Personal Development at Laurence Jackson School promotes a curriculum that supports and extends beyond the academic, technical and vocational and reaches far beyond the classroom. It fosters a sense of pride and belonging as it is hinged upon our core values of being READY, RESPECTFUL, REFLECTIVE and RESILIENT and enables students to build positive healthy RELATIONSHIPS. LJS supports our students to develop their character in readiness for the challenges of life beyond school to become happy, healthy, informed individuals who are respectful and active citizens contributing positively to their wider society.
School Ethos and Character Education
School Ethos and Character Education:
We believe that Laurence Jackson School provides an excellent educational experience through high academic standards, a supportive pastoral ethos and a wealth of enrichment opportunities which develops the whole child. At Laurence Jackson School we strive to inspire excellence by all and for all in learning and in life through a curriculum designed to inspire personalised academic excellence for students of all abilities.
We aim to develop lively, enquiring minds, encouraging our students to have a thirst for learning. We work closely with our students, building their self-confidence so they can become more independent in their learning. This enables our students to view education as a lifelong process. In addition to this, students are supported and guided through the key transition points of their education to ensure they make the right choices for their future.
Our ethos has five key elements. We know that positive relationships need to be at the centre of everything we do and students need to be able to demonstrate that they can be ready, respectful, resilient and reflective in their behaviour choices and in their attitudes to learning. The skills and characteristics that are developed by these strands are;
- good organisation to ensure students are self-motivated and self-confident
- good manners to ensure kindness and fairness to all
- good physical and emotional health to ensure good self esteem
- resilience to develop self-regulation and courage
- reflectiveness to develop independence, self-awareness and high aspirations.
We believe that supporting students to develop these skills and attributes leads to students who are equipped to be excellent both academically and socially.
Personal Development – Intent
At Laurence Jackson School, our intent is that our pastoral and academic programmes ensure students become well informed, happy, healthy individuals who are well prepared for opportunities/experiences, and become responsible and respectful members of society.
We base our Personal Development programme on our core values of being READY, RESPECTFUL, REFLECTIVE and RESILIENT which enables students to build positive healthy RELATIONSHIPS. Our Personal Development programme and school ethos is fully integrated into our daily routines and interactions within school which evident in student’s behaviour and attitude to learning
Through core themes of British values, staying safe online and offline, health and wellbeing, relationships and sex education, celebrating diversity and equality, and life beyond school, our PSHE (Learning for Life) curriculum helps equip students to live healthy, safe, productive, responsible and balanced lives.
Our academic Learning for Life curriculum provides opportunities for students to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes, exploring complex and sometimes conflicting range of values and opinions they encounter now and in the future. It acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people are experiencing, beginning with the transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence. It teaches the skills which will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life, and allows them to be more confident in addressing the challenges of effective learning and making a full and active contribution to society.
At Key Stage 4, students extend and rehearse these skills, further exploring attitudes and values, and deepen knowledge and understanding acquired during Key Stage 3. Learning for Life reflects the fact that students are moving towards an independent role in adult life, taking on greater responsibility for themselves and others. There is a significant contribution in Learning for Life, to students’ Spiritual Moral Social and Cultural (SMSC) development, their behaviour and attitudes and it promotes students’ wellbeing. Learning for Life along with our pastoral support, form time and assembly programme promote personal development by helping students to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions.
Programmes of study, for Learning for Life have a clear plan for what students should know and be able to do in PSHE by the end of KS4. The programme supports the students to thrive in a time of rapid change, with new and unpredictable opportunities and challenges constantly emerging. It takes the ‘learning opportunities’ outlined within the six core themes and helps develop the students’ concepts, skills and attributes and engage in respectful discussions about these issues. Our personal development opportunities aim to help students to:
- Identify their personal qualities, attitudes, skills, attributes and achievements and what influences these.
- Explore their attitudes, values and beliefs about them and develop the skills, language and strategies needed to manage any issues should they encounter them in their lives.
