Skip to content ↓

Personal Development​​​​​​​

Relationships & Sex Education (RSE), Relationships Education, Relationships and Health Education (PSHE) Curriculum Overview 

Relationships Education, Relationships and Health Education at Beacon Hill Academy is called PSHE. It is taught together with careers education during a weekly registration period and drop-down days and is known as the Beacon Hill Academy Personal Development Programme (PDP). The PDP is provided through a curriculum which is age appropriate and in line with statutory guidance. The curriculum at Beacon Hill Academy aims to ensure that all learners are empowered with the knowledge, skills, and cultural capital they need to succeed in future learning, employment and therefore in life.

Alongside the statutory guidance the Trust recognises the importance of responding to the local needs of our learners and therefore emerging safeguarding concerns. Therefore, the PDP Lead, SLT and safeguarding team at Beacon Hill Academy will add to the statutory knowledge learners receive throughout the year and this will be different to other schools within the trust.

Aims and Objectives

Our learners are growing up in an increasingly complex world and living their lives seamlessly on and offline. This presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal, and social lives in a positive way.

Successful completion of the PDP will enable learners to -

  • Know and understand what constitutes a healthy lifestyle
  • Be aware of safety issues both on and offline
  • Develop self-confidence and self-esteem, resilience and character and make informed choices regarding personal and social issues
  • Develop personal attributes including kindness, integrity, generosity, and honesty
  • Recognise potential risks and know how to manage these risks safely
  • Understand what makes good healthy relationships with others
  • Be independent and responsible members of the school community
  • Be positive and active members of a democratic society
  • Encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which law is made and applied in England
  • Accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more widely
  • Distinguish between right and wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • Develop positive relationships with other members of the school and the wider community
  • Encourage respect for other people, paying regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010
  • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling learners to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
  • Acquire a broad general knowledge and respect for public institutions and services in England

The PDP will enable learners to become healthy, independent, and responsible members of society. Learners are actively encouraged to play a positive role in contributing to the life of the school and the wider community. In doing so we help to develop learners’ sense of worth and we teach them how society is organised and governed. We teach them about their rights and responsibilities and enable them to learn to appreciate what it means to be a positive member of a culturally diverse society.

Beacon Hill Academy is committed to providing a caring, friendly, and safe environment for all learners so they can learn and develop in a relaxed and secure environment. The personal development of all our learners is extremely important and learners will be supported daily.

British Values

BHA actively promote the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of the law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with other faiths and beliefs. These values are reinforced in a number of different ways including;

Democracy - Student Voice, School Council, Student Leadership Program, Student vote and Elections for Prefects, Sports Captains, Form roles, Student Ambassadors and other roles of responsibility. Democracy is also explored across our curriculum and discussed in assemblies.

Liberty – BHA provides guidance and support to learners on how to make informed decisions ensuring learners feel safe within our school environment. Learners are able to make choices and contribute to discussions and debate exercising their rights and freedom through student voice across all areas of the school. Through the participation in our numerous extracurricular clubs and opportunities, leaners are given the freedom to make choices.

Respect – Our whole school ethos and vision centres on the principles of respect. These are referred to on a daily basis in everything we do. We have a buddy system for new learners and a prefect system allowing leaners to role model best behaviour for their peers further promoting friendship, building confidence in all of our learners.

Rule of Law – Our school behaviour system (Values Driven Expectations) help us manage and govern all areas of our school, which are consistently applied and reinforced fairly. Parents and Carers and learners sign a home school agreement at the start of each academic year which also includes and agreement for the use if our IT systems. These rules, responsibilities and expectations are designed to govern and protect all parties in school, which also involve consequences when broken. We regularly have visits from external agencies such as the Police to help reinforce these social expectations. The rule of Law is also taught in our PDP programme.

Tolerance – BHA celebrate all faith and religions and learners are taught of different religions and cultural diversity through diverse assemblies, drop down days and our PDP RS program of study. All Year 7 take part in a place of worship trip where learners experience, and see first-hand, the religious and cultural differences of our rich community.

