Personal Development (PD) is at the heart of our curriculum. It promotes, adopts and embeds a range of skills that allow our children to become lifelong learners.
At Maple Tree Primary School, we aim to ensure our children become informed, responsible, respectful and active citizens, regardless of their social and/or economic background, able to navigate through life safely, happily and healthily. Children are growing up in a world that is constantly changing, and it is our duty, in partnership with parents, to ensure that all our pupils are prepared to manage their lives now, and in the future by developing their cultural capital skills and the knowledge and understanding needed.
We consistently promote the British values and our school values along with supporting the health and wellbeing of all pupils within school which has the potential to improve their educational outcomes, along with preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life.
Personal development is both a subject and a school ethos. It is reflected in our school motto of Climbing the Branches of Success and in our school values. We want each child to leave the school feeling confident, unique and proud.
How we teach Personal Development
We understand the crucial role we can play in helping children to prepare for their adult lives so they can go on to engage positively in society.
Maple Tree Primary School teaches personal development in a wide range of ways, for example:
- It is taught in discrete lessons
- It is taught with cross-curricular links in other lessons, such as English, physical education and religious education
- Staff members consistently model how to be a good citizen who uphold the school values
- Assemblies (whole school and special visitors)
- E-Safety lessons in computing and assembly
- Celebrating positive learning attributes with weekly certificates
- Variety of lunchtime and after school clubs
- Well thought through transitions throughout the school and beyond
- Focusing on mental and physical health
- Pupil Parliament
- Eco-warriors’ group
- Celebrating different languages, cultures and religions
- Activity trips
Our curriculum contributes to the personal development of the pupils. We use a PSHCE scheme (3D) and supplement this with our RHE curriculum, using resources from Rethink Periods and the PSHE association. Parents were consulted on our RSHE curriculum initially, when the curriculum was developed, and are contacted again each year when sensitive topics are being taught. As a school, we focus on healthy relationships. Only teachers deliver these lessons and have received training for this. Online safety is covered both in PSHE and computing and is kept up to date to reflect the ever-changing digital development. For example, the use of TikTok by UKS2 children. Our RE curriculum, in line with the National Curriculum, teaches knowledge of, and respect for, a range of religions and beliefs.
At Maple Tree Primary School, spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) elements are developed across all subjects and aspects of school life. Children develop the ability to be reflective about their own and others’ lives and positive relationships are evident across school. Children readily apply an understanding of right and wrong to their everyday lives and are passionate about the many creative and cultural opportunities they are given including those that are artistic, musical and sporting.
How do we promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils?
SMSC is developed in all subjects and lots of aspects of school life:
Examples of what we do at Maple Tree Primary School
Explore beliefs and experience;
Recognise right and wrong;
Use social skills in different contexts;
Appreciate cultural influences;
Maple Tree Primary School is extremely proud to be a healthy school. As a healthy school, we meet the criteria in four core areas. These criteria relate not only to the taught curriculum but also to the wider aspects and ethos of the life of our school. The four core areas of Healthy Schools are;
- Personal Social Health Education (PSHE)
- Healthy Eating
- Physical Activity
- Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH)
We believe all four areas within Healthy Schools are interrelated and also independent. Our work in this area is a vital aspect of our ethos and approach and is vital in helping our children and wider school community on our quest to ‘'climb the branches of success'.
Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) & the statutory Relationships and Health Education Guidance
Changes to the curriculum
Relationships and Health Education (the guidance for which relates to many parts of our established PSHE curriculum) became compulsory in all primary schools from September 2020. We are proud of a curriculum here at Maple Tree Primary School which celebrates diversity, encourages respect towards everyone and fully prepares our pupils for life in modern Britain.
The DfE have produced a useful guide for parents/carers outlining the changes. You can view this guide here.
We follow a scheme of learning from 3D Curriculum, and in Early Years Foundation we follow guidance from Birth to 5 Matters and the Development Matters Report, (non-statutory curriculum guidance for EYFS). Within each key stage children are taught the knowledge, skills and understanding based on three core themes: health (physical and mental) and wellbeing, relationships, and living in the wider world. Furthermore, children are taught essential knowledge, skills and understanding through learning about relationships and health within the R.H.E. curriculum. Each unit of work builds upon prior learning, ensuring connections are identified.
Please click the image below for our coverage of PSHE and RHE at Maple Tree.
The promotion of pupils’ personal development, (which includes their social development) is a fundamental aspect of education and underpins all other learning. Through our curriculum, school environment and Values based education, we promote pupils’ self-esteem and emotional well-being and help them to form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships, based on respect for themselves and for others, at home, at school, at work, in the community and for the future. At Maple Tree, we demonstrate a whole school approach towards the mental health of our pupils, staff and parents/carers, so that we promote and embed awareness within themselves and others. All children participate in P.S.H.C.E. learning, through topics, such as, Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World.
P.S.H.C.E. is taught weekly. This can be through discrete learning following our scheme of learning, or circle times that identify specific needs of each class. R.H.E. is taught throughout the year within our scheme of learning. Again, any needs of individual class may be identified and discussed within a circle time or with individual children as necessary. Values assemblies are held weekly, following identified specific values for each month. Values Based Education is at the foundations of our schools’ ethos, and as such, adults and children alike observe all of our values on a daily basis. Over the year we make links to specific local, national and international events - for example - Anti-Bullying Week, Children’s Mental Health Week and charitable events such as Children in Need. Children identified with mental health concerns are given additional tiered support in collaboration with teaching staff and parents/carers. Children gain a deeper understanding of skills being taught through high quality resources and key texts.
RHE at Maple Tree
R.H.E. became statutory within the curriculum in September 2020; we teach relationships through our P.S.H.C.E. curriculum. Children from EYFS to Year 6 learn about the differences in families and friendships. From Lower Key Stage 2, children begin to learn about puberty and how both boys and girls change. The topic of puberty and change is taught in mixed gender classes as we see it as fundamental that all children should understand the needs of each other. The needs of all, including those who identify as LGBTQ+ are supported and treated respectfully and sensitively. We teach children the knowledge they need to recognise and to report abuse, including emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Here we focus on boundaries and privacy, ensuring young people understand that they have rights over their own bodies. This includes understanding boundaries in friendships with peers and also in families and with others, in all contexts, including online.Staff pedagogy is carried out in a timely manner and is relevant to the needs of all. External agency advise is sought where necessary.
Our RHE policy can be found on Our Policies page.
The mental health and emotional wellbeing of all pupils underpins everything we do at Maple Tree School.
Many people at some time in their life experience difficulties with social, emotional and mental health. These may be caused by a specific event such as illness or changes within the family, or may be a result of a longer term condition. Children in school may express their feelings in a number of ways for example:
- Becoming withdrawn
- Getting angry
- Changes in behaviour
- Friendship difficulties
Many problems can be overcome with the support of the class teachers and other staff throughout the school.
All staff including teachers, support staff and midday assistants are vigilant in recognising children’s needs and responding to them. Most issues can be resolved when the child speaks to a trusted adult, and it is vital that parents talk to school if there is a problem. Parents should also encourage their child to speak to someone in school as soon as a problem arises.
More information can be found on our Mental Health and Wellbeing pages.