Personal Development

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT (PD) is a subject studied by every student at Stanley High School and comprises of PHSE (Personal, Social & Health Education), Citizenship and Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG).


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Curriculum Intent

The intent of our Personal Development curriculum is to deliver a holistic ethos which pervades through everyday life, as well as a curriculum which is accessible to all. We endeavour to maximise the outcomes for every child so that they know more, remember more and understand more by completing their programme of study for each year group. At Stanley High School, Personal Development education is inclusive and enables all our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of a society. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, and tackles many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about British Values and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community.

At Stanley High School, we seek to use Personal Development education to build, where appropriate, on the basic school curriculum and in statutory guidance on: drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education (SRE) and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle. Our curriculum also incorporates religious beliefs, values and identity allowing our students to develop into well-rounded members of our community.

All students receive timetabled Personal Development lessons. These cover the statutory content expected within the PSHE/RSE guidelines. The Personal Development Curriculum can be seen below, which shows what topics the students follow within their timetabled lessons.

Personal Development content is also supported within form time and assemblies. So far this year, the themes for the week covered in assemblies and form time have included: resolving conflict (this is part of our Active Citizens programme); anti-bullying (led by our Anti-bullying Ambassadors, who have trained in the Diana Award scheme); Black History Month; Mental Health Awareness; and Diversity and Inclusion (led by our DI@S student group).

We have several student support groups that are led by older students. These include: Anti-bullying Ambassadors, Student Mental Health Support Team, DI@S (Diversity and Inclusion at Stanley), and our Junior Leadership Team. As all these groups are led by students, the rest of the student body feel that they have people they can go to closer to their own age group, as well as at least one trusted adult in school. These groups will carry out surveys, deliver assemblies and offer drop in sessions during lunchtimes for other students to access.


Our programme takes a competencies-based approach to Personal Development Education through the curriculum. It groups competencies (including skills and attributes) under the following headings:

  • Being Me in My World;
  • Celebrating Difference;
  • Dreams and Goals;
  • Healthy Me;
  • Relationships;
  • Changing Me.

Risk management and help-seeking strategies are addressed throughout, but in some units of work the programme highlights where these will be especially relevant or essential to the learning. Although the organisational starting point for this programme is developing competencies, this does not mean that building knowledge is not a central part of this model. The competencies are developed through the context of different topic areas, each with its own knowledge content. For example, ‘developing agency, the ability to manage influence and access support’ can be taught through the context of drugs and alcohol which would include the relevant factual knowledge. Religious content is evident throughout to match statutory guidance. Students do not complete data captures in personal development however progress is assessed throughout.


By the end of our students journey they will have developed the following skills:

  • Students will demonstrate and apply the British Values of Democracy, Tolerance, Mutual respect, Rule of law and Liberty
  • Students will have an understanding about relationships, friendships and how to communicate with people
  • Students will demonstrate a healthy outlook towards school which will help with attendance and behaviour
  • Students will build emotional resilience and become responsible members of society
  • Students will be on their journey preparing them for life and work in modern Britain
  • Students will be able to use their learning throughout the other subjects and general life experiences

We believe that Personal Development plays a vital part of secondary education and as well as discrete focused lessons, it is also embedded throughout the curriculum and school ethos. Personal Development is integral to the development of our student’s values for them to become a well-rounded citizen in a forever changing community.


Attainment Descriptors: Tracking Pupil Progress

Baseline, ongoing and summative assessment opportunities are afforded in every unit.