- Apply academic skills such as critical thinking and resilience, to their approach to the study of PSHE.
- Promote students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
- Equip all students with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe and be able to communicate when they do not feel safe.
- Provide expert independent, up-to-date careers guidance that gives our students the best information and opportunities available and helps them progress into further education, training and employment.
Laurence Jackson School is committed to embedding and promoting British Values through its broad, balanced, inclusive and unprejudiced curriculum. The five key British Values are:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Mutual respect
- Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs
Our students are expected to treat each other with respect on a daily basis, in line with the School’s vision, ethos and Behaviour policy.
Democracy: In Laurence Jackson School, students have numerous opportunities to have their voices heard and the chance to listen to the opinions of their peers in a respectful and controlled environment.
The Rule of Law: Throughout the school day the importance of Laws, whether they be those that govern the class, the school, the local community or the country, are consistently reinforced through the school’s behaviour policy, our Assembly programme as well as when dealing with issues of behaviour and conduct when students are expected to accept responsibility for their actions.
Through the Learning for Life curriculum students are taught the value and reasons behind laws and the consequences if these are broken.
Individual Liberty: At Laurence Jackson School we value and strive to consistently create a safe, supportive and positive culture where students are actively encouraged to make choices based on their interests and aspirations to inspire excellence. In lessons children are encouraged to rise to challenges and develop a positive Growth Mindset to become resilient and reflective learners. The school offers a range of extra-curricular opportunities together with year group competitions for students to opt into. Within the PSHE/Citizenship, RE and E-safety programme students learn about their rights and personal freedoms and are encouraged and advised on how to exercise these freedoms safely.
Mutual Respect: Mutual respect is at the heart of our ethos which is built upon positive and trusting relationships. All members of our school community treat each other with respect. This can be seen in the professional relationships formed between our students, our staff, parents, carers, local businesses and other education and training providers. Throughout the year students support local charities with fundraising.
Tolerance of those with Different Faiths and Beliefs: The curriculum in Laurence Jackson School is culturally diverse. Our RE, PSHE, SMSC and Assembly programme strive to demonstrate tolerance and respect of others. Our curriculum and school daily routines develop our pupil’s knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity and embed it into the work of the school.
Much of this work is done through our contemporary and relevant Learning for Life programme that is delivered to all students as part of their curriculum entitlement. We have units in each year group entitled ‘Rights, Responsibilities, British Values’ and ‘Celebrating Diversity and Equality’ which covers all forms of bullying, tackling racism, tolerance of diversity and human rights. Pupils are explicitly taught to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance as part of the ‘Moral Question Unit’. Students are involved in a VALT trust wide ‘Celebrating Diversity’ month where they experience a variety of activities to develop their respect of people of different faiths, religions, culture, disability and relationship choice.
The following lessons are delivered in each year group:
Y7: Why is politics important? / Campaigning and Big Debates/ The Equality Act/ Multicultural Britain/ Prejudice and Discrimination/ Challenging Islamophobia
Y8: How are laws made/ criminal law and society/ transphobia/ prison reform and punishment/ LGBTQ+/ Sexual identity/ Homophobia in Society
Y9: Extremism in all its forms/ Terrorism/ Far right and Islamic/ Proud to be British/ The radicalisation process/ How does counter terrorism work/ Ant Semitism/ White privilege
Y10/11: What is a Cult/ Exploring British values/ LGBTQ+ and British values/ LGBTQ+ Rights around the World/ Human rights and their importance/ Balancing Human Rights/ The Moral Question
Many of the British Values are further developed in other subject areas throughout their individual curriculums.
British Values form an integral part of the Votes for School voting platform with many of the weekly current affairs based on one of the five British Values.
