About Our Personal Development Curriculum
Personal Development is at the heart of our learning journey. Our mission is to ensure that our students leave Harris Academy Beckenham as confident global citizens, equipped with the character, skills and knowledge they need to succeed personally in the future, and the empathy and understanding of others to help make their future a kinder one.
At Harris Beckenham, we are not only driven to ensure our students achieve academic success, our aim is to also develop their character, personal values, skills and attributes.
Our curriculum extends beyond the academic classroom and provides students broader life experiences to assist in discovering their own interests. At Harris Beckenham, we celebrate and place a high value on the individuality of our students and the experiences that make them unique. Our hope is that our students are successful, happy and feel part of a community.
The Personal Development Curriculum aims to develop student understanding and to build confidence in all students so that they feel able to raise issues, question ideas and reflect on their learning, to allow them to develop as well-rounded young people who can contribute meaningfully to the wider community and go on to lead happy, successful and healthy lives.
We aim to prepare students for life in modern Britain and create opportunities within our curriculum and additional activities to teach and support the development of all of the British Values. Within these, we aim to:
- Enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of Britain
- Encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely
- Enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in Britain
- Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures.
- Encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.
Our Personal Development Curriculum has, at its foundation, a structured programme of Ethics, Identity & Religion lessons that are timetabled for years 7, 8 and 9. Flexible Learning Days enhance this programme and extend the learning for year 10 and 11 students; including regular information and guidance that help to prepare them for their sixth form studies.
Enrichment opportunities and educational visits allow students to stretch their horizons and develop an understanding of cultures and destinations beyond our everyday world. Alongside this, students can discover and showcase their talents through House events that encourage creativity, embrace diversity and foster support for one another.
Our Ethics, Identity & Religion curriculum is progressive, relevant and responsive to student need. The skills they learn through this are transferable and will support them in whatever path they choose in the future. There are core strands that run through the programme which include relationships and sex education (RSE); mental health and well-being; careers; financial education; drugs and alcohol education; and citizenship.
At Harris Beckenham have a shared language for our 8 key character strengths; we explicitly teach students how to develop their character strengths through real experiences, exposure to diverse role models and external speakers, and by giving them practical strategies they can apply to help themselves cope with whatever life throws at them.
We believe that every interaction is an opportunity to develop the good character of our students to help them be more kind and considerate every day.
For more information on the following strands of our personal development curriculum: