At Penwortham Priory Academy pupils are provided with many opportunities which focus on Personal Development. These activities are planned into our day to day activities through Learning for Life Road Map lessons and year group assemblies, with five additional Learning for Life Days. All subject areas across the school also contribute to this development through lesson content, trips and visitors. The school also provides regular additional activities, workshops and lectures from visiting performance groups and speakers to support their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development and understanding of the Fundamental British Values.
 

Daily Learning for Life

Penwortham Priory Academy operates a number of activities in the afternoon which contribute to our pupil’s personal development: Learning for Life Road Map lessons, assemblies, Teacher Reading Aloud, and The Friday Challenge. This part of pupil development is allocated 20 minutes a day on timetables and is delivered in year groups.

 

Learning for Life Road Map Lessons

The Learning for Life Road Map curriculum intent, mirrors that of the whole school where appropriate.

At Penwortham Priory Academy the Learning for Life Road Map lessons are designed by PiXL and delivered in Priory to support the promotion of excellence for pupils. It is planned to improve educational achievement and to do all it can to improve life chances for young people.

Through Learning for Life lessons, pupils will transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 smoothly, building on prior, self or parentally taught skills at Key Stage 2.

Pupils are provided with challenging topics and meaningful learning experiences which can be applied to their own lives in a timely way. Challenging and thought-provoking learning experiences help pupils think hard to gain a better understanding of life attributes in order to connect them to worthy progression routes in the next stage of their education, and to give them the edge in life. In ‘Them and Us’ units, pupils gain an awareness of how to change the culture of our communities. To do this, they learn about the importance of demonstrating kindness, showing respect and living without harm. Pupils learn to apply this, not just to those people who are like them but to people who are not like them: How we relate to people who don’t think the same way as us or believe the same things. Pupils are continually required to think hard in lessons using ‘higher order’ skills such as analysis and evaluation. This element of their learning is addressed through the continual analysis and evaluation of their own lives and that of others, planning and implementing new strategies, creating a new way of conducting themselves.

The Learning for Life Road Map curriculum encourages pupils to develop skills for life. They study the five attributes identified by employers as being key for employability: Leadership, Organisation, Resilience, Initiative, and Communication.  Pupils gain knowledge regarding what constitutes each attribute, they discuss their current engagement with each, they develop an understanding of how to develop the skill further and are assisted in identifying opportunities that are easy to engage with.

High quality guidance throughout the ‘Futures’ units provides impartial guidance regarding educational pathways and methods for successfully achieving future course and career goals.

Throughout their time on the course pupils are encouraged to evolve their character and improve the culture of our school. They are encouraged to adopt positive behaviours and attitudes in class which benefit them personally and the rest of the school community. They are encouraged to be positive, committed, respectful, kind, courteous, well mannered, safe, calm, orderly, and take pride in themselves, their work and our school.

The resources provided by PiXL are designed to provide high quality personal development education which should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need now and in the future. As pupils progress, they should be able to apply the knowledge gained to a greater extent to their own lives and see a greater impact.

Knowledge underpins the Learning for Life curriculum, therefore whilst we teach different aspects of the curriculum, we apply what we have learnt in very varied, personal, current and new situations. Pupils are given an overview of their learning journey at the start of their unit of work so that they know what they’ll be learning, the skills they’ll develop, why they need to know this and how they’ll learn it. This is provided in the form of the personal learning checklist (PLC) and helps them understand the Learning for Life schema and helps them understand how this subject links to others.

The Learning for Life lesson curriculum is sequenced by PiXL to build on existing knowledge and skills, and incrementally develop new knowledge of new skills required for the current point of their life journey. Pupils understand the sequence and what they’re required to learn as a result of using the PLCs. Spaced retrieval, repeated practice, self-evaluation, sharing experiences, discussion of strategies and discussion of application to ones own life, are used to ensure that Learning for Life concepts are understood and knowledge remembered.  During class discussion, pupils analyse their own life and that of others, and we place emphasis on the acquisition of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary. Modelling and explaining this vocabulary in our teaching.

The implementation of this curriculum is detailed in the document below.