Form time programme
Through our daily form time programme, we provide an effective pastoral support as well as engaging personal development opportunities. Through our Headteacher’s Be Ready messages at the start of each week, students are regularly reminded of our core values and school ethos. The Votes for Schools voting platform allows our students to develop their knowledge of current affairs and make an informed vote on a topical question. Through our Time to Talk programme, students have the opportunity to discuss set topics provided by our Safeguarding Lead around mental health with their form tutor and members of their form. Students get the opportunity to celebrate each other’s achievements through our ‘Feel-Good Friday’ presentations, which focus on positive engagement in school, high levels of attendance and good news stories.
Assemblies are key in enabling year groups to come together as one and creates a sense of belonging and identity as a cohort. A range of staff lead assembly as well as inviting external visitors including inspirational speakers; the fire brigade; the rotary club; the PCSOs. Students are afforded the opportunity to listen to messages which will further develop their character. Our assembly programme promotes the development of our student’s knowledge around British Values and is directly linked to key local, national and global events such as The Holocaust, Remembrance Day, Anti bullying week, refuges and celebrating different faiths. The assembly programme also supports the personal development programme through topics such as be the best you can be, online safety, standards and expectations. We also place great pride in celebrating the achievements of our students with half termly reward assemblies to raise self-confidence and self- esteem.
LJS boasts a broad and rich offer of opportunities for students to engage in learning in and outside the classroom. Our enrichment activities are placed into one of eight themes – Sport and health, wellbeing, leadership, culture, employability, creativity, academic, excellence.
We provide in school opportunities to engage all students in enrichment activities which support their personal development opportunities during school time – for example KS3 music performances on mental health and cyber bullying, careers advice presentations, employer / college visits, English Shakespeare theatre productions amongst many others.
There an abundance of extra-curricular activities students can engage in including sporting practices and fixtures, drama theatre visits, sports leadership opportunities, Scholars Award, Mock Trial team, choir and orchestra, Christmas and Spring concerts, drama club and annual performances.
Foreign visits such as Geography trips to Iceland and ski trips allow students to experience different cultures and customs in different countries.
Some of our enrichment activities include:
- Drama Opportunities
- Sporting Opportunities
- The Scholars Award
- Music – enrichment via choir/instrumental/musical concerts
- Anti-Bullying Ambassadors
- Duke of Edinburgh Award
- Careers trips and visits/ Career Ambassadors
- CSSP Leadership Academy Ambassadors
- Bike Ability Safety Course.
- Jackson Club
- History and Geography clubs
Our current enrichment activity offer can be found here.
Relationship and Sex Education:
As part of our Learning for Life curriculum there is a unit in every year group entitled Relationships and Sex Education and one entitled Healthy Relationships.
We provide complete coverage of statutory content and when required additional enrichment opportunities are undertaken. We also use a Brook, an external provider, to support us with the delivery of certain topics within the RSE curriculum.
We ensure consultation takes place with parents on an annual basis with curriculum content and the RSE policy is shared providing an opportunity for all parents to share any queries or concerns around this aspect of the curriculum.
There is a high-quality Relationships and Sex Education offer which is integrated into the Learning for Life curriculum with an age-appropriate focus on sexual harassment with strong links to external providers to engage students.
(HT 2) – Growing up, Intro to puberty, puberty (boys and girls), assertiveness, consent and hormones.
(HT 4) – Consent and boundaries, managing friendships and relationships, what makes a good friend, respect and relationships, peer pressure and prejudice
(HT5) – What is RSE? Contraception, Dealing with conflict, healthy, respectful relationships.
(HT4) – FGM and the Law, Sexual consent and the law, why have sex? Relationships and partners, Sexual harassment and stalking, HIV and Aids, HIV Discrimination and prejudice
(HT 6) – Sexting and nude pics, unhealthy relationships, sexual assault and rape, sexualisation of the media, domestic abuse and violence
(HT5) – Alcohol, parties and bad choices, respect, love and relationships, Fertility.