How is the Beacon Hill Academy PDP scheme of work informed?

The statutory guidance does not stipulate when during the key stage a learner should receive the education of the above themes, only what they are to receive by the end of their secondary school education. Therefore, the themes have been designed to ensure they are age appropriate and are built upon throughout our learners’ time at Beacon Hill Academy. Regular review of the Personal Development Programme will ensure we are teaching the statutory guidance at the ‘right’ time.

It is important to note that this curriculum, as the statutory guidance states, is complemented by several national curriculum subjects such as Business and Computing, Science, Food Technology, PE, BTec Sports and Character Education. Therefore, learners and teachers of these subjects should be able to draw links between PSHE and these subjects.

Who delivers PSHE at Beacon Hill Academy?

Form Tutors and select teaching staff will teach the statutory curriculum. This diversity of staff, from an array of disciplines, enhances the programme of study and in turn raises the quality of teaching and learning. Relationships between the staff and learners should be one of mutual respect and create a whole school climate which does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and furthermore is aligned with our core values.

How will the Personal Development Programme be ‘assessed’ at Beacon Hill Academy?

Assessment in the PDP will not be measured in the same way as other subjects. Progress checks may be carried out by teachers, but this will be in terms of updated knowledge, or a change of values and opinions within a lesson, or across a unit. Learners will not receive any grade or formal assessment for their work, but instead will be rewarded merits based on their changing views, attitude to learning and changing learning habits displayed in lessons and around school, improved attendance, participation in our enrichment programme and their contribution to the school and wider community.

Following the successful completion of the PDP learners will be rewarded with a Personal Development Citizenship Award (Level 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) given at the end of each academic year following the successful completion of their programme.

All staff involved in delivering the PDP will be expected to refer safeguarding concerns immediately to our designated safeguarding leads so that we may get the relevant support to our vulnerable learners.

What is the procedure for withdrawing my child from sex and healthy relationships education?

From September 2020 the new statutory guidance states that parents and carers will continue to have the right to request that their child be withdrawn from some, or all of sex education, delivered as part of statutory RSE, but up until three school terms before the child turns 16. This means should a child wish to receive sex education lessons; they can do so without their parent or carers permission.

However, before a request for withdrawal is granted, whether on current legislation or new legislation, parents expressing concern will be invited to Beacon Hill Academy by the PDP Lead or any other member of the leadership team to talk through those concerns. This will help clarify: the nature and the purpose of the curriculum, the benefits of receiving this education and to raise concerns regarding the possible detrimental effects and safeguarding issues which could result from withdrawing the learner from lessons.

Once this meeting has taken place, those parent and carers who still wish to withdraw their child, will have this documented by the school so that a future record is kept. Regardless of the applicable legislation, a learner who is withdrawn from sex education will receive an appropriate, purposeful education during the period of withdrawal.

How delivery of the content will be made accessible to all learners?

The statutory guidance highlights that Relationships Education, RSE and Health Education must be accessible for all learners. Lessons have been age appropriately planned and are in accordance with the law. They are to be conducted in an atmosphere where learners can discuss issues sensitively, without fear of being put-down, or asked to reveal personal information.

Therefore, school attendance is vital; all learners at Beacon Hill Academy are expected to attend mainstream lessons and receive access to the same level of education to ensure that they are safe guarded from difficult situations and challenges which they may face in their future lives. Lessons regarding LGBTQ will be fully integrated into their programmes of study, rather than being a standalone unit or lesson.

However, relevant stakeholders will act accordingly to ensure learners who are SEND or who have social, emotional and Mental Health needs are taught appropriately. Beacon Hill Academy has a SEND department called the BASE, it may be relevant to tailor the content and teaching to meet the needs and vulnerabilities of those learners; this process could also involve consultation with parent and carers on an individual basis.

When the content of lessons demands it, and in accordance with the Equality Act, schools in the trust may take positive action by, for example, teaching gender specific Health, RSE and relationships lessons. For example, a school in the Trust may decide to teach puberty or self-examination cancer checks separately to each gender rather than having mixed gender classes.

