Personal Development – RSHE

Curriculum Intent

The aim of the Personal Development (PD) curriculum is to provide our pupils with the knowledge and skills to embrace the exciting opportunities this modern world brings. Schools maintain a statutory obligation under the Children Act (2004) to promote their students’ wellbeing and under the Education Act (2002) to prepare children and young people for the challenges, opportunities and responsibilities of adult life.

At Saint Benedict’s we want our pupils to clearly understand how to keep themselves and others safe and healthy (both physically and mentally), to be accepting of diversity and individual differences, to learn how to keep themselves safe in an increasingly online and technological world, and to make positive contributions to their school, local, and wider communities.

As a Catholic education provider, the PD curriculum here at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy is taught in accordance with the guidance from the Catholic Education Service. The mission of Catholic schools is to educate the whole person, and the PD curriculum seeks to ensure all pupils are equipped for life in modern Britain. All Relationship, Sex and Health Education (RSHE) remains faithful to teachings from the Catholic Church – with sensitive RSE content being delivered through Religious Studies lessons.

Our PD curriculum plays a key role in the safeguarding of our pupils; adopting a preventative approach and signposting to people/organisations to offer support, advice and guidance. Our curriculum is flexible and responsive to deal efficiently with school, local and wider issues as they arise – providing a safe and supportive environment to discuss complex, sensitive and contextual topics. Our pupils learn about ‘the rule of law’ and ‘individual liberty’ in relation to topics surrounding sex, relationships, and broader safeguarding issues (e.g., substance misuse, criminal exploitation, radicalisation/extremism etc…). Pupils engage in a variety of tasks designed to explore the far-reaching consequences associated with their behaviour and choices (e.g., when teaching topics such as drugs education, or discrimination against protected characteristics; pupils will simultaneously explore the role of the legal system in the UK).
At the heart of our PD curriculum is promoting acceptance and respect for diversity, whereby pupils actively partake in the shared values that will guide them and prepare them for a life in modern Britain.

Contact Us

Personal Development Lead

Mrs Riana Wood

Tel: 01332 557032 Ext: 1254


Please complete the form below if you have any queries, concerns, or questions about the Personal Development and RSHE Curriculum.

Key Documents

Please explore the following documents for more guidance and information pertaining to the Personal Development Curriculum and RSHE:

RSHE At Saint Benedict CVA

Relationships and Sex Education Policy

RSHE Statutory Guidance DfE

RSHE Curriculum Guidance

Personal Development Curriculum

The Saint Benedict’s personal development curriculum will teach Relationship, Sex and Health Education within the context of a Christian understanding of human sexuality rooted in the wisdom and teaching of the Catholic Church.

PSHE and RSHE are statutory but non-examined subject. It helps to give students the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead confident, healthy and independent lives. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, tackling many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up.
We are embracing the challenges of creating a happy and successful adult life by giving pupils knowledge that will enable them to make informed decisions about their wellbeing, health and relationships.

KS3 pupils receive 1-hour per fortnight of personal development, timetabled into curriculum time. KS4 and KS5 pupils receive personal development teachings delivered during morning tutor time. Topics covered in the personal development curriculum are grouped into three core strands: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships, and Values for living in Modern Britain. These strands run through Year 7- Year 11.

KS3 and KS4 PD Curriculum Overview

Health and Wellbeing

The focus of the curriculum will be transition to secondary school and personal safety in and outside school, including first aid and dealing with emergencies. Pupils will then look at the importance of healthy routines, influences on health, puberty, unwanted contact, and FGM.

Values for life in Modern Britain

Students will work to develop their skills and spend time thinking about their aspirations. Careers, teamwork and enterprise skills. Finance is a key skill and invaluable tool for all pupils to have. Pupils will look at some of the financial decisions that will need to be made along with saving, borrowing, budgeting and making financial choices and raising aspirations.


Students will explore diversity, prejudice, and bullying. Building relationships, self-worth, romance and friendships (including online) and healthy relationship boundaries.

