Character and Personal Learning
As a school, we passionately believe in developing and nurturing our students to be well rounded, responsible Catholic citizens of the future. This involves developing within them a wide variety of characteristics and values, knowledge, skills and understanding, to help equip them to be active citizens in the community in which they live in, both now and in the future.
Character and Personal Learning
A key part of this learning is through our Character and Personal Learning Lessons (CPL). This take place during a double period once a fortnight, and covers key national curriculums such as PSHE, Careers, Citizenship and RSE. These are supplemented by a "Drop Down Day" once per term with students exploring 3 key strands each year linked to our school values:
- Relationships: Respecting Others
- Health and Wellbeing: Respecting Myself
- Living in the Wider World: Being a Responsible and Ambitious Citizen
These sessions are delivered by a range of staff in school, from form tutors to specialist subject teachers and expert support staff, along with a range of external agencies and charities. Additional sessions and workshops may also happen beyond these lessons where opportunities are available, for example our local sexual health team leads workshops with our Year 9s each year.
These lessons help our students to gain an understanding of, discuss and debate, a wide range of issues from bullying, e-safety and to their mental and physical health, politics and citizenship, money management, careers, sexual relationships and equality. As these are not assessed via external examinations pupils complete regular peer and self-assessment activities through the lessons, and each term's learning finishes with a summative quiz and student survey. This allows us to measure student understanding and feedback, and allows us to constantly reflect upon, adapt and improve our lessons and curriculum based on students understanding and feedback.
For a full outline of our curriculum please see below:
For our Relationships and Sex Education Policy please click here:
For more information specifically relating to our careers programme please see our CEIAG via the link below:
Character Education, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development and the British Values
In the teaching of the Catholic Church and the calling of Christ for us to be both Stewards and Servants in today’s world, we take every opportunity in the curriculum to embed spiritual, moral, social, and cultural learning throughout all that we do.
Students are actively encouraged to debate and examine their beliefs and moral understandings in relation to wider issues of culture, faith and equality. This is not simply restricted to RE, which all students study at GCSE, but across the wider curriculum through all subjects, from examining different cultures in Geography, key historical events within History, artists and artwork in the Visual Arts Department, Music and Drama, moral and ethical decisions faced within Science and more.
Within tutor time each "year" week registration begins with a prayer and moment of reflection before then completing one of the following 5 activities:
- Think Community: An assembly delivered by the Head of Year, linked to the school's fortnightly theme and promoting social and mora understanding.
- Think Deeper: An assembly delivered by a member of the SLT, Inclusion Team or an external speaker relating specifically to our school fortnightly theme and following our assembly curriculum and underpinned by spirituality and our Catholic ethos.
- Think Wider: A current affairs discussion activity to ensure our pupils are aware and continually building their understanding of the social and cultural world around them in which they live
- Think Longer: An opportunity for students to reflect deeper on specific spiritual, moral, social or cultural issues, or to continue discussions begun within CPL with recent examples including black history, animal sentinence, the impact of conspiracies, holocaust memorial, anti-bullying week, Mental Health Awareness Week, and National Internet Safety Day, along with practicing mindfulness or reflecting on Biblical scriptures and passages and how they relate to our lives.
- Think Year X: Activities organised by the Head of Year focusing on community within their form groups.
Our school fortnightly themes and assembly curriculum explore our school values (Respect, Responsibility and Ambition) along with the British Values and other key social and cultural values and concepts including Diversity, Equality and Mental Health, whilst also providing opportunity for us to mark and reflect on national and global days of significance. We also set aside time at key points in the year for students to reflect upon their own progress and journeys, and also celebrate our Catholic faith and spirituality at key times such as Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter.
The spiritual life and Catholic ethos of the school is seen in action day by day with prayers and reflections each morning, regular masses and liturgies, House Feast Days and retreats throughout the year which give students time for personal reflection.
For more information relating to our Catholic Ethos please click below:
Students also develop their character, spiritual, moral, social and cultural thinking and understanding of British Values by participating in our wide ranging and extensive enrichment and extracurricular programme through the BP Charter. This encourages students to participate in a wide range of activities both within school but also within their local community through recognised activities such as:
- Being part of the Chaplaincy Team or Student Voice
- Leading worship and prayers in Mass and tutor time
- Fundraising via the House System or contributing to the harvest giving
- Being an Anti-Bullying Ambassador
- Volunteering and Leading within their House as a House Captain / Leader/ Buddy
- Volunteering in school via helping with school and primary sports events
- Volunteering in the community as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.
- Debating via Debate Mate
- Public Speaking via the Jack Petchy Challenge
- Standing for election as a Student Leader
- Visiting the Houses of Parliament and meeting or writing to their MP
- Serving in their local church and volunteering within their local community
- Being involved in activities outside of school such as local cadet groups
These activities are all logged and tracked and gaps in participation can be identified and intervention put in place.
Consequently in 2019 we were named as a case study school in the DfE's Character Education Guidance Framework.
For more information regarding our Enrichment and Extracurricular Programme please see the link below:
For more information please email our Assistant Head, Mr Lawrence at