 

Teacher Reading Aloud 

During these sessions, the teacher reads a pre-prepared non-fiction passage to the pupils so developing reading comprehension, building vocabulary and enhancing the social and emotional experiences of the pupils. Reading aloud helps pupils learn how to use language to make sense of the world; it improves their information processing skills, vocabulary, and comprehension.  Research has shown that teachers who read aloud motivate pupils to read. ​

Teachers in every classroom teach reading comprehension almost every day.  In almost every school setting, pupils work with text. One of the most powerful tools a teacher can use when teaching literacy is to read aloud to pupils on a regular basis. ​

The reading comprehension benefits are that pupils learn how to read by reading but they learn how to read fluently by listening to fluent readers. Whilst Accelerated Reader is used extensively and shown to have a hugely positive impact at Penwortham Priory Academy, if pupils' only encounters with reading are solitary, they may not comprehend anything beyond literal facts. Hearing a story, however, lets children focus on its flow. They are free from wrestling with words they do not understand and can instead engage the material more emotionally.  ​

One of the key academic benefits of reading aloud to pupils is that it stimulates curiosity. Reading fiction or non-fiction about a concept or historic incident is likely to pique pupils' interest. ​

In addition, carefully scheduled ‘read alouds’ can give pupils background knowledge about a topic before they begin studying it in earnest. Pupils depend on this background knowledge to make sense of new materials and connect new information to their schemata. Reading aloud can make new topics and issues accessible in a way that focuses on the information, not on their reading ability. ​

Since a substantial amount of teaching reading comprehension involves vocabulary acquisition, reading aloud can introduce Tier 2 and Tier 3 words to pupils who may not have heard them before. When they hear words for the first time in a casual setting, pupils can ask questions, receive answers and participate in conversations. ​

The independent reading level of many pupils may lag behind their comprehension of advanced vocabulary and concepts. They may not be able to recognise words and read them on their own, but they have no problem understanding what the text says. By hearing more advanced texts read aloud, pupils gain access to information that interests them but may be beyond their reading level. ​

Research is clear about the social-emotional benefits of reading aloud, especially at the infant and pre-school levels. However, the same is true for other ages as well, including high-school and college classrooms: reading aloud gives pupils a sense of comfort and acceptance. ​

The implementation requires teachers to examine the provided PowerPoint resource before its delivery. Once with their Learning for Life group, they introduce new vocabulary before reading the extract. They then read to the class and are encouraged to model close reading where they "think aloud" during a read aloud. Using this strategy, the teacher reads a word, sentence or paragraph and then stops reading to pose a question or make a connection: What does that word mean? What was the author thinking? That happened to me once! The teachers do not ask the pupils to participate; rather, this approach models the teacher's thought processes. Pupils see first-hand how a good reader successfully makes sense of a text.  

 

Friday Challenge

To expose pupils to aspects of culture, literacy and numeracy we provide them with a weekly challenge where they must assimilate the information given and then are tested on it.

The content exposes them to Tier 2 vocabulary, British culture, historical and geographical facts about the world and basic maths that they need to remember such as equations. The challenge is seen as an opportunity to have pupils engage with a breath of knowledge that takes them beyond the learning that they might experience in their classes.

 

Learning for Life Days

At Penwortham Priory Academy there are five discrete Learning for Life Days dedicated to allocated topics and content suggested by the PSHE Association. This curriculum helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage life’s challenges and make the most of life’s opportunities.

Through Learning for Life Days, pupils will again transition from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 smoothly, building on prior knowledge and skills at Key Stage 2.

Pupils are provided with challenging topics and meaningful learning experiences which can be applied to their own lives in a timely way. Challenging and thought-provoking learning experiences help pupils think hard to gain a better understanding of different aspects of life in order to address teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, unhealthy eating, lack of physical activity, emotional health and other key issues. Priory’s Learning for Life Days’ programme tackles barriers to learning, raises aspirations and improves the life chances of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils.

To be successful independent learners, pupils are given regular opportunities to reflect on and identify what they have learned, what needs to be learned next and what they need to do to continue their learning. The personal nature of Learning for Life Day education means that progress cannot be assessed in the same way as most other subjects and it would be inappropriate for assessment in Learning for Life education to imply passing or failing ‘as a person’. It is however possible to recognise and evidence progress and attainment in the knowledge, understanding, skills and attributes Learning for Life Days strive to develop. This is monitored through white board activities, mind mapping and during 2019-20 through PLCs.

Pupils are continually required to think hard in lessons using ‘higher order’ skills such as analysis and evaluation. This element of their learning is addressed through the continual analysis and evaluation of their own lives and that of others, planning and implementing new strategies, creating a new way of conducting themselves.

The Learning for Life curriculum on these days encourages pupils to develop skills for life which they can employ now or in the future. Pupils gain knowledge regarding a number of different life aspects, they discuss their current experience of each where appropriate, they develop an understanding of how to move forward in the future in a beneficial way to themselves and others and are assisted in identifying opportunities that are easy to engage with now.

High quality guidance in the ‘Life beyond Priory’ unit provides impartial guidance regarding educational pathways and methods for successfully achieving future course and career goals. This supplements learning in Learning for Life Road Map lessons and other Gatsby experiences the school provides.

Throughout their time in Learning for Life Days pupils are encouraged to evolve their character and improve the culture of our school. They are encouraged to adopt positive behaviours and attitudes in class which benefit them personally and the rest of the school community. They are encouraged to be positive, committed, respectful, kind, courteous, well mannered, safe, calm, orderly and take pride in themselves, their work and our school. Pupils albeit well integrated in terms of personal characteristics, still have sessions to appreciate aspects of gender, beliefs and disability.

