Personal and Social development is central to the educational entitlement of all the pupils and as a cross-curricular dimension, permeates all aspects of life in school. It is encompassed within the teaching of several subjects, notably, P.E. Citizenship and Health as well as a number of cross-curricular themes. It is an integral part of the whole curriculum and is not seen as a separate subject.
The way the curriculum is managed, its organisation and the varying teaching styles used, are central to the school’s ethos, its aims, attitudes and values. All contribute to the personal and social development of the pupils in school.
The school environment strives to be clean, safe, healthy and stimulating. Classroom and corridor walls display the pupil’s work and playground games are provided to encourage friendly activity during lunch breaks.
Staff and pupils endeavour to have a safe, happy environment with well-adjusted, happy pupils who take a pride in themselves, their school and their community. We actively support Citizenship throughout the school and encourage involvement with the local community.
The school provide opportunities for parents, the community and outside agencies to contribute to the personal and social development of the pupils through active involvement on the life and philosophy of the school.
We aim to provide a P.S.D. programme that:
- Equips each pupil with a range of personal and interpersonal skills, which will help them develop effective communication in school and beyond;
- Teaches a range of strategies, which will help in situations where problems and difficulties have to be faced;
- Develops a positive ethos and effective learning strategies, which promotes the all round development of the child;
- Enhance the pupils’ self-esteem and encourage self respect;
- Encourage respect for others who may have a different religion, ethnic or cultural background;
- Encourages pupils to develop their independence through becoming responsible for their own behaviour thus achieving self-discipline and self-control;
- Develops interpersonal skills, which promotes co-operations with others;
- Promotes aspects of Citizenship.
The two main outcomes in P.S.D are:
- Personal Development which is essentially concerned with self-awareness and self-esteem.
- Social Development which is essentially concerned with inter-personal relationships and independence and inter-dependence.
Within each outcomes we promote children’s self-awareness, self-esteem, relationships with other, independence and social responsibility.
These outcomes are separately identified but in practice they overlap and are not exclusive.
Learning and Teaching
- A clear, consistent framework of values based on our school aims which are agreed by all.
- Supportive relationships between teacher and child, child and child.
- Opportunities for development outside the classroom situation through responsibilities, extra-curricular activities, educational visits.
All staff aim to encourage positive approaches to behaviour and our Promoting Positive Behaviour, and accompanying policies reflect this. P.S.D. is taught through whole school contexts and a variety of class, group and individual activities. We use praise to boost self-esteem and foster co-operation. Emphasising positive attitudes is embedded in our curriculum, and all teachers are encouraged to employ this approach.
We provide opportunities for Personal and Social development through a variety of initiatives:
- Award incentives;
- Celebrating individual’s success and achievements;
- Individual, peer group, collaborative group work;
- Discussion and stories;
- Role-play / drama and games;
- Involvement in a range of problem-solving activities;
- Preparation and presentation of tasks for different audiences;
- Positive self/peer assessment;
- Positive marking, with verbal or written comments;
- Visiting speakers;
- Personal writing and Expressive Arts;
- By the end of Year 7 each child will have ownership of his/her Record of Achievement.
‘Citizenship’ is encompassed within Personal and Social Development, but there are aspects of Citizenship that merit consideration in their own right.
We hope to promote the knowledge, skills and understanding our pupils need in order to play an effective role in society. Citizenship Education will help them to become informed, thoughtful and responsible citizens who are aware of their duties and rights. Through our activities we encourage our pupils to play a helpful part in the life of our school, our community and our world.
Our aims in Citizenship have three strands:
Pupils are encouraged to:
- Resolve, discuss and debate topic issues, problems and events.
- Recognise the role of voluntary groups, communities and pressure groups.
- Learn how to become helpfully involved in the life of their community through involvement and service.
Institutional Decision Making
Pupils are taught:
- Why and how rules are made/enforced.
- Why different rules are needed in different situations.
- How to participate in making rules.
- What democracy is and basic institutions that support it.
Social and Moral responsibility
Pupils are taught to:
- Realise the consequences of anti-social and aggressive behaviour such as bullying or racism on individuals and on communities.
- Recognise that values held at home, school and in the community may conflict each other.
- Resolve differences by using alternatives, decisions and expressing choices.
- Learn self-confidence.
- Learn about social and morally responsible behaviour.
Citizenship is promoted throughout the school with cross-curricular activities such as:
- Coming to a consensus.
- Respecting people’s different views.
- Decision making.
- Holding ‘mock’ elections.
- Involvement in range of problem-solving activities.
- Circle time activities.
- Whole school discussions on topics such as bullying, playground rules, etc.
- Developing and expressing own views and relating them to those of others in RME.
- Understanding and celebrating differences in lifestyle and developing respect and tolerance for others in RME.
- Opportunities to exercise responsibility and appointment of ‘House’ and ‘Class Captains’.
- Christian ethos.
We try at every opportunity to become involved with the community by:
- Keeping the school grounds litter free.
- Watering and caring for the flowers.
- Singing and performing for local residential homes
- Involvement in Ulster Heritage projects
- Contributing to local environmental issues.
We encourage our pupils to be ware of issues in the wider community by:
- Making contributions for shoeboxes for Blythswood.
- Donating our Christmas concert collection towards different charities such as Save the Children.
- Visit from voluntary organisations.
- Taking part in charitable appeals.
Assessment and recording
In Personal and Social development, progression will not be regarded as linear, personal rates of development are not and cannot be standardised. With this in mind, assessment and reporting will take into account of and reflect the pupil’s current strengths and development needs. We will ensure that the assessment of personal and social development is concerned with knowledge and understanding and the ability pupils demonstrate in using the skills which are being learned and practised. The use of self/peer assessment will be helpful in assessing this area. Pupils will be encouraged to talk about and reflect upon activities and situations in which they have been involved. Learning to use their judgement when considering aspects of this is an important process.
Evidence gathered from a range of sources will form the basis of recording and reporting. Comments made on personal aspects are not concerned with making moral judgements. They will aim to help pupils develop a positive self-image by identifying strengths, suggesting areas for development and identifying possible future strategies. Care must be taken to avoid the danger of gender, disability, racial or social class stereotyping.