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Whitworth Community High School

Climbing Higher

Social and Personal Development

Social and Personal Development Curriculum Intent




At Whitworth Community High School, Social and Personal Development (SPD) is a planned, developmental programme of learning through which our students acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to manage their lives now and in the future. As part of a whole-school approach, SPD will develop the qualities and attributes pupils need to thrive as individuals, family members and members of society. Our SPD programme is tailored towards each year group and incorporates the following:


  • Social & Personal development lessons in years 7, 9, 10 and 11.
  • Health and Wellbeing lessons in year 8.


Our SPD programme also includes a thematic assembly rota, which covers essential topics such as tolerance, mental health and wellbeing, first aid and exam preparation. The full breakdown can be found below.


Our intention with SPD is to equip pupils to live healthy, safe, productive, capable, responsible and balanced lives. It encourages them to be enterprising and supports them in making effective transitions, positive learning and career choices and in achieving economic well being. A critical component of SPD is providing opportunities for Whitworth students to reflect on and clarify their own values and attitudes and explore the complex and sometimes conflicting range of values and attitudes they encounter now and in the future. 


SPD education contributes to personal development by helping our pupils to build their confidence, resilience and self-esteem, and to identify and manage risk, make informed choices and understand what influences their decisions. It enables them to recognise, accept and shape their identities, to understand and accommodate difference and change, to manage emotions and to communicate constructively in a variety of settings. Developing an understanding of themselves, empathy and the ability to work with others will help pupils to form and maintain good relationships, develop the essential skills for future employability and better enjoy and manage their lives. We recognise that COVID-19 damaged the emotional development of young people and our aim is to help students navigate adolescence with as much support as possible so they can make informed choices about their futures.


SPD can help students to reduce or remove many of the barriers to learning they experience, thus, significantly improving their capacity to learn and achieve. The SPD programme at Whitworth Community High School links with our School Improvement Plan’s Personal Development aims which is to make a significant contribution to pupils’ positive mental health and well-being by providing spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development for all.


British Values


Our intention is to enhance the core British Values of students by developing a greater sense of tolerance and understanding of class, gender and ethnic diversity and differences in society and of the role and purpose of key institutions. At Whitworth Community High School we pride ourselves on lessons being thought-provoking and exposing students to our rich British history and how they have helped shape our values as a nation. This is highlighted by the teaching of topics such as how the UK is a melting pot society and the advantages to our society as a result of this. The UK’s rich history in promoting human rights in the UK and around the world through the teaching of the Magna Carta and the leading role the UK took in formulating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Individual assemblies on the importance of British Values took place in the week commencing, 18/10/22. In addition to this, as part of the combatting extremism and terrorism topic in year nine, students learn about how these key values can be under threat and how each individual can ensure we protect our values. This is just a snapshot of the British Values taught at our school, however, a full breakdown of lessons can be requested at any point. Please contact Mr T Khan at to request this information.


Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)


Following the Governments review on the Review of Sexual Abuse in Schools and Colleges, the school has implemented the recommendations outlined in the review as well as specific requirements for our school. Our RSHE curriculum has been planned in line with the recommendations of the PSHE Association. An example of this is providing staff with training on a better understanding of identifying the early signs of peer-on-peer abuse and the introduction of a speak-up campaign led by our Assistant Head of Personal Development, Behaviour and Welfare. This introduction began with an assembly on consent and understanding sexual harassment to not only prevent abusive behaviour but also how to report it confidentially.


RSHE is taught in years 7, 9 and 11 as PSHE lessons, Health and Wellbeing in year 8 and Enrichment lessons in year 10. All lessons are taught using the same content by each teacher and are led by the Teacher in Charge of SPD Mr T Khan. The content is taught using a spiral approach so the content develops each year in line with the maturity of the content. For example, in year 7 students are introduced to the concept of consent and by the end of year 11, students are discussing topics such as love and abuse. This enables the content to develop as students do. A full breakdown of teaching can be seen in the weekly overview using the link below.

Social and Personal Development Weekly Overview

Curriculum Plan


Our SPD curriculum is broad and enables us to tailor our curriculum for different year groups depending on the needs of each year group. Our curriculum is organised in the following way for each year group:


Year 7

  • One-hour SPD lessons throughout the year.

Year 8

  • A health and well-being topic in Physical Education that covers a full understanding of the body so students feel confident about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and understand their own body.

