Personal Development and Character Education at Hexham Middle School

At Hexham Middle School we share a love of learning and believe in the highest academic standards for everyone. We value education in its broadest sense, knowing that the arts, sport, and other opportunities help shape us as individuals and as citizens of the wider world. We also provide a school environment which promotes spiritual, moral, social and cultural education. 

 Our priorities for pupils’ personal development stand within five pillars: 

PSHERelationships, Health & Well-Being, Living in the Wider World
Skills & Character EducationCivic Virtues, Intellectual Virtues, Moral Virtues, Performance Virtues and the Skillsbuilder programme
CareersLearning from Labour Market Information, Encounters with Employers and Employees, Experiences of Workplaces,
Encounters with Higher and Further Education, Personal Guidance (Gatsby Benchmarks)
Citizenship EducationBritish Values, Active Citizenship, Equality and Inclusivity, Radicalism and Extremism
ParticipationSport, Music, Art, Culture (what is currently considered extra-curricular)

The Impact of Our Personal Development Offer

Through our focus on Personal Development and Character Education, pupils will have experiences which help them grow and develop into young adults who are responsible, respectful and able to play their part, and become actively engaged in public life. 

To understand how effective our personal development offer is, we value the feedback of both staff and pupils. We review how others perceive different aspects of personal development including: extra-curricular activities, assemblies, and the quality of education review in PSHE and other enrichment opportunities.  Pupil panels, surveys, and our School Parliament assist in the collation of viewpoints.  We also value the role of the form tutor in supporting the personal development of each pupil.  Our tutorial and PSHE programme is monitored and reviewed so that it responds to the context of the school.  We are committed to not becoming complacent.  We are prepared to adapt our personal development offer when necessary. 

Personal Development Overview

Our overall intention is to enable pupils to enjoy acquiring and developing/cultivating the skills, knowledge, understanding and character to thrive and flourish in our community and in the wider world, and our approach to the personal development of our pupils allows this ambition to be realised. Our personal development approach is well-sequenced and coherent. It is ambitious for all pupils, particularly for vulnerable learners and those facing disadvantage, and enables HMS pupils to thrive. Our team of form tutors take a leading role in teaching many aspects of personal development, and we plan our assembly curriculum around many core themes. Beyond this, Subject Leaders think hard about the opportunities for personal development and enrichment within curriculum planning and pedagogy. British Values and opportunities to promote them build throughout the school so that pupils are ready for life in modern Britain and in an ever-changing world. We equip pupils with the essential skills they will need for future success and to develop as well-rounded individuals who will contribute positively to society beyond school.  

All pupils engage in PSHE, RSE and RE lessons as part of their timetable, and pupils have the opportunity to enrich their learning through well-planned experiences including workshops and visiting speakers throughout the year. The extra-curricular offer at Hexham Middle School is vast and vibrant with pupils being able to choose from a wide range of opportunities both in and after-school. The uptake and participation of all pupils, particularly vulnerable learners and those facing disadvantage, is closely monitored and all children are encouraged to engage. Our approach to developing character values is embedded across the school with a core theme permeating form time, assemblies, and opportunities each half term. Our pupils know that we have high expectations of them and want them to be responsible, respectful, and active citizens – we promote leadership and engagement in each year group through opportunities such as Digital Leaders, Kindness Ambassadors, School Council, House Captains and Head Pupils. Our school is an environment where pupils feel safe and know how to keep themselves safe both within school, in the community and online.

Our community promotes kindness, equality and tolerance and discrimination and barriers are removed by everyone in the school to promote inclusion for all. A coherent approach to preparing pupils for the next steps of their education and future careers is evident across all year groups and pupils have the chance to engage with local and national employers. As part of our provision, we think hard about healthy lifestyles, physical activity, diet, and the importance of positive routines to contribute to the physical health of our pupils. In turn, the social, emotional and mental health of pupils is supported, and pupils know how to access support in school.