Personal Development


We work alongside other professional bodies and agencies to ensure that our students are safe from harm.

The objectives are that:

  • Students are encouraged to adopt and live out our Core Values. These complement the key “British Values” of tolerance, respect, understanding, compassion and harmonious living.
  • Students are helped to understand the importance of democracy and freedom of speech, through the SEAL (Social, Emotional, Aspects of Learning) assemblies and through Student Voice members.
  • Students are taught how to keep themselves safe, in school and when using the internet.
  • Students participate in local community events so that they appreciate and value their neighbours and friends who may not share their faith background.
  • Students’ wellbeing, confidence and resilience is promoted through our planned curriculum, focus days out of hours learning opportunities.
  • Students are supported in making good choices from a young age, so they understand the impact and consequences of their actions on others.
  • Trustees, Governors, teachers, teaching assistants and non-teaching staff demonstrate an understanding of what radicalisation and extremism are and why we need to be vigilant in school.
  • Through training day opportunities in school, we will ensure that our staff are fully aware of the threats, risks and vulnerabilities that are linked to radicalisation; are aware of the process of radicalisation and how this might be identified early on.
  • The Trust has a full time Safeguarding Manager who is able to facilitate the delivery of the Home Office Workshop to Raise Awareness of Prevent. This is a 45-minute briefing and will include specific details of referrals locally.
  • All SPC members and Trustees have and will receive WRAP training.
  • All staff have opportunities to collaborate with senior members of staff, as each Year group has an attached teacher to allow for small group discussions. Professional development sessions are made available to staff as well as yearly training on INSET days.
  • Our Programme of Study for PSHE education aims to develop skills and attributes such as resilience, self-esteem, risk-management, teamworking and critical thinking in the context of learning grouped into three core themes: health and wellbeing, relationships and living in the wider world (including economic wellbeing and aspects of careers education).

Issues of inclusion are at the heart of competency education. Competency education strengthens personalised learning with a transparent structure that enables greater systemic and personal accountability, as well as continuous improvement.

The L4L curriculum has several strong embedded themes which focus on PSHE. For example, the first theme in the curriculum, Citizen Me, uses family history projects, religious festival sharing and opportunities to create class conduct rules as an opportunity to bring together disparate communities in shared values of tolerance. Projects like this have students and families work together, learn about each other’s customs, beliefs and ideas and respect each other’s views.

Aims of SMSC

At Thorns Collegiate Academy we share, support and strive to achieve the Ofsted 2012 student aims for SMSC:

  • Being reflective about beliefs, values and more profound aspects of human experiences, using their imagination and creativity and to develop curiosity in their learning. 
  • Developing and applying an understanding of right and wrong in their school life and life outside of school. 
  • Taking part in a range of activities requiring social skills. 
  • Developing an awareness of, and respect towards diversity in relation to, for example, gender, race, religion and beliefs, culture, sexual orientation and disability. 
  • Gaining a well-informed understanding of the options and challenges facing them as they move through school and on to the next stage of their education and training. 
  • Overcoming barriers to their learning. 
  • Responding positively to a range of artistic, sporting and other cultural opportunities provided by the school including, for example, developing an appreciation of theatre, music and literature. 
  • Developing the skills and attitudes to enable them to participate fully and positively in democratic, modern Britain.
  • Understanding and appreciating the range of different cultures within school and further a-field as an essential element of their preparation for life.  
How the curriculum contributes to SMSC
The Contribution of English
English contributes to our students SMSC development through:
  • Developing confidence and expertise in language, which is an important aspect of individual and social identity. 
  • Enabling students to understand and engage with the feelings and values embodied in high quality poetry, fiction, drama, film and television. 
  • Developing students’ awareness of moral and social issues in fiction, journalism, magazines, radio, television and film. 
  • Helping students to understand how language changes over time, the influences on spoken and written language and social attitudes to the use of language amongst other when appropriate.
The Contribution of Mathematics
Mathematics can provide a contribution to students’ SMSC by:
  • Supporting whole school policy on issues such as discipline and behaviour. 
  • Enabling students to acknowledge the important contribution made to mathematics by non-western countries amongst other when appropriate.  
The Contribution of Science
Science contributes to our students’ SMSC development through:
  • Encouraging students to reflect on the wonder of the natural world.
  • Have an awareness of the ways that Science and Technology can affect society and the environment.
  • Consideration of the moral dilemmas that can result in scientific developments (i.e., ethics).
  • Showing respect for differing opinions, on creation for example.
  • Co-operation in practical activities.
  • Raising awareness that scientific developments are the product of many.  
The Contribution of Information Communication Technology
ICT contributes to our students SMSC development through:
  • Preparing students for the challenges of living and learning in a technologically enriched and increasingly interconnected world.
  • Making clear the guidelines about the ethical use of the internet.   
  • Acknowledging advances in technology and appreciation for human achievement. 
The Contribution of History
History makes a contribution to SMSC by:
  •  Looking at the creation and evolution of British society. 
  • Enabling students to reflect on issues such as slavery, the holocaust and imperialism. 
  • Showing an awareness of the moral implications of the actions of historical figures (and others when appropriate).
The Contribution of Geography
Geography contributes to our students’ SMSC development through:
  • Opportunities for the reflection of Earth’s origins, creation, future and diversity are given. 
  • Reflection on the fair distribution of the Earth’s resources and issues surrounding climate change. 
  • Studies of people and physical geography give our students the chance to reflect on the social and cultural characteristics of society (and others when appropriate).
The Contribution of Modern Foreign Languages
French and German contributes to the students’ SMSC development through:
  • Students’ gaining insights into the way of life, cultural traditions, moral and social developments of other people. 
  • Social skills which are developed through group activities and communication exercises. 
  • Listening skills which are improved through oral/aural work (and others when appropriate). 

