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Edgbarrow School

Personal Development

Personal Development at Edgbarrow School is built upon the foundations and vision of our school which delivers fantastic opportunities for all students to ‘Enjoy - Grow - Achieve’. We do this in a fully inclusive environment where diversity is celebrated; students are encouraged to embrace opportunities and develop into confident, independent and resilient young adults, ready to improve the world around them – and its key values of Ready, Respectful, Safe and Positive. These values underpin our schools’ culture and everyday school experience from the Edgbarrow8 within the curriculum to pastoral care. We also actively promote and develop students' understanding and appreciation for the five core British Values - tolerance, rule of law, democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect.

Edgbarrow believes in the holistic development of its students, offering them more chances so they have more choices in the future. We want all our students to take these opportunities.

Our Personal Development curriculum goes beyond the national curriculum. It offers unique learning experiences which provide students with enriched Cultural Capital. By offering a varied and diverse set of experiences, we help to prepare students for the culturally diverse nature of the society in which we live.

Edgbarrow ensures students are resilient, ambitious and reflective learners, with a deep understanding of themselves and any other cultural context. Edgbarrow intends to ensure, through a broad and balanced curriculum, with extensive enrichment opportunities, that students develop key skills to be actively engaged independent learners with confident interpersonal skills.

To meet our personal development intention, we implement a curriculum for students to have significant chances to learn and actively engage in five key areas:

  • SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural) - PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) Intent / Citizenship
  • Character Education
  • Cultural Capital opportunities
  • British Values
  • Careers and Work-Related Learning

You can find more details on these areas below. The Personal Development curriculum is developed in line with statutory guidance and The PSHE Association's recommended curriculum.

Edgbarrow School Personal Development Map

Please visit our Newsletters page to view our termly Personal Development newsletter.

SMSC, PSHE and Citizenship


To educate, inform and equip students with the knowledge needed to become conscientious, independent and accountable young adults, who can make well-informed decisions.

SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social & Cultural) is embedded throughout the curriculum and pastoral care at Edgbarrow. SMSC development is seen every day via the Heads of Year and Tutors and weekly in assemblies.

The PSHE Curriculum is delivered weekly - this is an example lesson for Year 7 on Personal Identity, and Week B assemblies reinforce the theme of the Friday lesson.

Please select this link to view our weekly assembly themes. Please visit our Policies page to view our Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) policy.

Students embed the core values of Edgbarrow and are taught to be mindful and respectful of one another’s views, demonstrating tolerance to differences in opinions. We encourage students to be reflective learners, showing ambition and a thirst for learning to improve as individuals, whilst having pride in their work and environment. This enables them to develop holistically and become active participants in modern British life. This is a real strength of Edgbarrow and is embedded in the pastoral system throughout tutor time, enrichment days, educational visits, student leadership teams, peer mentor programmes and assemblies. Students reflect on the difference between right and wrong, and they are equipped to apply reasoning and critical thinking skills to their own lives, based on their moral compass. Our Behaviour Policy ensures students reflect on their own decision-making and choices.

To promote and embed SMSC, curriculum departments play a significant role in upholding Edgbarrow's key values and understanding of SMSC. Ready Respectful Safe and Positive and Edgbarrow8 provide a shared language for learning and attitudes.

 Character Education

Character Education poster

Developing the whole person so students are equipped for life is key to Edgbarrow and Character Education drives this aim. It is integrated within the school and tracked via the pastoral team. Edgbarrow strives to ensure it is fully inclusive for all students and that all students are challenged to consider their own development. This is initially developed in the tutor group system from Year 7, where students are encouraged to have loyalty and determination to ensure the success of their tutor group. These relationships are built within a rolling year group system and ensure strong relationships are built amongst peers and Head of Year and Tutor. Within this safe space, students develop the characteristics of service, community, resilience, bravery empathy, and support. These characteristics are developed within their learning, through the range of teaching and pedagogical strategies used.

Students develop their character at Edgbarrow in several ways including:

  • Inter-form competitions
  • Tour guides
  • Young Enterprise at the PTA Christmas Shopping Evening
  • Peer mentors
  • Form reps
  • Student Council
  • Prefects
  • Public speaking
  • Charity events

Cultural Capital

Student choices in later life are greatly improved with the greater Cultural Capital they are exposed to; therefore, part of the Personal Development program at Edgbarrow, is to ensure that all students are offered a range of enrichment activities. The activities are designed to develop a thirst for learning, a passion for the local and global environment, arts and cultures. They will help develop students’ character by being ambitious, and challenging their resilience so they are equipped for life experiences once they leave us, such as further education and the world of work. These are some of the Cultural Capital opportunities at Edgbarrow:

Duke of Edinburgh's Award

Image of D of E logoEdgbarrow is incredibly proud to offer the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels to all students from Year 9 through to Year 13. The DofE Award is a highly prestigious co-curricular programme that is recognised around the world for developing a huge range of interpersonal skills amongst participants – incredibly valuable for future study and employment. Over the past three years, more than 200 students have participated in the DofE Award, completing activities in volunteering, physical, and skills sections, as well as completing a self-sufficient expedition. It provides students with a life-changing opportunity to engage in experiences that challenge them, enhancing their skills in leadership, resilience, cooperation, teamwork, communication, and confidence. Please visit our DofE page for further information.

British Values

As part of the Personal Development programme, Edgbarrow is committed to developing young people to be respectful, responsible and purposeful citizens who understand their rights and responsibilities as a British citizen, community member and global consumers. They are taught about the key values through the curriculum areas and pastoral system:-

  • Democracy
  • Rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect
  • Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs

These are some of the opportunities at Edgbarrow that celebrate British Values:

  • Student Elections
  • Assemblies
  • PSHE
  • NCS
  • LGBTQ+ group.

British Values poster

Promoting British Values at Edgbarrow

Careers and Work-Related Learning

The final strand of Personal Development is Careers and Work-Related Learning. Closely following the Gatsby Benchmarks, every year group has a specific work-related learning curriculum and enrichment opportunities. These enrich the student’s knowledge of local and global businesses and support them to consider their next steps vital for Year 9 Options, Year 11s and Year 13 post-education choices.

Please visit our Careers pages for further information.