Interested in joining Sixth Form at Holcombe Grammar School in September 2024?

To apply, please click here.

Personal Development

Curriculum Intent

Personal Development is a timetabled lesson where students study health, sex and relationships, employability, safety and life skills. This lesson supports our wider school community ethos by providing students the opportunity to develop successful character traits and habits alongside their academic studies. These personal strengths, talents and abilities will enable students to become their best selves in their physical health, mental well-being, career aspirations and relationships.

Through a bespoke programme designed according to our students' lived experiences and age-appropriate resources, we focus on high quality and inclusive teaching for every child in the form class. The curriculum plan develops through years 7 to 13, covering the statutory PSHE guidance at each key stage, spiritual, moral, social and cultural development across the school and the Rights Respecting School model of wellbeing, participation, relationships and self-esteem.

Our aim is that students will know:

  • how to stay safe from bullying, abuse and exploitation
  • how to stay safe online, knowing the laws and responsibilities of online behaviour
  • how to stay physically and mentally healthy
  • how to develop healthy relationships
  • how to keep themselves and others safe in all types of situations and settings

Key Stage 3


Year 7

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Transition and safety

Transition to secondary school and personal safety in and outside school.

Developing skills and aspirations

Careers, teamwork and enterprise skills, and raising aspirations


Diversity, prejudice, and bullying

Health and puberty

Healthy routines, influences on health, puberty, unwanted contact, and FGM

Building relationships

Self-worth, romance and friendships (including online) and relationship boundaries

Financial decision making

Saving, borrowing, budgeting and making financial choices



Year 8

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Drugs and alcohol

Alcohol and drug misuse and pressures relating to drug use

Community and careers

Equality of opportunity in careers and life choices, and different types and patterns of work


Discrimination in all its forms, including: racism, religious discrimination, disability, discrimination, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia

Emotional wellbeing

Mental health and emotional wellbeing, including body image and coping strategies

Identity and relationships

Gender identity, sexual orientation, consent, ‘sexting’, and an introduction to contraception

Digital literacy

Online safety, digital literacy, media reliability, and gambling hooks



Year 9

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Peer influence, substance use and gangs

Handling conflict, Healthy and unhealthy friendships, assertiveness, substance misuse, and gang exploitation

Setting goals

Learning strengths, career options and goal setting as part of the GCSE options process

Respectful relationships

Families and parenting, healthy relationships, conflict resolution, and relationship changes

Healthy lifestyle

Diet, exercise, lifestyle balance and healthy choices, and first aid

Intimate relationships

Relationships and sex education including consent, contraception, the risks of STIs, and attitudes to pornography

Employability skills

Employability and online presence


Key Stage 4


Year 10

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Mental health

Mental health and ill health, stigma, safeguarding health, including during periods of transition or change

Financial decision making

The impact of financial decisions, debt, gambling and the impact of advertising on financial choices

Healthy relationships

Relationships and sex expectations, myths, pleasure and challenges, including the impact of the media and pornography

Exploring influence

The influence and impact of drugs, gangs, role models and the media

Addressing extremism and radicalisation

Communities, belonging and challenging extremism

Work experience

Preparation for and evaluation of work experience and readiness for work



Year 11

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Building for the future

Self-efficacy, stress management, and future opportunities

Next steps

Application processes, and skills for further education, employment and career progression

Communication in relationships

Personal values, assertive communication (including in relation to contraception and sexual health), relationship challenges and abuse


Responsible health choices, and safety in independent contexts


Different families and parental responsibilities, pregnancy, marriage and forced marriage and changing relationships
GCSE Exams


Key Stage 5


Year 12

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6

Mental health and emotional wellbeing

Mental health and emotional wellbeing, Managing stress, Body image, Healthy coping strategies

Planning for the future

Exploring future opportunities, Post-18 options, The impact of financial    decisions

Diversity and inclusion

Living in a diverse society, Challenging prejudice and discrimination

Readinessfor work

Career opportunities, Preparing for the world of work

Respectful relationships

Consent, Assertive communication, Positive relationships and recognising abuse, Strategies for managing dangerous situations or relationships

Health choices and safety

Independence and keeping safe, Travel, First aid, The impact of substance use



Year 13

Term 1Term 2Term 3Term 4Term 5Term 6


Responsible health choices, Managing change, Health and wellbeing, including sexual health, into adulthood

Financial choices

Managing money, Financial contracts, Budgeting, Saving, Debt Influences on financial choices

Intimate relationships

Personal values, including in relation to contraception and sexual health, Fertility, Pregnancy

Next steps

Application processes, Future opportunities and career development, Maintaining a positive professional identity

Building and maintaining relationships

New friendships and relationships, including in the workplace, Personal safety, Intimacy, Conflict resolution, Relationship changes
A Level Exams