Why is the Personal Development Curriculum as it is?
At Bede Academy we provide an education of character which naturally flows from our Christian ethos. As part of the ‘character-first’ Emmanuel Schools Foundation, we strive to cultivate good character as an end in itself; this raises expectations and supports high levels of performance where students can achieve their personal best. The Bede Academy vision is the outworking of our core beliefs. We believe every person is morally responsible and so we strive for excellence in character. We believe every person is gifted for a purpose and so we strive for excellence in our curriculum. We believe that every person is infinitely precious and so we strive for excellence in community. The academy has clearly defined core virtues: ‘Love, wisdom, fairness, courage, self-control, humility and integrity’ which underpin character development. Every student and member of staff is encouraged to demonstrate these core virtues, within and beyond the academy, and we take every opportunity to celebrate character growth. This video shows why character matters to us as a group of schools in the Emmanuel Schools Foundation.
There are many opportunities throughout the curriculum to enable students to develop their character beyond the classroom. This includes an extensive co-curricular programme including a wide range of academic enrichment, sporting and musical endeavours. Students are also given opportunities for volunteering and service, with growing numbers of students taking part in accredited opportunities such as the National Citizenship Service and Duke of Edinburgh Award. Opportunities throughout the curriculum are planned to broaden student’s horizons and grow character. This includes link with universities to widen participation, personalised support to raise aspirations and growing links with local industry. Collectively, we refer to these different opportunities as our “Foundations Curriculum” given that this provides an underpinning for the formal curriculum, and a foundation upon which we can help students to build their character.
In recognition of our work in this area, we are delighted to have been granted “Kitemark Plus” status by the Association of Character Education. This award places us as a Regional Hub for the North East, along with Morpeth First School. You can read a summary of our all-through Character Curriculum here
Students’ personal development is at the forefront of our thinking, it underpins our vision and it is integral to our culture and ethos. This is delivered as a discrete lesson for secondary students on a Friday morning, and is summarised through the diagram below:
Encouraging students to see the role that interests beyond the classroom play in character development and the healthy enjoyment of their time. Valuing and nurturing students’ God-given talents, and acknowledging that the purpose for which they have been gifted may lie outside academic pursuits
Encouraging students to see the place of Biblical truth in creating a stronger sense of self and, from this, greater well-being. Placing teaching from assemblies, reflections and PTE in its practical context by demonstrating Core Values in action. The core of our belief that each and every student is infinitely precious, and therefore at the core of every PD session.
Developing understanding of our shared humanity as people created in the unifying image of God. Considering the well-being of others and appreciating that we have different experiences and viewpoints, whilst still experiencing shared emotions and needs. Encouraging servant-hearted attitudes that will inform choices and actions, both now and in the future. Celebrating the achievement of others as positive in its own right and for the good of the whole. Upholding our moral responsibility to others. This strand is closely aligned to others such as Value Your Future and Value Your Passions. It includes an important civics element through which British Values are explicitly addressed as we develop students’ understanding of British democracy, the rule of law and individual liberty from both an historical and contemporary perspective
Supporting the inculcation of Character to underpin academic activity and achievement. Dedicating time to preparation for and reflection on academic performance and helping students see the value of their studies to their wider and long term ability to live well and fulfil their potential and God-given purpose.
Creating a sense of self-worth alongside a properly informed awareness of risk and opportunity to encourage self-respect, self-care and healthy states of body and mind. Consideration of issues such as Healthy Living, Relationship Education, E-Safety, Health & Safety and Mental Health. Helping students to truly believe they are infinitely and innately precious.
Providing guidance and opportunities for students to connect current learning, interests and character traits to potential future goals. Helping them to be aware of wide-ranging education, training, career and service routes in good time for them to make wise choices. Supporting them in aspirational yet achievable aims and opportunities. Helping them to identify the purpose for which they are gifted.