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Personal Development Curriculum

About Our Personal Development Curriculum

At the core of our educational journey and ‘The Barrow Way’ lies Personal Development. Our goal is to ensure that as our children leave from Barrow, they do so as self-assured global citizens, possessing the qualities, abilities, and wisdom necessary for their personal success in the future, along with the compassion and insight to contribute to a more compassionate world for others. Our vision statement, ‘Rooted in God’s love, everyone growing together to become the best that we can be’– truly encompasses all that we do at Barrow!

Our curriculum extends beyond the academic classroom and provides children broader life experiences to assist in discovering their own interests. At Barrow, we celebrate and place a high value on the individuality of our children and the experiences that make them unique. Our hope is that our children are successful, happy and feel part of a community.

Our Personal Development Curriculum aims to develop children’s understanding and to build confidence in all children so that they feel able to raise issues, question ideas and reflect on their learning, to allow them to develop as well-rounded young people who can contribute meaningfully to the wider community and go on to lead happy, successful and healthy lives.


We aim to prepare children for life in modern Britain and create opportunities within our curriculum and additional activities to teach and support the development of all of the British Values. Within these, we aim to:

  • Enable children to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of Britain
  • Encourage children to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely
  • Enable children to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in Britain
  • Further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling children to acquire an appreciation for and respect for their own and other cultures.
  • Encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the Equality Act 2010.

Our curriculum design and intent revolve around five key drivers, with personal development as the core focus for each one. We not only integrate this into our curriculum structure and weekly schedules but also meticulously plan themed days and learning experiences to cultivate and nurture each driver within every child.

Achievement & Aspirations- Our curriculum includes units that introduce them to a diverse range of careers, featuring meetings with professionals and inspiring visitors. We regularly celebrate children's achievements to boost confidence. Our unique 'Barrow Award' program in years 5 and 6 encourages them to set and reach ambitious goals. Additionally, our Junior Leadership Team (JLT) empowers children to have a voice in school decisions, instilling a sense of responsibility and ambition from an early age.

Active Citizens – Each year, we actively support charitable fundraising efforts and engage children in hands-on experiences to understand how their contributions can make a difference. Our curriculum, including subjects like geography, emphasises vital topics such as recycling and climate change awareness. Additionally, we take part in weekly litter-picking walks in our local area, joined by our school's furry friend, 'Ludo.'

Diversity – through a library stocked with a diverse range of books and year-round integration of black history topics. We regularly arrange visits to places of worship, providing children with firsthand insights into different cultures and faiths. Welcoming visitors from various backgrounds further enriches our children’s understanding of diversity. Lastly, our annual 'BarrowFest' unites our school community in celebrating cultural diversity, fostering unity and appreciation.

Healthy Advocates – We are committed to promoting physical well-being with a mandatory two hours of physical education each week and a diverse range of after-school clubs focused on maintaining healthy bodies. On "Wellbeing Wednesdays," we dedicate time to explore our mental health and teach valuable skills like journaling our feelings. Our nurturing hub provides a safe space for children to talk to staff, and "Ludo time" includes walks with our school dog.

Resilience - Our children keep reflective journals to foster self-awareness and personal growth. We offer a diverse range of physical education opportunities and after-school clubs that challenge them physically and mentally. Engaging in community and charity initiatives allows them to witness the positive impact of their actions, nurturing empathy and resilience. Additionally, our outdoor education programs, including Forest School and adventure trips, along with overnight residential holidays for years 4, 5, and 6, provide real-world challenges that encourage problem-solving and the development of resilience.

These curriculum drivers have been carefully chosen to reflect the needs of the children at Barrow and the community we serve. The skills they learn through this are transferable and will support them in whatever path they choose in the future. There are core strands that run through the programme which include relationships and sex education (RSE); mental health and well-being; aspirations, environmental responsibility and citizenship.

At Barrow, we have a shared language which includes our 3 rules; Be safe, Be ready, Be responsible. We talk to the children about showing the ‘Barrow Way’ and through staff, governor and children collaborative work we have boiled this down to the following;

We believe that every interaction is an opportunity to develop the good character of our children to help them be more kind and considerate every day.