Personal Development Curriculum Overview

Year/ age Being Me in My World Celebrating Difference Dreams and Goals Healthy Me Relationships Changing Me
Year 7 (11-12) Unique me, differences & conflict, my influences, peer pressure, online safety, sexting, consequences, online legislation Bullying, prejudice
& discrimination
(positive and
negative), Equality
Act, bystanders,
behaviour and
identifying goals,
learning from
skills, safe &
unsafe choices,
gangs, knives,
emergency first
Stress and
anxiety, managing
mental health,
physical activity
and mental health,
of substances,
nutrition, sleep,
vaccination and
importance of
information on
making health
Characteristics of
relationships and
change, emotions
within friendships,
peer on peer
abuse, rights and
being discerning,
Puberty changes,
facts, FGM,
responsibilities of
parenthood, IVF,
types of
media and
brain changes in
puberty, factors
affecting moods,
sources of help
and support
Year 8 (12-13) Self-identity,
influences, family
and identity,
personal beliefs
and judgements,
first impressions,
respect for the
beliefs of others
Active listening
Positive change
made by others,
how positive
behaviour affects
feelings of
wellbeing, social
injustice, inequality,
cohesion and
support, multiculturalism,
diversity, race and
prejudice, LGBT+
bullying, peer on
peer abuse hate
crime, fear &
Stand up to
bullying, the golden
Organ and blood
Long-term goals, skills, qualifications, careers, money and happiness, ethics and mental wellbeing, budgeting, variation in income, positive and negative impact of money, online legal responsibilities, gambling issues Long-term
physical health,
responsibility for
own health,
dental health,
stress triggers
and help tips,
substances and
mood, legislation
associated with
exploitation and
county lines,
relationship with
self, social media
and relationship
with self,
negative self-talk,
managing a range
of relationships,
peer on peer
abuse, personal
space, online
etiquette, online
privacy, bullying
and personal
safety, social
media issues and
the law, coercion,
unhealthy balance
of power in
sources of support
Types of close
love, legal
status of
behaviours in
healthy and
alcohol and
risky behaviour
Year 9 (13-14) Perceptions
about intimate
consent, sexual
exploitation, peer
approval, peer
on peer abuse,
county lines, risky
positive and
negative self-identity, groups,
influences, social
media, abuse and
coercion, coercive
Equality Act,
phobic and racist
language, legal
consequences of
bullying and hate
crime, sexism,
ageism, positive
and negative
language, banter,
peer on peer
abuse, bullying in
the workplace,
direct and indirect
discrimination and
strengths, health
goals, SMART
planning, the
world of work,
links between
body image and
mental health,
dreams and
goals, mental
health and ill
health, media
self-harm, self-esteem, stigma,
anxiety disorders,
eating disorders,
about young
peoples’ health
choices, physical
and psychological
effects of drugs
and alcohol,
alcohol and the
law, alcohol and
drug poisoning,
addiction, smoking,
vaping, drug
supply and
first aid, CPR,
substances and
safety, sources of
advice and support
Power and control
in intimate
risk in intimate
importance of
sexual consent,
skills, sex and the
law, pornography
and stereotypes,
choices, age of
consent, family
consequences of
unprotected sex,
STIs, support and
advice services
Mental health
stigma, triggers,
support strategies,
resilience and
how to improve it,
reflection on
importance of
sleep in relation to
mental health,
on changes,
benefits of
Year 10 (14-15) Human rights,
societal freedom,
safety in UK and
beyond, ending
safely, stages of
grief, loss and
peer on peer
abuse, social
media and
culture, use of
online data,
threats to online
safety, online
assessing and
managing risk,
the law and
social media
Risk and
Positive and
Equality including
in the workplace,
in society, in
Equality Act 2010
groups including
disability and
hidden disability
Rights and
Power and control
in relationships,
coercive control
Benefits of multicultural societies
Equity, equality
and inequality
My health
Impact of
physical health in
reaching goals,
relationships and
reaching goals,
work/life balance,
connections and
impact on mental
health, balanced
diet, vital organs,
blood donation,
benefits of
helping others,
online profile and
impact on future
goals and
Improving health,
mental health,
sexual health,
diet and long-term
health, misuse of
prescription drugs,
substances and the
body, common
mental health
disorders, positive
impact of
common threats
to health including
chronic disease,
epidemics, misuse
of antibiotics
Organ donation
Stem cells
intimacy, healthy
with self-attraction,
love, lust
choices, ending
of relationships
ending e.g.
bullying, peer on
peer abuse,
revenge porn,
Impact on family
love, fake news
Impact of societal
change on young
people, role
of media on
societal change,
reflection on
change so far
and how to
manage it
decision making,
sexual identity
gender, spectrum
of sexuality,
in romantic
sexual identity
and risk,
physical and
changes, family
sources of
Year 11 (15-16) Becoming an
adult. Age limits
and the law
Relationships and
the law, consent,
coercive control,
peer on peer
abuse, domestic
abuse, honour-based, violence,
arranged and
forced marriages
The Equality Act
The law on
internet use and
Social media
concerns, sexting
Keeping safe,
situations, key
advice, first aid,
scenarios and
Anxiety, solution
focused thinking,
sleep, relaxation,
Aspiration on;
career, finances,
realistic goals,
gambling, financial
pressure, debt,
dream jobs, skill
set, employment,
education and
training options,
dreams and
goals, parenting
skills and
resilience, what
to do when things
go wrong
Managing anxiety
and stress,
exam pressure,
strategies, work-life balance, sexual
health, hygiene,
self- examination,
STIs, sexual
pressure, fertility
consent, pregnancy
facts and myths,
pregnancy choices
including adoption,
abortion, bringing
up a baby, financial
identifying a range
of risks including
rape and strategies
for staying safe
Expectations in
Stages of intimate
positive and
of sex, spectrum
of gender and
sexuality, LGBT+
rights and
protection under
the Equality Act,
“coming out”
challenges, LGBT+
media stereotypes,
peer on peer
abuse, power,
control and sexual
forced marriage,
violence, FGM and
other abuses, hate
crime, sources of


