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Four new key judgement categories were introduced in the 2019 Ofsted framework – quality of education, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management and personal development.
Since then, it’s been a scramble for schools to meet the new requirements instated. In the midst of the rush, there’s been some confusion on what personal development entails, and the best way to meet Ofsted’s exacting standards.
We’re here to clear up any uncertainties, and explain how Premier Education and Game of Actual Life can help your school fulfil personal development curriculum requirements.
Personal development can seem quite a vague term, and could in theory discuss everything from social development to improving academic knowledge. In this context, it goes beyond typical school-based learning, and instead focuses on the students’ broader development.
It’s more about prioritising wellbeing, and helping pupils prepare for living in the wider world after school; teaching students essential values that will help them make a positive contribution to society.
According to gov.uk, Ofsted inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which:
As you can see, personal development doesn’t have a huge list of requirements, especially when compared to a category like quality of education. As one of the four key categories, however, it’s still vital that teachers are meeting each evaluation point fully in lessons and the rest of the school timetable.
The first point from Ofsted demands attention be paid to the broader development of students, “enabling them to develop and discover their interests and talents”.
This suggests that schools should be offering a wide range of clubs and activities, as well as providing varied lessons that develop several skills and accommodate different learning types.
Specifying resilience, confidence and independence – and how to keep physically and mentally healthy – this section should influence both the way we conduct curricular activities and the level of support students are offered.
Teaching the students these skills doesn’t have to be solely in lessons, and can be done through extra curricular activities, like after school clubs. Sport and PE offer an excellent opportunity to boost pupils’ confidence, self esteem and independence, as well as teaching the students about physical health.
Mental health support and education is also vital for maintaining the wellbeing of students.
Though the next steps for children in key stage 2 will be different to teenagers in key stage 4, this is something teachers can adapt for each year group.
Preparing pupils for their next years of education is one part of this personal development requirement, but it also includes a look at life after school. Helping students consider potential careers after education – and how they can reach them – is essential.
Preparing for life in modern Britain covers such a broad range of topics. Everything from teaching students British values and how to develop positive relationships with others, to lessons on managing money can be incorporated in this section.
There are several discussion topics that fit under the ‘life in modern Britain’ umbrella, including the importance of individual liberty and an understanding of how equality and diversity are promoted and celebrated.
While not part of the national curriculum – though citizenship comes into play once students reach key stage 3 – personal development has become a key focus of the curriculum at schools.
Though you should now have a better grasp on what the requirements are, you may still be wondering what your school can implement to meet them.
Premier Education’s Game of Actual Life helps pupils learn skills they’ll need in the ‘real world’ after school, and has been designed to support schools in meeting personal development requirements.
We give students a new perspective on their future, as they find themselves role-playing as a 22-year-old that has left higher education and is embarking on building their life outside academia.
The game provides pupils with a chance to apply their academic learning and thinking skills in a practical way. It’s designed to help children learn valuable life skills, while also meeting the demands Ofsted has placed on the new curriculum. Game of Actual Life can occur within the school timetable, but is also available as an extracurricular.
These are a few ways Game of Actual Life can support schools in meeting curriculum requirements:
Maths might be a core subject, but many young people leave school completely unprepared for the realities of financial responsibilities in adult life.
From applying maths skills to mortgages and pensions to everyday budgeting, we help students gain a greater understanding of the financial challenges of becoming an adult.
Improving students’ financial knowledge is an essential part of personal development. Pupils are far better equipped to handle living in the wider world after playing Game of Actual Life; tricky topics like interest rates and investments are no longer completely foreign concepts.
Building a knowledge base is one thing, but developing the social skills and confidence needed to flourish in society requires a different approach. Academic lessons can develop these skills, but it is often the time spent outside of classrooms that has the most impact on children in this respect.
In Game of Actual Life we treat children as adults, placing them in a scenario where they need to make their own decisions and choices, whether that’s the type of car they purchase or a career selection. We ask them to give the reasoning behind their decisions, listen to their ideas and encourage debate; all of which help with building their confidence and communication skills.
Group work, high quality debate and discussions are all used to improve communication and social skills.
By treating children as adults in a conversation and encouraging healthy debate, we are teaching mutual respect. Children have to listen to others while they’re speaking, and are given ample opportunity to proceed with a thoughtful response once they have finished.
We also educate young people on the wider world and diversity; encouraging them to have positive attitudes towards different cultures, and see how their own beliefs can exist alongside the beliefs of others within a wider community.
Knowing how to ‘keep physically and mentally healthy’ is one of the key curriculum areas listed under personal development. Our specialist teachers are trained to raise awareness of these issues, and get the pupils actively involved in discussions on health and wellbeing.
Preparing learners for future success and helping them discover their interests and talents are both requirements from Ofsted.
Game of Actual Life’s scenario of being a university leaver puts children in the position of looking at potential careers. It’s a great way to get pupils to start considering their future and the careers that might interest them.
As part of preparing young people for life in modern Britain and helping pupils become “responsible, respectful, active citizens” in society, we dedicate part of our Games of Actual Life to educating children on subject areas that may not appear so organically in average lessons.
We discuss all aspects of adult life, including living harmoniously with others, understanding different socio-economic backgrounds and situations, and environmental issues.
We can support schools in their efforts to meet personal development requirements, making lives easier for teachers and enrichening the experience of pupils.
Providing opportunities for children to develop essential life skills and prepare for the real world is immensely rewarding. Game of Actual Life is a fantastic vehicle for starting those conversations, and helps schools to meet Ofsted’s high standards.
You can combine Game of Actual Life with other activities, like after school clubs, to really enhance your school’s personal development curriculum.