Religious Studies

SMSC stands for spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. This non-academic development allows learners understanding and appreciation of different cultures and how to become more empathetic and caring members of society. At Beacon Hill Academy we incorporate Religious Studies in to our PDP Program and actively promote these principles in all that we do so that our learners develop tolerant behaviours, such as sharing and respecting each other’s opinions, develop diverse attitudes.

Learners are able to distinguish right from wrong through a variety of shared experiences that allow learners to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand everyone is free to have different, beliefs, cultures, religions and points of view. This is achieved in several ways including the PDP programme.

Areas of focus include understanding different religions, celebrating diversity and learning about different cultures and customs, having mutual respect and tolerance of all ethnic groups in society and how we can identify stereotypes that can cause damage and discrimination to different cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs.

At KS4 we explore questions around whether religion causes war including a focus on humanitarian global crisis. We further explore how religions should promote peace and how media plays a role in how we form different views on religions. Learners further explore what Christianity teach about peace, conflict and resolution.

Trips and Visits

At BHA we offer a wide range of trips and visits to enrich learners' educational experiences beyond the classroom. These excursions provide opportunities for hands-on learning, real-world application of knowledge, and exposure to diverse cultures and environments. Through field trips, learners can deepen their understanding of various subjects, develop critical thinking skills, and foster a sense of curiosity and exploration.

Additionally, these experiences promote social and emotional growth, teamwork, and independence as our learners navigate new settings and interact with peers and adults outside of school. Overall, offering a diverse array of trips and visits enhances the holistic development of our learners and enriches their educational journey.

Some of our recent trips have included visits and trips to Oxford University, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Netherlands, Iceland, Germany, San Francisco, New York.

Additional Opportunities and Enrichment

At Beacon Hill Academy, our learners enjoy access to a wide selection of extra-curricular activities in which they can take part. Activities run before school, at lunch times and during afternoons, after school, on both a recreational and competitive basis across several of our subjects. Our aim is to provide learners with: 

Broadening Horizons: Enrichment activities expose learners to a wide range of subjects, hobbies, and experiences they may not encounter in their regular classes. This exposure helps broaden their horizons, expand their knowledge base, and develop a well-rounded perspective. 

Promoting Creativity: Our enrichment activities involve creative opportunities such as art, music, writing, or problem-solving challenges. Engaging in these activities' nurtures learners' creativity, imagination, and innovative thinking skills. 

Building Confidence: Successfully participating in enrichment activities can boost your child’s self-esteem and confidence. As they tackle new challenges, overcome obstacles, and showcase their talents, learners develop a sense of pride in their abilities and accomplishments. 

Fostering Social Skills: Enrichment activities often involve collaboration, teamwork, and communication, providing valuable opportunities for learners to develop social and employability skills. Working with peers on projects or participating in group activities helps learners learn how to cooperate, communicate effectively, and respect diverse perspectives. 

Supporting Personal Growth: Enrichment activities provide a supportive environment for learners to explore their interests, strengths, and weaknesses. Through self-reflection and feedback from peers and mentors, learners can identify areas for growth and development, fostering personal and academic growth. 

Enhancing Academic Performance: Research suggests that participation in enrichment activities correlates with improved academic performance. Engaging in stimulating and challenging activities can enhance your child’s cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and academic motivation.  

Cultivating Lifelong Learners: By igniting a passion for learning and encouraging exploration, our increasing range of enrichment activities lay the foundation for lifelong learning. Learners who participate in enrichment activities are more likely to continue seeking out new opportunities for intellectual growth and personal development beyond their school years. 

UniFrog - As part of our commitment to providing comprehensive support for our learners, we have implemented a platform called Unifrog. Unifrog is an innovative online tool designed to assist learners in exploring their post-secondary education and career options. It offers a wide range of resources and guidance to help learners make informed decisions about their future pathways.

Eaton X - The Eton X platform provides learners with the opportunity to gain a certificate of recognition from the prestigious Eton College based on online courses undertaken in public speaking, communication and leadership to name a few.