Life

Our personal development curriculum follows a five-year plan which ensures statutory requirements for RSE (Relationships and Sex Education), Citizenship, CEIAG (Careers Education, Information and Guidance), FBV (Fundamental British Values) and RE (Religious Education) are met. Our taught curriculum offer is called “Life@DWA”. In Life pupils explore 29 topics and within each topic there are key strands repeated throughout the curriculum: Relationships, Health and Wellbeing, Living in the Wider World, Religious, Education, Safeguarding, Citizenship and British Values.

The strands are colour coded on the 5-Year Life learning journey so that pupils can understand how the topic fits in with previous and future learning. Topics are sequenced so that they are revisited in more depth as pupils get older. An example of this can be found in the Relationships strand which starts in Year 7 with topics including positive relationships, bullying or banter and what makes a family and ends in Year 11 with pupils learning about abusive relationships, assessing relationships and pregnancy/parenthood.

Year 7 and Year 8 pupils receive one timetabled Life lesson per week. The Year 9 to Year 11 Life curriculum is delivered through personal learning days, tutor time sessions and assemblies. In addition, many elements of the Life curriculum are taught in other curriculum areas. The “Life@DWA”, logo is used in these lessons to help pupils see how topics are linked throughout the curriculum. This helps them to remember more. An example of this is when Democracy is taught in the history curriculum when pupils learn about the Ancient Greeks.

From September 2021 all pupils will receive a one-hour timetabled Life lesson per week. Our aim is to equip all pupils, regardless of background or ability, with the social, educational and employability skills necessary to participate fully in and contribute positively to Life in modern Britain.

We understand our local context and help pupils develop resilience to negative influences including gang culture, child criminal exploitation (CCE), child sexual exploitation (CSE), and risk-taking behaviours. Pupils participate in personal development days when challenging issues can be explored in greater depth. For example, this year pupils participated in a personal development day where sessions were delivered on mental health, consent, CSE and crime/gangs. Pupils listened to engaging talks from guest speakers including Paul Hannaford, Emma Bloodworth, from South Yorkshire Police and Shaun Ireland from The Triple S Network. Paul Hannaford shared his amazing story with staff and pupils. As a recovered drug addict, he was well qualified to warn our pupils about the dangers of drug addiction, knife crime, gangs, and guns.

Our pupils play a positive part in their community and wider society.  They can join the academy council which also represent us on the Doncaster Youth Council.  We support and fundraise for multiple charities including:  The NHS, Leukaemia Trust, Royal British Legion, and the Delta Academies Trust chosen charity, The Children’s Air Ambulance. We have been awarded a certificate from the British Legion for helping them raise over £7000 for the poppy appeal. This demonstrates the respect our pupils have for the sacrifices our armed forces have made.

Religious education is taught in Life lessons, assemblies, tutor sessions and personal development days. Pupils learn about the key beliefs, festivals, and religious practises found in Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Hinduism. A key question approach, as referenced in the Doncaster locally agreed SACRE is adopted where possible to allow pupils to engage in an enquiry-based learning; appraising varied responses to key questions for example, ‘What does science say about God?’ and ‘What happens when we die?” Pupils explore world religions in more detail through learning about different religious beliefs on key topics for example, “Religion and wealth”, “The role of faith”, and “Sexuality and faith”

With income deprivation and unemployment levels in the local area significantly above national averages, we are fully committed to ensuring that our personal development curriculum provides sufficient time to achieve all eight of The Gatsby Benchmarks. Our careers programme is developed in conjunction with our partners at CareersInc. We have been awarded the Prospects Quality Award in CEIAG. We are fully committed to ensuring that our personal development curriculum provides sufficient time to achieve all eight of The Gatsby Benchmarks.

A mixture of tutor time activities, and personalised learning days provide opportunities for work experience, employer contact and Enterprise Education to allow the following targets to be met:

Our RSE curriculum provision gives due regard to the DfE’s statutory guidance on sex and relationship education as well as focusing in more detail on issues most relevant to pupils in our local context. Specific needs, as they arise are responded to and incorporated into our planning. We are keen to use parental surveys to ensure that contextual issues are quickly addressed.  Year 7 and 8 pupils learn about elements of RSE in Life lessons.  Year 9 to 11 pupils participate in RSE personal development days and the weekly tutor programme which ensures RSE themes and topics are covered in detail.  Our 5-year RSE learning journey shows how RSE content is mapped across year groups and curriculum subject areas to ensure full coverage. RSE curriculum content is sequenced to ensure that key issues are revisited in later years and in greater depth.

During academy closure pupils participated in a series of remote personal development days which focused on RSE. One of the themes covered was healthy and respectful relationships. Pupils in Year 9 to Year 11 learnt about sexual health and contraception in a session delivered by the Doncaster Nursing Team. Other lessons examined families and parenting, commitment, and healthy friendships.

So that we can prepare our pupils for Life in modern Britain we ensure that our personal development curriculum reflects the full diversity of the world we live in. This includes teaching about LGBT people and themes. We do this through tutor sessions, assemblies, and the Life curriculum. Pupils learn about sexual orientation and gender identity, same-sex relationships, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, and gender stereotypes. Staff are trained to sensitively deliver lessons on these themes to our pupils. We celebrate LGBT+ History Month every March, Gay Pride in June and use Stonewall resources to support learning.

Pupils work with Hallam FM to raise awareness of ‘Sexting’

The Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development of our pupils has always been at the heart of the education offered in Delta Academies.   The academy’s approach to SMSC is embedded in our core values of “Treat people equally and with respect”, “Always be your best,” and “Keep expectations high”.

Examples of how fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs are actively promoted across the academy include:

  • Weekly year group assemblies led by academy leaders or guest speakers
  • Pupil Voice activities
  • The Student Council and Doncaster Youth Council
  • Personal development days and events for example “Democracy Week”, where pupils learnt about democracy, voting, parliament and how laws are passed
  • Diversity Day (Year 9)
  • Religious Education and Life topics such as ‘What does it mean to be British?”
  • Healthy schools’ initiatives
  • Cross curricular initiatives
  • After school clubs and enrichment activities
  • Charity work
  • Sporting events
  • Links with the wider community including our yearly Remembrance Day service
  • Educational trips and visits and other opportunities for learning outside the classroom