Personal Development is a core/compulsory subject which runs from Year 7 all the way to Year 13. It incorporates PSHE (Personal, Social, and Health Education), Citizenship, Careers education and Religion, Philosophy and Ethics. From Year 7 to Year 9 students receive three lessons a fortnight, taught by subject specialists. In years 10 and 11 students receive one or two lessons a fortnight, also taught by subject specialists. In sixth form students are taught by their tutors; with the emphasis necessarily focussing more on careers and PSHE. SRE (Sex and relationships education) is taught within the PD department throughout the year groups and key stages.
Group work and individual work as well as discussion and debate form the cornerstones of the teaching and learning in these lessons. We pride ourselves on providing an engaging and relevant course which often allows students to direct their own learning, and offers opportunities for them to study cases and issues of their own choosing. The development of speaking, listening and debating skills are key to PD at Cockermouth School as well as the ability to structure a balanced, evidenced, written argument. Pupils are encouraged to air their own views and opinions to explore controversial subjects, while learning from the views of others.
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.