Health and Well Being Support:
We support our students with their mental and physical health and well-being within our PSHE/ Learning for Life Curriculum in every year group in the units entitled ‘Staying Safe and Online and Offline’ and ‘Health and Wellbeing’
Y7: Gaming safely/ energy drinks and caffeine/ e cigs and vaping/ nicotine/ alcohol/ why not join a gang? / Assertiveness and consent/ Consent and boundaries/ sleep and relaxation
Y8: County Lines/ CEOP/ Grooming/ Substance Misuse/ Alcohol and society/ What is mental health/ positive body image/ eating disorders/ healthy eating and cholesterol/ stress/ Child abuse.
Y9: Introduction to Drugs Education/ Different types of addiction/ Cannabis production/ Drugs and their classifications/ Party Drugs/ Class A and B Drugs/ Volatile Substances/ HBT bullying/ dealing with grief and loss/ unrealistic body image/ self-esteem/ self-harm/ Cancer prevention and healthy lifestyles
Y10: Honour based violence/ online gambling/ causes of knife crime/ modern day slavery/ fake news/ screen time and the safe use of mobile phones/ sexting nudes/ Common types of mental health/ promoting emotional wellbeing/ suicide/ child sexual abuse.
Y11: Online reputation and digital footprint/ substance addiction/ new psychotic substances/ festivals and nitrous oxide/ drugs and the war on drugs/ cosmetic and aesthetic procedures/ virtual reality/ live streaming/ gaming on line/ testicular cancer/ cervical and breast cancer/ organ donation and blood donation/ teenage pregnancy choices/ abortion law/ gambling awareness
Form Time Support: Time to talk sessions are a chance for students and staff to have an informal chat about mental health and wellbeing issues and how young people may experience different feelings and how to deal with them. This is not about discussing personal situations or solving/diagnosing mental health issues. It is commonly known that discussing issues, without pressure or judgement, help students to process their thoughts and feelings. Staff deliver a discussion-based presentation on key themes linked to mental well-being e.g. stress/ anxiety/ sadness.
Assembly themes directly link to health and wellbeing and many extra-curricular and enrichment opportunities enhance student wellbeing.
Online and Offline Safety:
New technologies have become integral to the lives of children and young people in today’s society, both within schools and in their lives outside school. The internet and other digital and information technologies including social media are powerful tools which open up new opportunities for everyone. New technologies help teachers and students learn from each other. They can stimulate discussion, promote creativity and effective learning. Children and young people should have an entitlement to safe internet access at all times. The requirement to ensure that children and young people are able to use the internet and related communications technologies appropriately and safely is addressed as part of the wider duty of care to which all who work in schools are bound. The school online safety policy should help to ensure safe and appropriate use. The use of these exciting and innovative tools in school and at home has been shown to raise educational standards and promote student achievement.
Additionally, students to be equipped with the skills needed to identify risks or warning signs off line, to be able to resist internal or external pressures, make informed decisions, given exit strategies for unsafe situations and to know how and when to whom to ask for help, including reporting concerns.
At the start of each academic year, all students receive age-appropriate lessons on online and offline safety in their ICT lessons. Elements of ensuring awareness of on and offline safety is also covered within our PSHE/ Learning for Life Curriculum in every year group in the units entitled ‘Staying Safe and Online and Offline’.
Y7: Staying safe on line/ gaming safely/ e cigs and vaping/ nicotine/ alcohol/ why not join a gang?
Y8: County Lines/ CEOP/ Grooming/ Substance Misuse/ Alcohol and society/ Cyber bullying and on-line safety
Y9: Introduction to Drugs Education/ Different types of addiction/ Cannabis production/ Drugs and their classifications/ Party Drugs/ Class A and B Drugs/ Volatile Substances
Y10: Honour based violence/ online gambling/ social media violation/ keeping your data safe/ causes of knife crime/ modern day slavery/ fake news/ screen time and the safe use of mobile phones/ sexting nudes
Y11: Online reputation and digital footprint/ substance addiction/ new psychotic substances/ festivals and nitrous oxide/ drugs and the war on drugs/ cosmetic and aesthetic procedures/ virtual reality/ live streaming/ gaming on line
Please follow this Link to careers section of website Careers Education Programme – Laurence Jackson