The Contribution of Art
Art contributes to SMSC by:
  • Art lessons which develop students’ aesthetic appreciation.
  • In turn, Art evokes feelings of ‘awe’ and ‘wonder’. 
  • Giving students the chance to reflect on nature, their environment and surroundings. 
  • Studying artists with spiritual or religious themes and issues raised by artists which concerns ethical issues, such as war / tribal paintings (and other when appropriate).  
The Contribution of Design and Technology 
Design and Technology makes a contribution to students’ SMSC development through:
  • Reflecting on products and inventions, the diversity of materials and the ways in which design can improve the quality of our lives. 
  • Awareness of the moral dilemmas created by technological advances. 
  • How different cultures have contributed to technology. 
  • Opportunities to work as a team, recognising others’ strengths, sharing equipment (and others when appropriate). 
The Contribution of Performing Arts
Performing Arts contributes to our students SMSC development by:
  • Exploring values and beliefs, for examples through collective singing.  
  • Discussing/reflecting upon a range of personal experiences (own performance) and observing experiences (trips, concerts and peer performances).
  • Leading students to appreciate aesthetic order, beauty and on occasion ambiguity, for example through listening activities, where possible beyond their common experience. 
  • Offering a range of high quality off-timetable music enrichment activities, for example access to individual instrumental/vocal/theory lessons with specialist peripatetic teachers (and others when appropriate). 
The Contribution of Physical Education
Students’ SMSC development is actively promoted through PE by:
  • Activities involving co-operation, teamwork, competition, rules, self-discipline and fair play. 
  • Exploring the sports and traditions of a variety of cultures. 
  • Individual activities that provide the opportunity for self-reflection, awareness and challenge (and other when appropriate). 

This year we are required to teach the new national policy on Relationships and Sex Education. This is a much-expanded set of lessons which covers all aspects of positive relationships, safety in relationships, health, different types of families, consent, e-safety and other items informing students of criminal offences such as FGM and forced marriage.

The Trust has now published the policy, which has been altered based on feedback from the consultation a few months ago and we thank you for your comments. You can find the policy here which includes the topics taught year by year. There are a very limited number of areas that can be opted out of in the new framework and you can find more information in the policy.

Session 1 programme and what students will be covering and when can be found here:

Personal Development Overview

Personal development delivery has been created for students to build on their literacy skills and there are strong connected curriculum links that middle leaders have contributed to.

Should any parent/carer have any queries around the Personal Development curriculum, please make contact with Mr Guest, Pastoral Director- who will be able to give you reassurances on the content that is being delivered and the context of the delivery.

Assemblies Plan

Family Forum Letter – 12th December

WALT Slides