The Springfield Journey: Providing an Outstanding Personal Development Learning Programme

The programme aspires to enhance the lives of Springfield pupils by enabling them to make the most of outstanding learning opportunities both inside and outside school thus instilling them with the attributes necessary to be a successful global citizen. These cannot always be measured in terms of league tables but can be seen as ‘glue’ that holds the curriculum together demonstrated not only by pupils’ progression in learning but the impact that has on their personal development shown by appropriate behaviours at the correct time (frequently commented on by the public and stakeholders). This multi-faceted approach comprises all aspects of statutory elements of the National Curriculum and other enrichment learning experiences that are integral to the school’s vision and ethos of ‘Aiming for Excellence’.

A range of methods and expertise are employed to provide high quality learning experiences ranging from specialist staff deployment to invited guest presenters in order for pupils to raise their aspirations from when they first arrive in Year 7 to the ‘finished product’ in Year 11. They are then fully equipped to meet the challenges of the next stage of their learning journey. Such a pupil would be self-confident having had five years of a broad and balanced curriculum, could manage their feelings and be knowledgeable about spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of their learning as well as being able to practice fundamental British values in a safe and healthy way. This can be assessed through regular feedback via lessons and pupil focus groups.

In order to keep the programme highly effective, pupils, teachers and guest are regularly consulted on the content ensuring flexibility in the material covered and that it is up to date and relevant. Such a fluid, dynamic and evolving model is robustly reviewed by the Personal Development Learning (PDL) group whose membership comprises teachers from across the curriculum and pupils invited to share their views. Observations/learning walks of all aspects of the programme (not just lessons) and scrutiny of pupils’ progress add to this review process. This self-review system can be kept in a portfolio showing progression along their journey as well as being celebrated by staff and regular updates on the school web site and newsletters.

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