Personal Development

Personal Development Curriculum Statement (PDC) 2021/22

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In the PYP, personal, social and physical education (PSPE) is concerned with the individual’s well-being through the promotion and development of concepts, knowledge, attitudes and skills that contribute to this well-being. Well-being is intrinsically linked to all aspects of a student’s experience at school and beyond. It encompasses physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual and social health and development, and contributes to an understanding of self, to developing and maintaining relationships with others, and to participation in an active, healthy lifestyle.


The Personal Development Curriculum (PDC) at COPA centres around providing all pupils with the skills, knowledge and understanding they need to successfully manage their lives now and in the future. Through the PDC, pupils develop the qualities and attributes they need to lead healthy, happy lives and to become independent, informed, active and responsible individuals, family members and members of society. All of our pupils are encouraged to take part in a wide range of activities and experiences across and beyond the curriculum, contributing fully to the life of the school and the wider community. In doing so, pupils learn to recognise their own worth, develop a sense of their own identity and the ability to take their place in the community as well as respect and work with others. Pupils are encouraged to reflect on their experiences and to recognise how they are developing personally and socially, addressing the spiritual, social, moral and cultural issues that form an intrinsic part of growing up. Pupils are taught a wide range of knowledge and skills across three core themes:

  • Relationships, including age-appropriate sex education (please see RSE policy)
  • Health & Wellbeing (physical & mental)
  • Living in the Wider World

The knowledge and skills taught across the three core themes:

  • Supports the development of physically, emotionally and socially healthy young people
  • Develops essential employability skills for the 21st Century
  • Reduces or removes barriers to learning, such as bullying, low self-esteem, unhealthy or risky behaviours
  • Promotes British values, including democracy and prepare pupils to become an active member of society
  • Promotes equality and diversity so that pupils respect others, as well as promoting tolerance and understanding of different religious and cultural beliefs
  • Promotes learner profile attributes of the IB curriculum to develop active, compassionate and lifelong learners
  • Supports spiritual, moral, social and cultural development


Discrete Personal Development is taught for a minimum of 1-hour per week in years 1-6. This may be in a 1 hour block or in smaller chunks throughout a day or week. Teaching and learning is sequenced and progressive throughout each year group. Topics are revisited a number of times, extending and widening on each occasion. Teaching is differentiated depending on the needs of individuals or cohorts of pupils. A wide range of teaching methods are used that enable pupils to actively participate in their own learning. This includes the use of quizzes, case studies, research, role-play, video, small group discussion and use of appropriate guest speakers or educational visits. Teaching resources are selected on the basis of their appropriateness to pupils. Teaching is conducted in a safe learning environment through the use of ground rules and distancing techniques so that pupils are not put on the spot or expected to discuss their own personal issues in class.  In order to embed children’s learning from discrete sessions, we operate a whole school approach to PD and explore a range of topics through assemblies and other whole school activities. PD is also explored within many other subject areas, particularly Science, PE and RE. We also offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities, after school and during school holidays, allowing pupils to explore new interests and skills.


While we are not able to assess the long-term impact of the PDC on individual pupils future lives as adults, we will monitor and assess progress throughout each year, to ensure that they are developing the intended knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes. Through monitoring, lesson observations, learning walks and discussions with staff and pupils, school leaders will ensure:

  • Children are learning the content outlined in the PDC
  • Pupils are prepared for their next stage of education or working life
  • The PDC is having a positive impact across all pupils

Through sequential and coherent planning, formative assessment, discussions and debates, pupil reflections and milestone tasks, teachers will ensure:

  • Key subject knowledge and skills are consolidated before moving onto the next topic
  • Pupils’ learning habits and learning skills are well developed
  • Assessment of pupils’ learning feeds into planning and adaptation of the curriculum