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Red Kite Learning Trust


Personal Development

Our fundamental aim is to develop children of exceptional character who are well prepared for life in today’s challenging world. It is important that children know and respect the protected characteristics, understand some of the global challenges we currently face, that they are confident and articulate and have the ambition and resilience to take calculated risks and put themselves outside of their comfort zones.

The structure for this relates to our school values of kindness, honesty and respect and to our vision of developing kind, curious, ambitious, confident and successful children.

There are two main platforms through which we deliver our personal development aims – our PSHE programme and our outdoor education programme.


Our PSHE AND RSE curriculum is taught through the Kapow platform and develops children’s knowledge and understanding in a wide range of areas including the following:

  • Valuing different family structures
  • Creating and maintaining positive friendships
  • Developing safe and respectful relationships
  • Understanding the changes that take place during puberty
  • Promoting good health and carrying out first aid
  • Learning to make independent choices and not be influenced by others
  • Operating safely in a digital world

Building on our comprehensive Early Years offer, this programme of study sets out the progressive sequence of learning and personal development for Key Stages 1 and 2. Personal development coverage and mapping can be found here.

Outdoor education

WPS_Autumn fun (8) (Large)

The many benefits of outdoor education are well documented. The Early Years Alliance points to the specific benefits that outdoor learning can have for pupils with SEND, whilst other research (supported by the EEF) also indicates that outdoor learning boosts confidence, social skills, communication, motivation, physical skills, knowledge and understanding. It has also been found to boost children’s mental health, self-esteem, self-confidence, ability to work cooperatively and helps to foster a positive attitude to learning.

Our outdoor education offer also focuses on understanding and appreciating the natural world and the importance of preserving wild places.

Outdoor learning at Western begins in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, where extensive and creative use is made of our limited outdoor space and the exceptional local resources of the Valley Gardens and the RHS Garden at Harlow Carr. Our KS1 children explore RHS Harlow Carr Gardens and take part in workshops in the Bramall Learning Centre, the Montague Burton Teaching Garden and Glasshouse. The building itself is a fabulous example of sustainability; its many features teaches them how to work closely with the environment. Valley Gardens is used frequently across EYFS and KS1 to enhance all areas of our curriculum and provides children the opportunity to be responsible, respectful members of society who are able to be actively involved in the local environment. The walk to both outdoor spaces embeds pupils’ understanding of road safety, how to keep physically healthy and how to maintain an active lifestyle.

When pupils reach Year 4, they undertake a 2-night residential visit to Bewerley Park Outdoor Education Centre which, for the majority of our children, is their first experience of sleeping away from a home environment. Significant work is done ahead of this visit with children and parents to set the tone and to prepare the children for the challenges they will face. Personal development opportunities are shared with them and they will complete some reflective activities both during and after the visit to assess how successful they have been.

Building on this experience, pupils attend a 5-day residential visit to East Barnby Outdoor Education Centre when they reach Year 6. This experience is cited by the majority of our students as the most memorable of all their time in primary school. It is a significant development from their Year 4 experience in that it is a longer visit, is further from home and has greater expectations and demands in terms of the activities pupils take part in and the required levels of independence and personal organisation. As in Year 4, learning takes place in school ahead of the visit to ensure children are aware of the aims and purposes of the visit and to prepare them for the experience. During and following the visit, pupils reflect on their successes and those of their peers. A key aspect of the Year 6 visit is the pursuit of the John Muir Award which was developed to support personal development in children in upper Key Stage 2 and to help them to form a positive connection with nature and wild places.

Other opportunities

There are also many planned opportunities for personal development which take place throughout the academic year and which are referenced below.

  • designing age-appropriate opportunities for children to perform to an audience across the school year, including external audiences
  • enabling children to present their learning to audiences including parents and friends but also the general public
  • giving children a say in the strategic direction and development of the school through involvement in Success groups and contributing to meetings of the Senior Leadership Team
  • providing opportunities for pupils to put themselves forward for office, either as a Success group member or as a Captain or Vice-Captain of our school Houses
  • giving older pupils the responsibility of showing guests around school and speaking to visiting school groups
  • enabling pupils to debate important issues and make decisions on which charities to support both locally and nationally
  • by promoting and developing our 6 Characteristics of an Effective Learner which encourage our children to be curious, ambitious, resilient, collaborative, reflective and resourceful people in KS1 and 2. These build on the effective learning habits developed through the Early Years Framework
  • by teaching the value of diversity in all its forms
  • ensuring all pupils have an age-appropriate understanding of the importance of maintaining good physical and mental health
  • supporting pupils experiencing anxiety and other emotional barriers to learning and development to build up a personal toolkit to help them manage these challenges. This is achieved through the work of our skilled and experienced Emotion and Wellbeing team
  • preparing pupils for the technological world they are growing up in through our innovative use of technology
  • development of SMSC through our Western 10X programme
  • developing and promoting awareness of road safety
  • Providing Bikeability training for Y6 pupils to help them stay safe on the road and have an understanding of their responsibilities as road users
  • Crucial Crew experience for Y6 pupils, developing their awareness as citizens by tackling a number of challenging scenarios relating to safety, the law and individual responsibility

Western Primary School is part of Red Kite Learning Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 7523507, registered office address: Red Kite Office, Pannal Ash Road, Harrogate, HG2 9PH

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