Personal Development

Personal development at St Joseph’s is built upon the foundations of our school virtues: Respect, Pride, Love and Charity, Faith and Courage.  These virtues underpin our school culture and every pupil’s daily school life as we aim for every child to be the very best version of themselves, created in the image of God.

We also actively promote and develop pupil’s understanding and appreciation for Fundamental British Values- Rule of Law, Democracy, Individual Liberty, Mutual Respect and Tolerance.

Our personal development curriculum goes beyond the national curriculum. It offers unique learning experiences which provide students with enriched cultural capital. By offering a varied and diverse set of experiences, we help to prepare students for life in modern day Britain.

Our personal development curriculum provides significant opportunities for pupils to engage in the following key areas:


SMSC (spiritual, moral, social, cultural)

Our Learners’ Code and School Virtues

Pupil Voice and Peer Leadership

Aspirations for the future


Spiritual: explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect. This includes deepening an understanding of our Catholic religion whist celebrating and respecting the similarities and differences of other religions.

Moral: recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views. This is linked to our behaviour curriculum

Social: use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.

Cultural: appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.


Our RSHE curriculum is all the planned activities which we organise in order to promote learning and personal growth and development. It includes not only the formal requirements of the National Curriculum, but also the curriculum offer which we as a school provide, to develop the independence and responsibility of all of our pupils, ensuring they are well placed to become educated citizens.  Ten:Ten (Life to the Full), the chosen RSHE scheme of the school, has as its foundational premise the belief that we are made in the image and likeness of God and, as a consequence, gender and sexuality are God’s gift, reflect God’s beauty and share in the divine creativity

The DFE guidance defines RSHE as “lifelong learning about physical, moral and emotional development.  It is about the understanding of the importance of marriage and family life, stable and loving relationships, respect, love and care.” It is about the development of the pupil’s knowledge and understanding of her/him as a sexual being, about what it means to be fully human, called to live in right relationships with self and others and being enabled to make moral decisions in conscience.  The DFE identifies three main elements: “attitudes and values, personal and social skills, and knowledge and understanding”.

Our Learners’ Code and School Virtues

Our behaviours are driven by virtues. A virtue is a behaviour showing high moral standards. If we apply these virtues to our behaviour we can be the very best version of ourselves. Our Behavior curriculum ensures that all children are taught how to demonstrate our virtues within the ‘St Joseph’s Way’

Our school virtues are:

Love and Charity

Within this virtue we demonstrate that we love God above all things and we love our neighbours. Being able to show love and charity enables us to care for each other in our school, community and around the world.

Mark 12:30-31

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second most important commandment is this: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment more important than these two.”


Within this virtue we recognise how we believe in God and all that He has said and revealed to us. Being able to show faith demonstrates to others how our actions are influenced by Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:17

So then, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message comes through preaching Christ.



Within this virtue, we recognise that showing respect to others means that you act in a way that shows that you care about their feelings and wellbeing. Being able to demonstrate respect means that we think about how we can show respect for ourselves, our school and our common home.

Matthew 7:12

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets



Within this virtue, we recognise that courage is about making good choices in the face of fear or obstacles. Being able to show courage means that we understand courage doesn’t mean fearlessness. It means we do not let fear hold us back from exploring new opportunities, developing our skills, and doing what is right.

Joshua 1:9

Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go




Within this virtue, we recognise that having pride means that we try hard to present ourselves and our work as best as we possibly can. Being able to demonstrate pride means that we want to show others that we care deeply about how we present ourselves and our work. We can also show pride by attending school every day and trying hard to improve our learning through homework and reading in our own time. Showing pride is not about boasting but being proud of your own actions and words.

Proverbs 16:3

Ask the Lord to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.

Pupil Voice and Leadership

We believe that the views, experiences and influence of our pupils are a crucial part of our drive to continuously improve our provision. We therefore seek ways to listen to the views of our pupils and involve them in decision-making so that they are engaged as partners in the life of the school. We create meaningful roles for pupils to allow them to develop leadership skills.

Aspirations for the future

At St Joseph’s , we recognise the important role that is played by primary schools in enabling children to have high aspirations about their future through independent and impartial careers advice. As a school we endeavour to provide children with a range of meaningful experiences, visits and visitors to that teach them about the world of work and provide information about future careers. For all leadership roles in school, children are asked to apply in writing stating why they would be a suitable candidate for the role based on the personal specification and job description for the position.

Our aims are to:

  • Aspire pupils to think of the future, increasing aspiration for all
  • Develop and encourage a sense of ambition towards a future career
  • Understand the basic skills and attitudes needed to be successful in the world of work and provide experiences of meaningful interaction with the world of work
  • Provide high quality information from a wide variety of sources –curriculum lessons, growth mind set sessions, specific career sessions and visitors from a variety of careers
  • Challenge all forms of stereotype (by background, gender or diversity groups) and preconceptions