Health and Wellbeing

Pupils will look at the importance of looking after themselves and the dangers of drugs and alcohol, misuse and pressures relating to drug use. In the world we live in it is so important for our young people to look after their emotional wellbeing and to understand factors that can affect our mental health, as well as exploring coping strategies.

Values for life in Modern Britain

Community and careers – Equality of opportunity in careers and life choices, and different types and patterns of work. In the fast-developing world technology digital literacy and online safety play a great part in young people’s lives. With this comes risks and the need to be safe online. Topics include digital literacy, media reliability, financial risk taking, and online radicalisation.


Identity and relationships, including protected characteristics, LGBT+, and women’s rights and misogyny. Pupils will also explore different types of relationship, consent, and the risks and consequences of ‘sexting’.

Health and Wellbeing

Pupils will explore how peer influence, substance use and gangs, healthy and unhealthy friendships, assertiveness, substance misuse, and gang exploitation can all have a great impact on our lives.

Pupils will study the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle, and how this can be achieved through diet, exercise, lifestyle balance and healthy choices, and how to look after ourselves.

Values for life in Modern Britain

Pupils will learn the importance of setting goals, learning how to identify their strengths and areas for development. This will guide pupils when looking at their career options and goal setting as part of the GCSE options process. Pupils will also understand employability skills and positive online presence.


Pupils will look at relationships and how to have respectful relationships. Families and parenting, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and relationship changes all play a part in our lifestyles and pupils will discuss how to deal with issues that may arise.  Relationships and sex education in line with the Catholic teachings to include consent, contraception, the risks of STIs, and attitudes to pornography will be delivered across the PD and RS curriculum.

Health and Wellbeing

Mental health and ill health play a huge part in the world we live in. Topics such as stigma, safeguarding health, including during periods of transition or change will be discussed to enable pupils to gain knowledge and understanding in order to make informed decisions in the future. Exploring influence, the influence and impact of drugs, gangs, role models and the media.

Values for life in Modern Britain

Financial decision making is part of all our pupils’ personal development and their ability to look after their money now and in the future. Pupils will look at the impact that financial decisions, debt, gambling and advertising on financial choices and outcomes. Pupils will then work with our own Careers advisor alongside informative lessons on virtual work experience and preparation and readiness for work.


Healthy relationships. Relationships and sex expectations, myths, pleasure and challenges, including the impact of the media and pornography. Addressing extremism and radicalisation communities, belonging and challenging extremism. Sensitive teachings will be delivered through the PD and RS curriculum.

Health and Wellbeing

Building for the future – skills such as self-efficacy, stress management, and preparing for future opportunities is essential. Furthermore, pupils will learn to become independent and responsible for their own health choices, and safety in independent contexts such as blood and organ donation, first aid, vaccinations, and self-examination.

Values for life in Modern Britain

Pupils will explore the ‘Next Steps’ in their education journey as they prepare for life Post-16. Pupils will be guided through the application processes with 1:1 meetings with our careers advisor, and the personal development curriculum will tackle skills for further education, employment and career progression.


Communication in relationships, personal values, assertive communication (including in relation to contraception and sexual health) are all integral to maintaining healthy safe relationships. Pupils will also enhance their understanding of relationship challenges and abuse, including different families, parental responsibilities, pregnancy, marriage and forced marriage and changing relationships.

Guidance for Parents

Relationships, Sex and Health Educations is fully embedded in our curriculum at all levels and key stages, and as such the delivery is carefully mapped across a range of mediums to ensure outstanding provisions that support the development of confident, healthy, happy children who are equipped to make a positive contribution to the community. This includes taught lessons, enrichment opportunities, Acts of Collective worship, small group workshops delivered by local service providers and form tutor sessions, all planned by subject specialists. Parent voice and feedback as well as student voice has been sought and informs the development of this curriculum and will continue to guide our provision each year.

To support your child with their RSHE learning within the personal development curriculum, speak with your child about the topics they are studying in school and encourage them to read around the topic outside of school. There are a range of excellent websites, books and documentaries that will assist with this. Please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs R Wood for further ideas.

The KS3 and KS4 Curriculum overview identifies the intended outcome for all pupils.

Frequently Asked Questions

Parent Information Leaflet