided with opportunities to reflect on, clarify their own values and attitudes, and explore the complex and conflicting range of values and attitudes encountered now and in the future. Learners will also develop inter and intra personal skills allowing them to develop teamwork and personal skills ensuring they shine and are not hidden.

The PSHE curriculum will cover careers, relationships, physical and mental health, money management, safety, British Values, substances, study skills, and current affairs. Students will be equipped with knowledge about these important life topics, the resilience to seek help and information if they are ever confused or struggling, and the integrity and confidence to stand up for what they know is right. PSHE lessons are enhanced and built upon, where necessary, through assemblies and drop-down-days.

One of the key principles of the Personal Development Curriculum is that it enables pupils to acquire learning that will allow them to make their own choices in the real world.

At the forefront of the careers aspect of Personal Development is the implementation of the eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance:

  1. A stable career programme
  2. Learning from career and labour market information
  3. Addressing the need of each pupil
  4. Linking curriculum learning to careers
  5. Encounters with employers and employees
  6. Experience of workplaces
  7. Encounters with further and higher education 8. Personal guichdance

We recognise the importance of raising students’ awareness of the myriad of career paths available to them throughout their lives. Therefore, we strongly believe in educating students about the various facets of the employment market throughout their time at the school. This learning journey begins as early as Year 7, through a specially tailored Key Stage 3 Careers Programme designed to inform students about career pathways and accurate labour market information in the world around us. Students are exposed to weekly careers lessons as part of the PSHE curriculum which span a broad range of topics about employment in the world around them, whilst also being encouraged to explore their prospects themselves through resources such as Unifrog.

Students at City Heights follow a progressive curriculum which gradually develops their understanding and knowledge of careers throughout their time at school. In Key Stage 3, we strive to embed students’ understanding with abroad, foundational awareness of the working world; students in Year 7 follow the ‘Inspire’ curriculum, graduating to ‘Aspire’ in Year 8, before completing the ‘Explore’ pathway in Year 9. By the end of Key Stage 3, students are exposed to an array of information which supports them in planning for their futures; this carefully planned curriculum simultaneously adheres to the Gatsby benchmarks.

The progressive curriculum is embedded further by Key Stage 4. Students graduate from their ‘Aspire’ pathway in Year 9 to the ‘Prepare’ pathway in Year 10, before working through the Year 11 ‘Achieve’ pathway. In Key Stage 4, the curriculum provides several tangible careers projects, with a particular focus on careers’ skills such as CV building, exploring the job market and advice on post-GCSE study pathways. With parallels to the Key Stage 3 curriculum, students are provided with regular moments for self-reflection through surveys which are employed to gauge student voice and engagement with the curriculum. In addition to the Key Stage 4 curriculum, students in Key Stage 4 are given further opportunities to mould their futures through encounters with employers, training providers and careers experts.

The Careers curriculum is firmly embedded within the wider ethos of the school. A central facet of the school’s ideology, the promotion of a ‘life-long love of learning’ is weaved into a curriculum which provides space for students to explore their futures and the labour market around them. Furthermore, the voices and expertise of subject-specialists inform lessons and modules which seek to incorporate subjects studied at school with future careers in a range of fields of industry. The Careers curriculum represents a crucial fixture of school life: weekly Careers lessons provide a valuable bedrock for students to realise, pursue and achieve their ambitions throughout the rest of their lives.

The Personal Development curriculum encourages students to learn more about themselves and how to look after themselves as growing and changing individuals. Students can acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to enable them to make informed decisions about all aspects of their lives, as they develop from children into young adults. Students will also learn to respect the views, needs and rights of others, including people of different genders, ages and cultures to themselves, to reflect the make up our student and staff body

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