Anti-bullying is an issue that concerns all Parents/Carers and at Stanley High School we take it seriously.

Our school is a member of the National Children’s Bureau, Anti Bullying Alliance. We work closely with this organisation to ensure that we have the most up-to-date information and advice in the quest to stamp out bullying.

We also have students who are trained in The Diana Award, which exists to empower young people to make that positive change. With support, guidance and opportunities every young person can reach their full potential, ensuring no young person is left out or left behind.

Our anti-bullying work continues throughout the school year in Personal Development lessons, assemblies and form time. However, a major focus is placed on the issue during Anti-Bullying Week, which is recognised annually in school.

Whether it is verbal, physical, online or in-person, bullying has a significant impact on a child’s life. Bullying in childhood can have a long-lasting impact. The Anti-Bullying Alliance is urging action for this year’s Anti-Bullying Week and saying that by making small simple changes, we can break this cycle and create a safe environment for everyone.

For our school community, we are going to focus on helping our students to reflect on their social media usage. We are going to ask students to think about the impact of our words or stopping before hitting ‘like’ on a hurtful social media post.

To support our work to challenge prejudice and bullying, Stanley High School is also a member of Stonewall.  Stonewall is an organisation that works to ensure the inclusivity of the LGBTQ Community within schools. This highlights the commitment that we have undertaken in school to ensure that students understand what homophobic bullying is and that it will not be tolerated within our school or local community.


Technology is now a vital and exciting part of our working and social lives. At Stanley High School our students and staff use technology in many forms to support learning and teaching. The school systems are managed to protect staff and students from any risk and all staff, students and parents sign an Acceptable Usage Policy at the start of each school year.

Internet use in school is filtered and monitored and there are restrictions in the use of devices that have direct access to the internet. Devices loaned to be used at home are also subject to school filtering and monitoring.

At home, when using personal devices if you unsure about how to handle a certain situation then please visit some of the following websites:

Mental Health

Students’ mental health and wellbeing is at the forefront of all of our minds at Stanley High School and we do our best as a whole school community to ensure that we look out for and care for each other. However, at times some students may struggle with everyday life and the pressure of studying and school is here to support them. We provide a comprehensive education package of assemblies, tutor time activities and Personal Development lessons to help students understand what good mental health and wellbeing looks like and when/ how to identify issues and seek support when necessary.

We have an amazing Pastoral Team who work closely with parents/ carers and students to offer emotional and wellbeing support. As part of Sefton’s Mental Health Support Team, we work closely with external organisations to provide bespoke support for individuals requiring it. This includes online support using national advice and counselling agencies, in-school counselling services, group wellbeing sessions, referrals to Venus, Kooth and Early Help.

Anyone who is concerned about their own or another person’s mental health or wellbeing can talk confidentially to their trusted adult who will alert the Health and Wellbeing Team for support.

For information on support services available to young people in Sefton visit:-

Access Sefton

A free, confidential service, commissioned by the NHS. The service is available to anyone aged 16+ and registered with a Sefton G.P. For more information call 0300 303 2708 or visit

The Star Centre

The Star Centre (provided by Venus) opened in June 2017. They provide a place where young people up to the age of 18 can access information and advice on mental health issues, as well as group support and a variety of therapies. For more information call 0151 474 4744 or visit

What’s on at the Star Thornton

Parents guide on teenage depression

Within this parent’s guide to teenage depression, Priory Group’s child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr Hayley van Zwanenberg looks at what can cause depression in young people and how it can feel for them. She also outlines the warning signs of teenage depression and highlights where parents and carers can turn for support.

Priory Group has a young people’s mental health service, and is dedicated to providing the best mental health support for children and adolescents.


