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Personal Development and Modern British Values

The Personal Development (PD) programme lives at the heart of The Priory Ruskin Academy.    At Ruskin, we aim to promote personal wellbeing,  and development through a comprehensive taught programme of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education.  The PSHE curriculum gives children and young people the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live healthy, safe, productive and fulfilled lives, both now and in the future and fully support The Priory Federation of Academies Trust goal to create good citizens of the world.  

The academy support students to develop in many diverse aspects of life.    We aim to prepare students for their adult lives, teaching them to understand how to engage with society and providing them with plentiful opportunities to do so eg  Duke of Edinburgh award, Cadet Forces and the National Citizenship Service.  

What will my child learn during these lessons?

The PD curriculum is underpinned by the ethos and values of The Priory Ruskin Academy and we uphold it as an entitlement for all our students.  We recognise the need to work with parents and carers to ensure a shared understanding of PD and to deliver an effective and personalised programme that meets the needs of our students.   Like other subjects, discrete personal development lessons gradually build key concepts and skills through topics that are relevant to the students age and stage of development.    PD covers a wide range of topics and curriculum areas based on the following strands::

  • Careers

  • Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

  • Health and Wellbeing

  • Living in the wider world (inc. E Safety)

  • Modern British Values/SMSC

How is Personal Development taught?
  • Delivered during Tutor time

  • Assemblies delivered in House and Year groups

  • PSHE Days (6 per year) -  a full day off timetable where students spend the day focusing on specific areas of personal development pertinent to each year group. These include multi-agency days where multiple external agencies are invited in to deliver sessions.

  • External speakers – specialists are regularly invited to speak with our students on topics such as drug and alcohol awareness, contraception, higher education etc.

  • Curriculum – some of the topics are covered directly through curriculum areas such as Science, RE, English, Drama, Food Tech.  etc.


As an academy, we aim to provide our students with a skill-set that will allow them to flourish when they leave us at the end of a successful journey. Much of this skill-set comes from a rich and varied curriculum, the rest is provided through Weekly Wisdom Form time  sessions and via the PSHE days.  Sessions on career pathways and utilisation of external visitors from many different careers supports students in understanding what they need to do to reach and succeed in the careers to which they aspire.    Students are given two opportunities to complete Work Experience - once in KS4 and the second in KS5.

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) 

The Relationships, Sex and Health Education strand of the personal development programme has been refreshed for this year both in response to new statutory guidance from the Department for Education as well as feedback from students, parents, carers and academy staff.  Its primary goal is to equip students with the knowledge to create maintain positive and healthy relationships in all aspects of their lives. Sessions on trust, connections with others and expressing emotions support students in their ongoing relationships with family and friends and those on romantic and sexual attraction, intimate relationships and consent prepare students for new types of relationships they may be exposed to as they progress through the academy. 


Secondary Transition

Friendship, including respectful relationships


Online Media


Being safe


Later on:  Intimate and sexual relationships, inc. health

Health and Wellbeing

At Ruskin, we aim to give students the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, to recognise issues in themselves and others, and to seek support as early as possible when issues arise.

Topics include: 

Mental wellbeing

Physical Health and Fitness

Healthy eating

Drugs, alcohol and tobacco

Internet Safety

Health and prevention

Basic First Aid

Changing adolescent body

External speakers combined with Weekly Wisdom awareness sessions are utilised to offer expert advice to students on all aspects of their personal health including self-examination, dental health and the importance of sleep.   The aim is for the academy to develop students` confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally heathy.    

Living in the Wider World 

Student’s rights are explained to them, both in terms of their human rights and their rights as consumers of goods both physical and digital. This strand also encourages students to begin to take responsibility for their own safety when travelling, working or spending time with friends as well as how to avoid illegal and illicit activities.In a world where interactions increasingly occur online, the E-Safety strand of our personal development program aims to provide students with the tools to explore the online world safely and productively. An awareness of some of the dangers present on the internet such as online radicalisation, fake news and other harmful online content is provided and online rights and responsibilities are discussed. All strands of the personal development programme discuss the use of proper and safe use technology where applicable; this strand goes into a greater level of detail for some of these topics. 

Modern British Values/SMSC

Ruskin actively promotes  the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs. This is done through the effective spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils, through  the curriculum, collective assemblies, , extra-curricular activities and work within our local community.   

Through our provision we endeavour to:

  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self confidence

  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England

  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely

  • enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England

  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures

  • enable students to understand and appreciate the history, heritage and wide ranging cultural influences that underpin our individual and shared experience of life in modern Britain

  • encourage respect for other people

  • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England

  • Enable our students to develop a sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about the world around them and participate actively in artistic, sporting or cultural activities