Personal Development

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education equips pupils to live healthy, safe,productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives.  It encourages them to be enterprising and supports them in making effective transitions, positive learning and career choices and in achieving economic well being.  Students are given opportunities to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes and explore the complex and sometimes conflicting range of values and attitudes they encounter now and in the future.


PSHE education contributes to personal development by helping pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions.  It enables them to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to mange emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings.  Developing an understanding of themselves, empathy and the ability to work with others will help pupils to form and maintain good relationships, develop the essential skills for future employability and better enjoy and manage their lives.

Citizenship education helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society.  It fosters pupils' keen awareness and understanding of democracy, government and how laws are made and upheld.  It enables pupils to be equipped with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically, to weigh evidence, debate and make reasoned arguments.  It also prepares pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions.

SMSC stands for Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
Spiritual: The opportunity to explore beliefs, experience and faiths, feelings and values; enjoy learning about oneself, others and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity and reflect on experiences.
Moral: The opportunity to learn what is right and wrong and respect the law; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views.
Social: The opportunity to use a range of social skills to participate in the local community and beyond, appreciate diverse viewpoints; participate, volunteer and cooperate; resolve conflict.
Cultural: The opportunity to explore and appreciate cultural influences; appreciate the role of Britain's parliamentary system; participate in cultural opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.

In Years 7-8 and Years 10-11 every student has one lesson of Personal Development a week.  In Year 9 students participate in whole year group sessions throughout the year.

Year 7 - The current programme for Year 7 includes:

  • Personal development and where you fit in
  • British Values and Citizenship, including rights and responsibilities and prejudice and discrimination
  • Personal finance
  • Relationships, to include friendships, peer pressure, bullying, families and romance
  • Online safety
  • Wellbeing, including physical and mental health
  • Careers
  • Volunteering: personal/community
  • Oral presentations: inspirational people

Year 8 - The current programme for Year 8 includes:

  • British Values and Citizenship, including culture, prejudice and discrimination, immigration, freedom, law and the role of the police
  • Careers: employability skills and entry into the national Step into the NHS competition
  • Online safety
  • Wellbeing, including physical and mental health
  • Relationships including friends, family, romance and sex education
  • Personal finance
  • Study skills
  • Oral presentations: current local, UK and/or world issues

Year 9 - The current programme for Year 9 includes:

  • Year 9 Careers day
  • Health and risk-taking behaviour
  • Chelsea's Choice: a production about child sexual exploitations, grooming and online safety
  • Feel the Heat: a production about hate crime and how this affects different groups in society
  • Heartstart (when available)

Year 10 - The current Year 10 programme includes:

  • Radicalisation and extremism
  • Careers options and interviews
  • Drugs and risk-taking behaviours
  • Personal finance
  • Careers: CVs, local labour market, oral presentaitons and making a telephone call
  • Sex and relationships education (family, LGBTQ and consent)
  • Online safety
  • Honour based violence/female genital mutilation/forced marriages and mental health awareness

Year 11 - The current Year 11 programme includes:

  • Radicalisation and extremism
  • Study skills
  • Online safety
  • The role of the media
  • Democracy
  • Careers: interviews and application forms
  • Sex and Relationships Education (health related including consent)
  • The law and the legal system

Aspects of PHSE are also covered through themed assemblies delivered by a range of staff and external visitors throughout the year.
SMSC is integral to all we do at Keswick School and is explicit in a wide range of subjects.


Teaching Staff
Mrs M Avery, BA (Hons) PGCE (Head of Personal Development)