Academy

Personal Development at Ripley

What is Personal Development?

Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, in partnership with parents, has a vital role in preparing children and young people to negotiate the challenges and opportunities of an increasingly complex world. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. Personal Development at Ripley deals with real-life issues affecting our children, families and communities. It’s concerned with the social, health and economic realities of their lives, experiences and attitudes including relationships. It supports pupils to be healthy (mentally and physically), safe (online and offline) and equipped to thrive in their relationships and careers.

Parents’ and carers’ support is important to the success of Personal Development at Ripley. Students are encouraged to talk about all aspects of Personal Development covered at school with parents and carers.


Why is Personal Development Important?

Personal Development is important because it:

  • contributes to physical and mental health and wellbeing, encouraging individual responsibility for health.
  • contributes to the safety and protection of our children and young people, from staying safe online to understanding risks associated with drugs and alcohol and knowing the law surrounding these topics.
  • contributes to the information young people need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships, and know boundaries within the law.
  • promotes independence, resilience and responsibility – preparing children and young people for future roles as parents, employees and leaders.
  • supports employability by developing the personal and social skills demanded by commerce and industry.
  • supports pupils to be critical consumers of information, and develops the skills to identify misleading news or views on social media and elsewhere.

What does Personal Development at Ripley St Thomas include?

As a worshipping community, witnessing to the Christian faith, we aim to develop to the full the academic, spiritual, aesthetic and physical potential of each pupil.

Personal Development at Ripley St Thomas covers the following areas:

  • Fundamental British Values and Citizenship education
  • Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural education
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic and Sex and Relationship Education
  • Careers and Living in the Wider World education

As a worshipping community, witnessing to the Christian faith which aims to develop to the full the academic, spiritual, aesthetic and physical potential of each pupil.

All of 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. Personal Development at Ripley is delivered in a number of ways. These include:

  • All pupils at Ripley St Thomas receive five drop-down PSHE days over the year.
  • Personal Development education is also cross curricular with all curriculum areas contributing in a variety of ways and delivered through subject schemes of learning.
  • Collective Worship, which is built around themes, is practised consistently each week where all pupils experience one whole year group worship and one form worship assembly per week.
  • There is a rich range of co-curricular activities at Ripley St Thomas. We have a tradition of trips, including the MFL Normandy trip, the bi-annual hockey tour to Holland, The Twickenham rugby tour, Year 11 Alton Towers trip and the Year 8 trip to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. These trips and tours introduce our pupils to a wide and varied experience. We have a very healthy co-curricular sports programme and the Performing Arts Department attract sell-out crowds for their music and drama performances throughout the year which allows all pupils at Ripley St Thomas to develop a rich cultural capital.
  • We have a variety of charity initiatives, offering ways for the school community to think beyond themselves and serve other people locally and across the world. Examples include supporting our local foodbank, providing much needed food and supplies, plus a Christmas shoebox appeal to share love and hope to children in need. Our Chaplain helps to coordinate, support and develop opportunities for engagement across the school.
  • Our PSHE Days are an opportunity to work with the local community, Lancashire Police, Lancashire Fire and Rescue and local charities, as well as enhance and enrich our curriculum by inviting visiting speakers into 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.

Personal Development Education equips students with the knowledge, skills and attributes that they need to make informed decisions about their learning and work through a cohesive programme of careers education. They are supported in their journey with access to personalised information, advice and guidance from 6th Form colleges and apprenticeship providers which will enable them to build up the confidence to take charge of their career development and effectively manage their own progression through learning and work. They also have opportunities to consider and prepare for a variety of employment options, for example, through work based learning, mock interviews and a range of enrichment activities.


Fundamental British Values and Citizenship

Within the Fundamental British Values aspects of Personal Development 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.

Citizenship is delivered discretely and across the curriculum. Students cover issues such as rights and responsibilities, discrimination and how they can contribute positively as active, caring citizens both in school and within the communities in which they live. They are also encouraged to respect democracy and support participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in Britain. Part of this process is the election and participation of the Senior Student Council which meets half termly and is chaired by SLT


Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural Development

At Ripley St Thomas, we recognise and firmly believe that the development of pupils, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part not only in their ability to learn and achieve but in their ability to relate fully to, and have the ability to, access the world they live in. Spiritually, the school shares its vision of Christ’s love throughout the school community on a daily basis. These principles underpin education at Ripley St Thomas and are expressed through the rich curriculum experiences that take place both within and outside the classroom. The school is a community of faith based on common Christian values and worship which can find expression in every aspect of daily life at Ripley.

We aim to provide an education that provides children with opportunities to explore and develop their own values, whilst recognising that those of others may differ. Beliefs, spiritual awareness, high standards of personal behaviour including a positive caring attitude towards other people, an understanding of their social and cultural traditions and an appreciation of the diversity and richness of other cultures are all critical skills and dispositions that we nurture, encourage and develop through this subject and the wider curriculum. The values and ethos of Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy are central to our Personal Development education.


Personal, Social, Health and Economic and Relationship and Sex Education

The three main strands of this aspect are:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living in the Wider World

Personal Development at Ripley includes work to improve students’ health and emotional wellbeing. PSHE and SRE develop students’ skills to manage relationships and be economically active and intend to give students the skills necessary to keep them safe, including keeping them safe in an ever changing virtual word. The main strands of this area of the programme are to promote pupils’ health and wellbeing. This includes personal health, looking after their mental health and healthy living, including diet and drugs and alcohol abuse education.

The PSHE and RSE aspects of this programme are arranged to ensure that age appropriate delivery is achieved to prepare students for each phase of their life and education.

The RSE programme is delivered through the PSHE Curriculum, the Religious Education Curriculum and the Science Curriculum. The RSE Policy is available on School Website.


Careers and Living in the Wider World

One of the key principles of Personal Development at Ripley 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 careers 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 guidance

Our aim at Ripley is to inspire confident learners who will thrive in a changing world. We want all pupils at Ripley to aim high in their expectations, to raise their aspirations, promote equality of opportunity, celebrate diversity, challenge stereotypes and prepare for their future careers.

Personal Development education plays a critical role in preparing all young people for the next stage of their education or training and beyond. Expectations are high, including for our most vulnerable and those with special educational needs and disabilities. Students are challenged appropriately and acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes for lifelong learning so that they become more adaptable and resilient, make decisions and transitions, be more enterprising and be able to present themselves well with applications and interviews. This will help every young person to realise their potential and enhance their employability.

Personal Development Education equips students with the knowledge, skills and attributes that they need to make informed decisions about their learning and work through a cohesive programme of careers education. They are supported in their journey with access to personalised information, advice and guidance from 6th Form colleges and apprenticeship providers which will enable them to build up the confidence to take charge of their career development and effectively manage their own progression through learning and work. They also have opportunities to consider and prepare for a variety of employment options, for example, through work based learning, mock interviews and a range of Enrichment activities.