“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, 1937
PDL is a core subject throughout KS3 and KS4 that deals with aspects of both Citizenship and PSHEE. Through our lessons we aim to help pupils develop the skills necessary to engage with the world in a confident and informed way.
Beginning with issues of friendship and peer pressure in Year 7 and working through sex and relationships education, understanding alcohol and drugs and dealing with mental health issues as we progress into Years 10 and 11, we hope to give pupils a chance to develop the emotional resilience to deal with life’s setbacks as well as be able to make the right choices in an informed manner. We have also taken the step of having explicit lessons on emotional wellbeing and managing feelings, as well as highlighting in lessons the skills they have used in working successfully with others.
We also encourage pupils to become active and engaged in the wider community by giving them the chance to understand the political system in which we live and how they can interact with it (and change it for the better!). We also show pupils the way in which we live as part of a global society and the way in which no one exists in isolation from the rest of the world. Through activities such as creating political parties, engaging in group projects on issues such as global poverty and encouraging pupils to take note of what is going on in the world around them we hope that they will leave school with a better sense of the world they are entering into.
As well as our lessons we also offer the chance to compete in competitions such as the Magistrates’ Mock Trial outside of school for Years 8 and 9 (with many girls returning for the second year!) and where possible we also encourage outside speakers to talk to pupils, such as Kent Fire & Rescue, Alcoholics Anonymous, our local Magistrates, Baroness Emerton from the Peers in Schools programme and Crossways, a charity working to improve mental health issues. Over the past few years our Year 10 pupils have also attended the Well-Being Festival in Tonbridge where they can take part in a range of activities aimed at creating a positive attitude towards physical, emotional and mental health.
Through the study of PDL we hope to equip pupils with the range of skills needed for them to develop as independent young people both within and outside of the school environment.