Personal Development Curriculum

Staffing list: 

Mrs Sudds - Senior leader in charge of Personal Development (Senior Deputy Headteacher) 
Miss Cartridge - Head of Personal Development (curriculum) and Careers Lead

Vision Statement: 

Our Personal Development curriculum aims to develop the whole child, and equip them with the knowledge, skills and attributes to find their role in an ever-changing world and make a positive contribution within society.    

At the core of our curriculum is the importance of maintaining healthy and respectful relationships, both with ourselves and with others.  We provide opportunities for our students to reflect on their own morals and values, underpinned by the fundamental British Values of Democracy, the Rule of Law, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and recognising the importance of tolerance, understanding, and respectful disagreement within a diverse and complex society.    

Our students will build an understanding of their roles, rights and responsibilities as citizens, both now and in the future.  Students will learn to question ideas, critically analyse sources and examine for bias in pursuit of independence of thought.   

With a strong emphasis on emotional literacy, building resilience and nurturing mental and physical health, we equip our students with the knowledge and skills required to make healthy, informed choices.  Students will explore their own identity and develop a sense of self.    

Through a robust and well-structured curriculum, we prepare our students for life beyond Testbourne School.  Our students gain the relevant knowledge and skills to make informed choices regarding future educational and careers pathways and strive towards economic wellbeing.  

Students follow a spiral curriculum throughout their five years at Testbourne, revisiting topics and themes to build on their knowledge and understanding in an age-appropriate manner.  Students attend two Personal Development lessons per fortnight across years 7-11. 

The Personal Development curriculum is structured around the following themes: 

  • My Positive Start – Introductory units focusing on establishing key routines and expectations including the Testbourne Standards of Excellence, establishing positive relationships and key systems and processes within the school. 
  • My Body and Mind – Looking at ways to keep the body and mind healthy, keeping safe and managing risk.  Key content within the Relationships, Sex and Health Education statutory framework can be found within these units: Relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education - GOV.UK ( 
  • My Relationships – Students explore different topics relating to healthy and unhealthy relationships. Sequencing of these units are age appropriate, for example looking at friendships and basic concepts of consent in year 7, contraception and sexual consent in year 9 and more sensitive topics such as domestic violence, sexual exploitation, pornography and arranged marriage in year 11.  These units also contain much of the content within the RSHE statutory framework: Relationships and sex education (RSE) and health education - GOV.UK ( 
  • My World – these units are structured around the Citizenship national curriculum: statutory programme of study.  Students explore concepts such as Fundamental British Values (Democracy, Rule of Law, Respect & Tolerance, Individual Liberty). Students consider their role in society and ways to make a positive contribution. Students also consider current affairs, local and global politics. 
  • My Future – these units contain the taught elements of our CEIAG provision (Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance -  Careers Education, Information, Advice & Guidance).  Students develop work-related skills, explore future career and education options and learn about personal finance and the labour market.  Our CEIAG provision is supported by focus days, trips and visits, assemblies, independent careers interviews and work experience.  For more information on our Careers programme, please see here. 

There are no formal qualifications attached to the Personal Development curriculum.  Students will complete regular in-class assessments to assist in determining students’ progress and understanding and provide feedback in order to identify areas for improvement.   

Personal Development Curriculum Map 2023-2024

Further information 

For more details, please contact Mrs Sudds, Senior Deputy Headteacher, at