Personal Development Overview - Coaching
Central to the personal development of our pupils is our coaching time curriculum. Alongside the daily schedule of academic lessons every pupil is provided with half an hour each day across Year 7-10 (Year 11 have 30 minutes per week) in which they meet with their coach and coaching group made up of their peer group.
Within this protected time pupils are able to explore the wider world and the experiences they will face beyond the confines of the academy. It is our aim to prepare our students and ‘coach’ them to face these challenges in an educated and informed manner.
At the heart of these sessions is our PSHE, RSE, SMSC and British Values provision in which pupils are coached through the complex and moral dilemmas of growing up in the 21st century as well as helping them develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future. We also aim to help our students stay healthy and safe while making the most of life and work. The PSHE provision follows the PSHE association framework and has three main themes throughout the content they will cover. The three themes that all lessons connect to are:
- Health and wellbeing
- Living in the wider world
Within each of these broad topics pupils build upon the knowledge and understanding, skills, attributes and values they have acquired and developed during their primary phase. The content we cover also acknowledges and addresses the changes that young people experience, beginning with transition to secondary school, the challenges of adolescence and their increasing independence.
We also wish to teach the knowledge and skills which will equip them for the opportunities and challenges of life, how to manage the diverse relationships they will encounter, their online lives and the influence of both their peers and media. It is hoped that through these topics pupils will develop the character to face these problems and make a more educated decision, have the conscience to understand the complexities and varying opinions that exist around these controversial topics and courage to follow their beliefs.
Alongside the PSHE elements of the programme, coaching consists of other core strands that enhance the students experience. Each student follows the programme outlined below as part of this experience;
- Bulletin – Students receive a weekly ‘noticeboard’ of opportunities within the academy and important updates. These can range from sporting opportunities to clubs and societies that are on within the school week. Alongside this are important notices as well as additional maths and literacy opportunities for students to complete.
- Reading for pleasure – Once a week students have the opportunity to read from a book of their choice. We strongly believe in the importance of literacy in developing the character, courage and conscience of our pupils, and for half an hour each week pupils will be expected to silently read. We encourage our students to visit the library regularly and expect all to embrace this opportunity and discover the written word in what ever format they choose.
- Assembly – As part of our collective worship pupils will also partake in an assembly once a week. This occurs within our house system (Oriel, Manchester, Kings and Imperial) and will cover important issues. These can range from current events that are influencing the lives of our students, historic events that we believe require recognition and remembrance to moral and spiritual topics all of which help shape the conscience, character and courage of our students. Themes relating to both the Citizenship and Religious Studies curriculum are explored.
- Topical debate – In order to develop the conscience and courage to investigate the world as well as shape their own character we also promote topical debate. Within this programme we select key events that are unfurling within the world around us and discuss these in a structured manner. Each coaching group will read through an academic article often from a current newspaper and discuss the topic with their coach. We believe that this is vital in not just allowing the girls to broaden their horizons and cultural capital, but also essential in developing the character to develop their own opinion, conscience to follow their beliefs and understand and respect the others and courage to involve themselves in these complex and sometimes challenging topics.
We pride ourselves on the relationships that we try to foster between the coach and their coaching group. It is our intention that a coaching group will travel through their academic journey alongside their coach. We believe this is fundamental to their progress, as the coach is able to guide and help them through the challenges they face as they grow, as well as foster the character, courage and conscience we aim to instil in our students. This relationship is also developed between the home of our students and their coach with parents / carers having the ability to contact their coach as the first port of call should there be an issue they require support on.
Overseeing this is also the Head of House who is present in both the assemblies and coaching sessions ensuring that any additional pastoral support as well as academic is offered. Connected to each House is also an Assistant Principal who will aid in the delivery of assemblies, provide support and additional coaching to pupils who require it and be another means of contact should this be required. The heads of house are:
- Imperial House: Ms N. Mehmet firstname.lastname@example.org
- Manchester House: Ms L. Kidsley email@example.com
- Oriel House: Mr M. Oviri firstname.lastname@example.org
- King’s House: Ms M. Noah email@example.com
Safeguarding information is reviewed monthly by the safeguarding team and the information on trends and analysis is used to evaluate and adapt our coaching curriculum and our assembly programme across the Academy. This may result in resequencing of curriculum topics based on priorities identified from new safeguarding information that has been identified within the local context.
We believe that coaching lies at the heart of our institution. It provides the opportunities to our students that we believe help develop the core principles of character, courage and conscience that are so vital in ensuring their success and happiness both at school and beyond. The programme we offer helps develop and foster these skills as well as provide a sense of community and cohesion that can support them through their time here. Our shared vision is filtered through to pupils in the house system that we have as well as the lessons provided both in coaching, their academic lessons, assemblies and discussions. With these three values instilled in our students we believe they can make the difference in the world that they then go into in order that they can then shape the world around them and become the leaders of the future.
Character and educational achievement
Research suggests supporting the development of character traits such as respect, leadership, motivation, resilience, self-control, self-confidence, social and emotional skills, and communication skills (Education Endowment Foundation, 2016) can improve educational attainment, engagement with school, and attendance. A literature review for the Education Endowment Foundation and Cabinet Office found that:
- High self-efficacy, or self-belief, is associated with better performance, more persistence and greater interest in work
- Highly-motivated children (linked to tenacity), who are driven internally and not by extrinsic rewards, show greater levels of persistence and achievement
- Good self-control (or self-regulation, the ability to delay gratification) is associated with greater attainment levels
- Having good coping skills (part of being able to bounce back) is associated with greater well-being.
When considering the intent, implementation and impact of our personal development programme, we have considered the following six Character Education benchmarks included in the Department for Education guidance from November 2019. These benchmarks summarise the most important features of good provision for character education.
- What kind of academy are we?
- What are our expectations of behaviour towards each other?
- How well do our curriculum and teaching develop resilience and confidence?
- How good is our co-curriculum provision?
- How well do we promote the value of volunteering and service to others?
- How do we ensure that all our pupils benefit equally from what we offer?
For further details relating to our PSHE and RSE provision, please see our Personal, social, health and economic education page.
For further details relating to our SMSC, British Values and Prevent Duty provision, please see our Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development page.
For further details relating to our provision for Citizenship across the curriculum, please see our Citizenship page.