Year 9

  • One-hour SPD lessons throughout the year.

Year 10

  • One-hour SPD lessons throughout the year.

Year 11

  • One-hour SPD lessons throughout the year.


Overall, SPD is taught as three different lessons across the year groups. These three lessons are SPD, Health and Well-being and Enrichment. A breakdown of the topics is below:


SPD - This is taught as six individual topics in each year group.

  • Topic 1 - Rights, Responsibilities and British Values
  • Topic 2 - Celebrating Diversity and Equality
  • Topic 3 - Relationship and Sex Education
  • Topic 4 - Staying Safe Online and Offline
  • Topic 5 - Health and Wellbeing
  • Topic 6 - Life Beyond School


Health and Wellbeing (Schemes of learning are available on request from W. Cawley or O. McVarish).



  • Citizenship (Schemes of learning are available on request from T. Khan)
  • Relationship and Sex Education (Schemes of learning are available on request from T. Khan)
  • Computing (Schemes of learning are available on request from Mr B . Hanif)


Assessment & Challenge


Diagnostic assessment 

  • Students are questioned throughout each lesson and provided with verbal feedback - visible in students' work, - with the aim of gauging students’ knowledge and understanding. This exposes any weaknesses and strengths before any assessments and allows the teacher to plan future lessons to highlight any misconceptions. The questioning is usually open-ended so it provides plenty of opportunities for students to show off their knowledge.


Summative assessment

  • There are regular confidence checkers throughout the teaching of topics to track progress and knowledge of the content. This leads to an overall mark for each topic, which is in line with the school's grading criteria.


We will be challenging contemporary, topical, and relevant issues using documentaries and the news to make links with the theoretical content of the course. Students are encouraged to develop their opinions along with their evaluative and critical skills.


Developing Aspirations and Challenging Thinking


We will be challenging contemporary, topical, and relevant issues using documentaries and the news to make links with the content of the subject. Students are encouraged to develop their opinions along with their evaluative and critical skills. To support this we have guest speakers from the police force, youth offending team, children care home workers and prison officers to provide real-life context to the subject.


As part of their learning, they will develop their analytical, assimilation and communication skills by comparing and contrasting perspectives on a variety of social issues, constructing reasoned arguments, making judgements and drawing reasoned conclusions. There will be plenty of classroom debate involved. The intention of these debates is to enhance the following:


  • A strong understanding of the key institutions.
  • Explore and examine the impact and influence of key institutions in understanding society.
  • Identify, critically analyse and evaluate different points of view.


Where possible, trips will be arranged for students to develop cultural capital. These trips could be to London and involve visits to the London Dungeons, Jack the Ripper Walking Tours and visits to the Natural History and V&A museum.


Mental Health Plan


COVID-19 had a major impact on the mental health of students. With this in mind, our SPD policy has been to teach mental health awareness as part of the assemblies rota in the Autumn two half term. The aim of this is to raise awareness of mental concerns and ensure students are aware of the mental health support that is available to them. With this in mind, we also employ a school counsellor that is available to students if there is a specific need and we have close links with organisations such as CAHMS through our Student Welfare and Safeguarding lead Mrs J. Ashworth. In addition to this, as part of the Health and Wellbeing topic in SPD, there is regular guidance and teaching on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and prevent mental health concerns through maintaining a balanced diet and the importance of sleep. These are just a few examples of preventative teaching, which is at the heart of our SPD policy and more information on these lessons can be requested. However, we understand that even with this teaching, some students may have to live with mental health concerns. This is why our training on Keeping Children Safe in Education provides us with up-to-date tools on how to follow good safeguarding practices if a child reveals a mental health concern and to understand the signs of a child dealing with a possibly undiagnosed mental health concern.


Career Options


Although our primary aim of SPD is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to overcome barriers, we also introduce a number of students to careers that are linked with SPD. Students will be introduced to various careers as part of the broad SPD curriculum. An example of this is the Enrichment lessons on citizenship, where students are introduced to the UK’s law and political system. Students learn about the various opportunities within each, such as the civil service, work within the legal system and the role of MPs and leadership roles within the UK. Moreover, it could also take our students towards a number of careers, including working in healthcare, medical fields, social work and teaching.



Whitworth Community High School,
Hall Fold, Whitworth, Rossendale,
Lancashire, OL12 8TS