The CCEA defines Personal Development as;
'Encouraging each child to become personally, emotionally, socially and physically effective, to lead healthy, safe and fulfilled lives; To become confident, independent and responsible citizens, making informed and responsible choices and decisions throughout their lives’
At Thurcroft Junior Academy our pupils’ personal development is at the heart of everything we do. Our curriculum extends beyond the academic and supports our children to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. We carefully plan 'paths' of activities, events and lessons that enable all children to achieve our aims.
By the end of Early Years Foundation Stage we aim for all pupils to...
- understand what it means to be a Thurcroft pupil and the rules we follow,
- be willing to try new experiences and always have a positive attitude,
- develop an awareness of the world around them,
- know who keeps them safe in the community,
- celebrate people’s similarities and differences,
- develop a love of learning,
- and be independent and prepared for KS1.
By the end of Key Stage 2 we aim for all pupils to...
- understand their rights as a child,
- be organised and independent to problem solvem,
- know how to keep themselves safe out of school and identify risks in the local area,
- recognise the importance of belonging and have a community spirit,
- talk about why they respect all cultures,
- to be able to talk about different genres of books,
- and be prepared for Key Stage 3.
We ensure all children know how to eat healthily. Our 3-week menu offers our pupils a variety of healthy meals to choose from.
We encourage all pupils to maintain an active lifestyle. Alongside the P.E curriculum, children can join sports teams, attend lunch time and after school clubs, take part in bikeability events, attend swimming lessons and compete in annual sports days. We also use Travel Tracker to encourage our pupils to walk to school.
Pupils’ wellbeing is considered within all areas of our curriculum and is visible within the learning environment. Mental health is also promoted through stories, circle time, assemblies and events such as ‘Children’s Mental Health Week’ and #HelloYellow (Young Minds).
Our RSHE curriculum ensures pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of relationships and the 9 Protected Characteristics.
We actively teach the contextual safeguarding concerns (road safety, fire safety and water safety) for our pupils and ensure they know how to stay safe through lessons, assemblies, workshops and events.
We take E-Safety very seriously and integrate this into all areas of Computing being taught within school, so that children can see the real life dangers involved with using digital devices.
All pupils are encouraged and frequently reminded, to speak to a trusted adult when they have concerns or worries.
The British Values are taught, promoted and reinforced regularly in a variety of ways: lessons, debates, weekly assemblies, through school council and celebrations.
Current events such as The World Cup are used to promote discussion and learning opportunities.
We have developed a school culture that promotes diversity in our classrooms. We understand that each pupil brings unique experiences, strengths and ideas and the exploration and incorporation of these differences enriches our learning. We use stories, resources and teaching materials that celebrate different religions, cultures and disabilities. We also hold assemblies and themed events where all children learn about and discuss a particular focus.
We consider pupils’ cultural capital through all aspects of academy life.
We ensure all classes take part in educational visits to bring their topics to life. These include wildlife parks, museums, supermarkets, farms and education centres.
We regularly have visitors into the academy to inspire pupils. These include the police, the NHS, dental nurses, charity workers, faith leaders and historians.
We nurture and develop pupils’ talents and interests through our bespoke curriculum, extra-curricular activities and celebration assemblies.
We give pupils’ extra responsibilities and ensure they understand how important and appreciated their role in our school is. These include School Prefects, Eco Warriors, School Councillors, Sports Play Leaders, Library Monitors and Head Boy and Girl.
We support the local and wider community by raising money for charities, collecting donations for food banks and working closely with the local Thurcroft community.
We encourage pupils to look after the environment through Science and Geography lessons, helping in the academy quad, supporting staff to keep the school grounds clean and tidy and taking part in special events, such as planting vegetables and trees.
In addition to the above, to support pupils in building the character skills they will need, we;
Ensure all pupils display positive behaviour through our ‘four rules’
Deliver RSHE lessons that explore feelings and emotions and provide our pupils with strategies to manage them.
Teach pupils life skills such as cooking, catching a bus and being responsible with money and take part in workshops and visits such as ‘Crucial Crew’ to support this.
Provide positive role models for all children: the academy staff and visitors such as footballers, doctors, boxers and police officers.
Provide challenge in lessons and problem solving activities that build pupils’ resilience.
Support children to take part in competitions and games, developing skills such as team work, team spirit, discipline and determination.
Ensure the academy is a place pupils feel safe and cared for and that they understand bullying is never tolerated and a trusted adult is always available to talk to.
At an age appropriate level, we actively teach the 9 Protected Characteristics. Our pupils understand that these are protected by law and that discrimination should never be tolerated.