A free confidential telephone helpline which takes calls from victims, parents or from people with information about the bullying of children. The Merseyside based team can also provide practical advice and can act as a mediator between the organisation where the bullying is taking place and the parents/carer of the child involved. For more information call 0800 169 6928 or

Additional support and information available

Mental Health/Anxiety – Information for Young People and Families about CAMHS and mental health. –Support for parents/ carers and young people in relation to mental health. –Self-help website to Young people with depression, anxiety, anger, panic, stress, bereavement, phobias, traumatic stress, sleep problems, obsession and compulsions. – Self-help website for young people and parents/carers to support with anxiety – Self-help website for ADHD, anger, anxiety, pain, suicidal thoughts, depression, flashbacks, self-esteem, OCD, panic, problem solving, psychosis, relationships, stress.

Advice & Support/Counselling – Online counselling support to young people – Support to Young people – information, advice and guidance support

Self Harm –Support for young people who self-harm

Eating Disorders – Beat is the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, EDNOS or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape

Sexuality – Information and support to Transgender individuals

Voices/Visions – Support to children/ young people who hear voices, sees visions or have unusual sensory experiences

Sexual exploitation

Child Sexual Exploitation and is a form of sexual, emotional and physical abuse of children.

It often involves the young person being given food, accommodation, drugs, affection, gifts or money in return for performing sexual activities.

Violence, coercion and intimidation are common in cases of CSE as many perpetrators target vulnerable young people.

This vulnerability is often due to economic or personal circumstances that leave young people with few choices.

Inappropriate relationships

These relationships usually involve one perpetrator who has power or control over a young person due to being physically stronger, older or wealthier. This can include familial abuse – when an older family member exploits their child or sibling.

The older relative may be vulnerable to CSE due to mental health problems, drug or alcohol dependency or previous experience of exploitation. Sometimes the relative may be forced or threatened into involving the young person in exploitation by someone else.

Older adult exploitation – often referred to as the ‘boyfriend’ model

The adult offender of CSE is usually at least five years older and befriends and grooms the young person by focusing on their vulnerabilities. The victim will initially feel they are in a positive and rewarding relationship with the perpetrator.

Power and control issues can lead to young people being isolated and becoming dependent on the ‘boyfriend’ / ‘girlfriend’. They are often coerced or forced into sex with the perpetrator’s associates.


Young people are passed by perpetrators through networks, between towns and cities, where they may be forced or coerced into sexual activity with multiple people.

Young people are often used to recruit other young people to take part in so-called ‘sex parties’ where this can occur.


Trafficking sometimes involves the ‘buying and selling’ of young people by individuals involved in serious organised crime.

This is often referred to as sexual bullying. This form of CSE can happen quickly without the build-up of a relationship or the grooming process. Incidents may be filmed on mobile phones and circulated. Incidents may occur publicly or involve multiple perpetrators.

Gang and group exploitation

Young people in gangs or groups may be sexually exploited as part of gang initiation or as punishment. Young people may also be encouraged to recruit peers into the gang, exposing them to similar treatment of CSE and making it difficult to identify perpetrators who control the gang.


Finding out your child has been sexually exploited can be frightening and distressing. But there’s help for you and your family.

PACE works with parents and carers of children who are, or at risk of, being sexually exploited. You can call them for confidential help and advice on 0113 240 5226 or fill in their online form.

Barnardo’s can support parents through their services across the UK.

Hate Crime and discrimination

Stanley High School has become a Stonewall member; this has involved the school creating a whole school action plan to tackle homophobia and ensure that our school is a safe place for everyone – students, staff, parents, carers and all our many visitors.

What is Stonewall?

Stonewall is a charity renowned for its campaigning and lobbying. Some major successes include helping achieve the equalisation of the age of consent, lifting the ban on LGB people serving in the military, securing legislation which allowed same-sex couples to adopt and the repeal of Section 28. More recently Stonewall has helped secure civil partnerships and then same-sex marriage, and ensured that the recent Equality Act protected lesbian, gay and bi people in terms of goods and services.

So what is the school doing as a Stonewall Champion?

  • Information, support and guidance for all teachers about ‘tackling homophobia’: overview of what homophobic bullying looks like; how it affects students and how teachers can deal with it.
  • Review of all school policies; such as the anti-bullying policy to ensure that dealing with homophobic bullying is an integral part of all of them.
  • Training for key staff to be able to support LGBTQ+ students while studying at Stanley High School and in their futures.
  • Assemblies and Personal Development time allocated to discuss ‘Tackling homophobia’ and how to support a friend who may be LGBTQ+.
  • Choosing and ordering a range of books and authors that have an LGBT profile for the school library.