Personal Development at Eskdale Junior
Becoming an ‘Eskdaler’
At Eskdale Junior School Personal Development is intricately woven into all aspects of school life and rooted in our core values as pupils strive to become an ‘Eskdaler’. An ‘Eskdaler’ is our aspiration for all pupils in school, defined by exemplification of our core values, growing as a responsible citizen, developing character, becoming mentally and physically healthy, therefore equipping them with the skills and knowledge for life to make thoughtful and safe decisions that will allow them to succeed within their lives both now and into the future.
Our Personal Development curriculum has a number of key components, all of which are underpinned by our core values. These are:
Additional components include:
The implementation of our Personal Development curriculum is not just confined to lessons; it pervades all aspects of our school ethos and culture, in every step, conversation and interaction, whereby our staff act as role models, central to the personal and character development of our pupils’.
A detailed look at the components that contribute to how we develop our pupils as ‘Eskdalers’; supporting their personal development:
PSHE and RSE
Through our PSHE curriculum pupils learn about and begin to understand a range of factors that may affect them in their own lives. Closely relating to the school’s core values, children learn life skills, resilience and are taught how to look after their own emotional, physical and financial wellbeing. We believe that this is the best way to set children up for their lives in modern Britain.
Within this learning is RSE content; lifelong learning about personal, physical, moral and emotional development, teaching our pupils to develop and form positive values, attitudes, personal and social skills, and increase their knowledge and understanding of how to make informed decisions and life choices.
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The teaching of Religious Education at Eskdale aims to develop an understanding and respect for beliefs, values and practices of other people and themselves. Religious Education at Eskdale is rooted in our core values specifically skills and knowledge for life and combines understanding and knowledge gain of religions with the ability to engage with ideas about British Values, such as tolerance and respect for people who hold varied beliefs and worldviews.
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Assembly at Eskdale Junior supports pupil’s Personal Development through selecting themes each week that are pertinent to pupils SMSC/British Values understanding. Themes such as equality, kindness, anti-bullying and tolerance are explored each week as well as nationally and internationally recognised events for example Black History or International Women’s Day. Pupils respond to these themes each week with personal reflections or demonstrate their understanding through our assembly theme board in the hall.
SMSC and British Values
Pupils spiritual, moral, social and cultural learning (including British Values) are themes running through all of the school’s curriculum but specifically those subjects that make a larger contribution to pupil’s Personal Development. SMSC is also treated as discrete themes in assembly and whole school activities such as Parliament Week, supporting pupils understanding of British Values.
Through our P.E curriculum pupils play variety of sports, taught by both staff at Eskdale and sport coaches. Weekly Drumba sessions keep our pupils physically healthy and extra-curricular clubs such as dodgeball and football provide enrichment. Over the key stage pupils also gain cultural capital by attending live sporting events such as the Nottingham Tennis Open and cricket at Trent Bridge. Pupils with also have the opportunity to represent school in competitions and sport festivals.
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We are a Music Mark School-recognised by Nottinghamshire LA for excellence in music provision. The teaching of Music at Eskdale engages and inspires our pupils to develop a love of music, develop their talent as musicians. We believe that music significantly contributes to a sense of well-being and belonging, confidence and self-esteem, whilst providing opportunities to further develop leadership, team working, concentration and problem-solving skills. Pupils sing each week as a school and have the opportunity to perform, demonstrating both their skills and knowledge each term to an audience. The school has a large choir and regularly participates in events such as Young Voices. Pupils can participate in peripatetic music tuition in either drumming, piano and guitar through Inspire music.
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Curriculum content through other subjects
Our ‘Think like a…’ curriculum is rooted in our core values and so Personal Development can be evidenced in all subjects across the curriculum (this is denoted in plans by the hand I icon in our plans.
Extra-curricular opportunities (including pupil led activity)
Extra-curricular opportunities at Eskdale allow for equality of opportunity for all pupils as well as challenges such as leadership through pupil led activity.
As much a possible we try and provide a wide range of clubs both sport, music and those that relate to pupil well-being or curriculum focussed activity.
A notable contribution to pupil’s personal development is Commando Joe who through teaching our pupil’s their R.E.S.P.E.C.T curriculum support pupils with the principles of, and how to apply Resilience, Empathy, Self Aware (ness), Positivity, Excellence, Communication and Teamwork to a range of situations and reflect on how these themes impact on their daily life.
In addition to this our oldest pupils apply by letter of application to become a Junior Joe-designing and delivering physical and mental challenges for our youngest pupils.
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House Captains are established each year where pupils apply to become the leader of their House and become a voice in school for generating events and activities for pupils across school to socialise with more frequency. For example this can include sports events and quizzes.
We believe that the teaching of English at Eskdale delivers a high-quality curriculum that gives children the best possible opportunities to become confident, literate, successful members of society with a deep love and understanding of the English language and literature.
We aim to provide children with experiences that will lead to rich language development so that at the end of their primary education with us, they are empowered with a breadth of vocabulary that they can build on in their future prospects.
We hold reading for pleasure at the heart of everything we do so pupils develop a real love and thirst for reading a range of genres. At Eskdale, we have a vibrant library organised by our pupil Library Squad. They work hard to encourage our pupils to read, recommending books, holding Book Clubs and Story Times, (to mention but a few of the many activities they offer), not only inviting in reluctant readers but providing all our children with a wide range of texts to choose from. We resource the library based on children’s interests and curriculum areas so that there are texts suitable for all readers with a member of the Library Squad on hand to help with research or homework.
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