The resources created by staff or sourced from reputable organisations are designed to provide high quality personal development education which should engage, inspire and challenge pupils, equipping them with the knowledge and skills they need now and in the future. As pupils progress, they should be able to apply the knowledge gained to a greater extent to their own lives and see a greater impact.

Knowledge underpins the Learning for Life Days’ curriculum, therefore whilst we teach different aspects of the curriculum, we apply what we have learnt in very varied, personal, current and new situations. Pupils are to be given an overview of their learning journey at the start of their unit of work so that they know what they’ll be learning, the skills they’ll develop, why they need to know this and how they’ll learn it. This will be provided in the form of the personal learning checklist (PLC) and will help them understand the Learning for Life Days’ schema and helps them understand how this subject links to others.

The Learning for Life Days’ curriculum is sequenced internally to build on existing knowledge and skills, and incrementally develop new knowledge of new skills required for the current point of their life journey. The NHS SHNA survey report at the start of Year 9 also provides direction as to what needs to be taught when for our pupils. Pupils understand the sequence and what they’re required to learn as a result of using the PLCs. Spaced retrieval, repeated practice, self-evaluation, sharing experiences, discussion of strategies and discussion of application to one's own life, are used to ensure that Learning for Life Days’ concepts are understood and knowledge remembered.  During class discussion, pupils analyse their own life and that of others, and we place emphasis on the acquisition of Tier 2 and Tier 3 vocabulary. Modelling and explaining this vocabulary in our teaching.

Year 7

Pupils will learn about: Transition skills including time management, study skills and learning styles; Team Work Skills including communication, listening and responding; Online Safety to include protecting their reputation and online presence; Positive mental health development including understanding hormonal changes, receiving feedback, and healthy coping strategies; Future and finance awareness to include career pathways, Labour Market, part time working and enterprise.

Year 8

Pupils will learn about: Different kinds of positive relationships and their characteristics;  Diversity and Equality regarding disabilities; Basic and Emergency First Aid alongside appropriate use of NHS services; Fundamental British Values and why they are important; Maintaining a healthy body;

Year 9

Pupils will learn about: Different forms of addictive substances and the law; Diversity and Equality regarding gender and sexuality including terminology; Development towards an intimate relationship and consent, including coercion; Sexual Health including different forms of STIs and preventative products; Unhealthy Relationships and their characteristics.

Year 10

Pupils will learn about: Diversity and Equality regarding people of different faiths and beliefs; The impact of addiction on self and others; Pregnancy and parenthood in all different circumstances; Skills for life beyond Priory to include mock interviews with employers and how to write a CV; Personal Safety to include car cruising and gangs.

Year 11

Pupils will learn about: Exam preparation including revision skills and creating revision timetables; How to stay mentally and emotionally well during the final year; How to look after themselves physically now and in the future; Finance now and in the future. In 2020 pupils have also been given the opportunity to suggest content they require for their future beyond Priory.

All schemes of learning include information regarding sources of information, guidance and support.


The implementation of this curriculum is detailed in the document below.

 

Assemblies

Assemblies at Priory operate on a carousel every week to allow each year group the opportunity to use the formal assembly space once a week. The start of each half term is led by the Head of Year and focuses on expectations and standards for the forthcoming weeks. The final assembly of every half term is a celebration event to reward pupils for their efforts in the last few weeks. In between these there is a set programme of assemblies for Years 7 to 10 focusing on National Awareness days, charities, and other Learning for Life themes. Year 11 have a more dynamic approach to assemblies to deliver themes which are pertinent to exams, college applications and well-being. Guest speakers and colleges are often invited in, hence there is no fixed calendar of events.

 

Visiting speakers, workshops and performances

The school also provides regular additional activities, workshops and lectures from visiting performance groups and speakers to support their social, moral, spiritual and cultural development and understanding of the Fundamental British Values. In recent months we have invited in, County Lines, Street Wise, Wasted Lives, Squad Goals, Lancashire Mind, The National Citizenship Service, The Royal British Legion, Fair Trade, and many more.

 

Trips and visits

In addition to the diverse and rich opportunities offered through lessons, we value opportunities to take pupils out on trips and visits of value. Trips and visits provided by subjects for pupils take part in include: The Great British Clean Up every year; The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme; and in April we will be starting to work with the local Army Cadets. Other volunteering opportunities in the community are advertised to pupils and attendance usually requires adult supervision: Our pupils volunteer at The Venue Penwortham, Bamber Bridge Football Club, for Galloway's support for the blind and The Hurst Grange Park Trust to name a few.

Learning for Life Implementation Document