at Cockermouth School

Personal Development

Personal Development is about the personal, social, moral, spiritual and political development of students. It is a vehicle through which we prepare our students for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life both now and in the future. Through our Personal Development programme we deliver four subjects, these are Religious Studies, Personal Social, Health and Economic Education, Citizenship and Careers Education. The result is a curriculum that explores the link between citizenship and world religions and teaches students how to be safe and healthy and happy.

It is taught as a discrete subject in all years and enriched by a programme of workshops and activities on Life Days. The Personal Development department aims to offer an exciting, stimulating and thought provoking experience to all students. As well as opportunities to increase knowledge, great emphasis is placed on the development of skills such as critical thinking and enquiry, advocacy, empathy and participation. Assessment is based on six key skill strands – knowledge, spoken advocacy, written analysis, active citizenship, research and presentation.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

During Year 7 we focus very much on transition into secondary school and the responsibilities that go along with growing up. Early on we focus on identity, relationships and puberty, later broadening to exploring local and national community, and themes common to world religions.

Year 8

During Year 8 we broaden the focus to a spiritual, political and ethical exploration of the wider world; topics include human rights, diversity, more advanced themes through world religions, teenage challenges, environmental ethics and first aid.

Year 9

During Year 9 we study topics of religious philosophy, ethical ideas and issues, relationships and sex, drugs and alcohol awareness, democracy and law and justice.

Key Stage 4

Year 10

During Year 10 we study relationships and sex, equality and challenging extremism, physical and mental health, self-esteem, critical thinking and conspiracy theories, and careers.

Year 11

In Year 11 we undertake two units on careers and job related skills development, one on drug and alcohol harm reduction, one on relationships and sex, and one on the philosophy of knowledge and truth.

Outside the classroom

The PD department encourages a global perspective with links to Amnesty International and School Linking projects which allow our students to meet and better understand students from different parts of the UK and the rest of the world.