Personal Development

Personal Development (PD) is the curriculum subject through which RSHE, PSHE and Citizenship content is delivered at Penketh High School.


It is a statutory requirement for schools in England to teach Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) to all secondary aged pupils, as per the Children and Social Work Act (2020). The Department for Education (DfE) states that RSHE enables ‘young people to understand what healthy relationships look like and how to navigate their personal lives in a positive, safe and healthy way’ and it ‘supports children and young people to keep themselves and others safe, both on and offline’.


The DfE calls Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) ‘an important and necessary part of all pupils’ education’ and ‘is the subject through which children and young people acquire the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to stay [physically and emotionally] healthy, safe and thrive, now and in the future’.


The DfE affirms that Citizenship Education ‘helps to provide pupils with knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them to play a full and active part in society’. It ‘equips pupils with the skills and knowledge to explore political and social issues critically’, and ‘prepares pupils to take their place in society as responsible citizens, manage their money well and make sound financial decisions’.


The DfE evidence review highlighted the subject’s importance to children and young people’s well-being and knock-on effects on academic achievement, stating that ‘The evidence shows that [the subject] can improve the physical and psychological well-being of pupils. A virtuous cycle can be achieved, whereby pupils with better health and well-being can achieve better academically, which in turn leads to greater success’. Other major evidence reviews also found that PD supports academic attainment by removing barriers to learning.


The Personal Development curriculum at Penketh High School is carefully planned and sequenced to deliver a supportive, coherent, cohesive and consistent delivery of topics that equip pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions in a wide variety of circumstances, providing pupils with the best chance to flourish in everyday life and society both now and in their lives beyond high school.


Whilst comprehensively fulfilling the statutory duty to deliver RSHE, the Personal Development curriculum also provides a broad and balanced delivery of key PSHE topics – it promotes Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development; it prepares pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences for later life; it promotes British values; it supports the development of physically, emotionally and socially healthy young people; it promotes the maintenance of physical and mental health and well-being; it encourages the development of pupils’ character; it promotes equality of opportunity and inclusion; and it provides Careers Information, Education, Advice and Guidance (CIEAG), supporting the development of essential employability skills for the 21st century. All content used is factual and age-appropriate for all pupils and is subject to regular review to make sure it is relevant, safe and effective.


Our curriculum is planned to cover all of the above through a spiraled curriculum with the following Units of Work – Being Me in My World, Relationships, Healthy Me, Changing Me, Politics & British Values, Finance, Celebrating Difference, Dreams and Goals.


Our PD lessons reduce or remove barriers to learning, such as bullying, low self-esteem, and unhealthy or risky behavior’s. The curriculum equips pupils with the skills and knowledge to be able to make informed decisions, allowing them to keep themselves and others safe whilst preparing them for adult life, as well as providing wider opportunities for pupils to develop themselves in a variety of ways.


It is a requirement for schools to consult Parents, Staff and Governors regarding the implementation of the RSE curriculum. This year’s consultation will begin on Monday 23rd October 2023 and will close on Friday 3rd November 2023. As part of the consultation, Parents, Staff and Governors are asked to read the following documents. Any concerns or questions should be raised by emailing before the consultation window closes.


If you wish to carry out further reading around RSE, the following document from the Department for Education may be of use to you: