Personal Development

Below you can read all about the personal development programme we run at Great Park Academy.

At the bottom of this page you can see some recent examples of activities and events that have happened in school to support our pupils personal development.



Relationship Education 

  • The Personal Development curriculum (PSHE) covers the theme of healthy relationships. Pupils are supported to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships and the characteristics of both.  
  • Teaching and discussion around the concept of consent are spiraled into the curriculum each year. Pupils appreciate the importance of respecting their bodies and expect respect from others. They can identify situations when consent should be given and received.  
  • Pupils are taught about a variety of relationships such as friendships, family relationships and romantic relationships. Pupils appreciate how to behave appropriately in different types of relationships. 
  • Pupils reflect and discuss different types of families including same-sex parents, adoption and single parents. 
  • Relationship education is further strengthened through the delivery of PD+, a bespoke series of lessons delivered to pupils with SEN, emotional needs or those who have been identified as vulnerable. During these sessions, topics covered in class are reinforced and delivered by a specialist HLTA. 
  • Relationship education themes are discussed and studied in English, Active reading and Religious Studies. 
  • Training and CPD for staff on LBGTQ+ and gender issues. 

Sex Education 

  • Sex Education will be delivered through the Science and RSHE curriculum in Key Stage 3. 
  • Input from school health will further enhance the curriculum content. 
  • PD+ sessions for pupils with SEN, additional needs, or those at risk/vulnerable.  
  • External agencies to work with pupils who could be involved in risk-taking behaviour. 
  • Sex education will be complemented through the teaching of relationship education. 
  • School health team deliver a session to all Year 5 pupils about body changes and puberty. 
  • The concept of consent is reinforced in sex education lessons (Key Stage 3). 
  • Opportunities to discuss sensitive topics are planned into the curriculum. 

Physical Health and Mental Health Well-Being 

  • Healthy living is covered in PSHE, PE and Science curriculum. There are opportunities for pupils to understand how lifestyle affects both physical and mental health. Healthy eating, exercise, dental hygiene, physical hygiene, the importance of sleep and the negative effects of substances such as tobacco, drugs and alcohol are covered within the curriculum. The social effects of an unhealthy lifestyle are also discussed and reflected upon in PSHE.  
  • Like physical health, mental health is covered in equal importance. Strategies to keep minds healthy are shared in PSHE. Who to talk to and when to talk to somebody are also covered in the curriculum.   
  • Destigmiatisation of mental health has been a priority and an acceptance that mental health is something that will affect us all at some point in our lives. 
  • Assemblies and registration time are opportunities for staff to discuss mental health with their pupils. A series of whole school activities take place around World Mental Health Day and are revisited throughout the year. 
  • A member of SLT has been trained as a Mental Health Leader. 
  • A 'Worry box' is placed in the atrium so that pupils can write down any concerns/anxieties they may have. 
  • Pupils use mindfulness techniques such as breathing, eye relaxation and mediation to improve their mental health. 
  • Mindfulness club runs throughout the Autumn term weekly after school. 
  • Super Learning Day in the summer term with a focus on health and wellbeing. Activities include dance, team sport, yoga and meditation. 
  • Pupils can make positive decisions about their own health and make healthy choices. 
  • National Literacy Trust initiative of reading for 10 minutes per day to improve mental health. 




  • Financial literacy is taught across the curriculum. In maths, pupils are encouraged to apply their knowledge in the real world e.g. when practicing long division, they are given a scenario working through a shopping list subtracting from their weekly budget. 
  • In ICT pupils are taught about online safety such as scams. They are taught the importance of creating strong passwords and keeping this information confidential. 
  • In PSHE pupils cover aspiration and dreams, looking at career goals and the impact economic security could have on their lives. 
  • Pupils also cover themes such as when to save and when to spend. The concept of earning interest on savings accounts is introduced and current accounts and savings accounts are compared. 
  • In English, PSHE and Active Reading, pupils develop their debating skills on topical issues such as inflation, unemployment, and the economy using a range of up-to-date stimuli such as First News and The Week Junior. 

Technology and Media 

  • Pupils are taught about online sources in both PSHE and Computing lessons. Pupils discuss a variety of online sources including social media and draw conclusions about their reliability.  
  • They appreciate that the internet is not regulated, and material is often unchecked for reliability. 
  • Pupils are taught that harmful material can be found on the internet at Key Stage 2 and fake news, extremist material and content that may encourage self-harm and damage self-esteem at Key Stage 3. 
  • Pupils are taught how to keep themselves safe when using technology and to limit personal information that is shared. 
  • In both Computing and PSHE pupils discuss online grooming and the threat that can be posed by people pretending to be someone they are not. 
  • Pupils are also signposted to the CEOP button on the school website and informed about reporting and blocking concerning behaviour online. 

Pupil Safety 

  • Themed safety assemblies delivered throughout the year.  
  • Specialists attend school to support the delivery of assemblies such as the fire service, police and Prevent Officer for Newcastle.  
  • Visits and trips, for example to the Nexus safetyworks exhibit 
  • Health and safety procedures in place in PE, DT, Science and other subjects when equipment and hazardous materials may be used.  
  • First Aid lessons to equip pupils with the basic principles of first aid. 
  • Pupils are aware of the DSL and the Deputy DSL's within school and how they can report concerns. 



  • Pupils understand their rights and responsibilities as British Citizens but also as citizens of their communities and school. 
  • Pupils appreciate why rules are important. They can explain how rules in school help support learning, behaviour, safety and how rules support a positive school environment. 
  • Pupils have a good understanding through the PSHE and RE curriculum about the diverse make up of the UK. They know about different religious and ethnic communities and how diverse the UK is. Visits from local religious groups enhance the teaching of these topics e.g. Guest speakers from the North East Sikh Service. 
  • Diversity is also celebrated in assemblies and standalone events. Tolerance and racism are tackled through the PSHE curriculum and events such as 'show racism the red card' day. 
  • Key concepts such as democracy are taught in PSHE and history. Pupils can actively participate in democracy through the student council elections and can draw parallels between student elections and local and national elections.  


Character Development 

  • Staff have high expectations as to how the pupils behave and what they can achieve.  
  • Pupils strive to do their very best, this is evident in their contributions and work.  
  • Aspirations are high - the work can is challenging, and pupils are encouraged that it is ok to make mistakes. 
  • Teachers and staff have frequent conversations with pupils about fulfilling their potential. Where effort is below par, this is challenged through meaningful and constructive conversations.  
  • Staff have positive relationships with the pupils and believe in them.  
  • Pupils take pride in coming to this school. Student voice surveys support this, ' Great Park Academy is my home, school and family.' 
  • Assemblies celebrate achievement, attitude, kindness, resilience and good manners. These embody the ethos of the school and what it means to be part of Great Park Academy. 
  • The PRAISE code allows pupils to celebrate their achievements but also acknowledge when behaviour has not met expectations, reflecting on how this can be improved in the future and putting this into practice.  
  • Pupils can identify characteristics of what good behaviour looks like and describe their own behaviours.  
  • Pupils demonstrate good manners around the school and in classrooms. Staff model this behaviour at all times.  
  • A strong focus on oracy skills across the curriculum to improve pupils spoken language, confidence through planned opportunities for public speaking.  
  • Pupils are actively encouraged to support one another when they are working in pairs, or groups or delivering performances. The school is relentless in its promotion of community spirit. 


Wider Opportunities 

  • Extensive range of activities that provide new opportunities for pupils to explore new interests such as team and individual sports, arts, performance, languages and debate. 
  • Pupils are eager to take on voluntary roles in schools such as sports leaders, librarians, peer readers, lunch leaders, and buddies.  
  • The participation of PP and SEND pupils in the wider aspect of life is monitored half-termly through a tracker. This allows pastoral staff the opportunity to identify opportunities for PP and SEND pupils and help to remove any barriers to participation.  
  • Financial contributions are available to ensure that pupils from low-income backgrounds have the opportunity to participate in school trips and visits. 
  • A wide range of curriculum visits and trips promote cultural capital and develop a sense of awareness and knowledge about how to be successful in society. 
  • Pupil voice feedback is taken into consideration when planning extracurricular activities, trips, and visits.  
  • Trips and visits are carefully planned to enhance the delivery of the curriculum and learning beyond the curriculum.  

Respect and Tolerance 

  • Respect and tolerance are themes that are interweaved throughout the curriculum and school life. 
  • Pupils have opportunities to discuss and reflect on themes such as diversity, respect, tolerance, and racism in PSHE, RE, tutor time, and assemblies. 
  • Pupils explore fictional texts in English that promote empathy and raise awareness.  
  • A specially chosen personal development selection of books in the school library that can be accessed by all pupils.  
  • The school supports national events such as Show Racism the Red Card Day that raise awareness of local and national issues. 
  • Guest speakers and visitors to the school. 
  • Individual Liberty 

Rule of Law 

  • Exploration of why we have laws and how they enhance our society. Pupils understand that the rule of law is a fundamental British Value.  
  • Pupils understand why we have rules in school, how they keep the school community calm, safe and an environment in which people can thrive and be who they want to be. 


  • Democracy is taught in PSHE and History. Pupils are kept up to date with current affairs including local and national elections. 
  • The Student Council is an opportunity for all pupils to see democracy in action through the electing of the Student Council.  
  • Opportunities for debate and discussion are offered in both curriculum and extracurricular lessons.  


Inclusion and Equal Opportunity 


  • Texts that promote discussion and raise awareness are covered in English, such as Wonder which explores disability discrimination.  
  • A range of specially selected books in the library that promote equal opportunity and inclusion. 
  • Topics studied in RE complement the school promotion of inclusion, for example, when studying Christianity pupils can discover Jesus' teaching on inclusivity and the belief in gender equality in Sikhism. 
  • Rights, including equal rights, are covered in PSHE lessons. 

Special events 

  • Assemblies are held to raise awareness and understanding of what it means to be inclusive. 
  • Autism, disabilities, ADHD, race, religion, gender, and sexuality are focused on during the assembly pattern. 
  • Special events such as Children in Need, international women's day, pride, comic relief, Genes for Jeans and Show Racism the Red Card are just some examples of the special events that take place throughout the calendar year.  

Additional support 

  • NUFC led project. 
  • Kind Minds and Nurture Group offer additional support for pupils. 
  • Pastoral focus throughout the school. 


Careers Information, Education, Advice and Guidance  

  • Increase community links with parents to offer careers education and guidance. 
  • Parents offered opportunities to speak to pupils about their careers, curriculum topics identified where this skill set can be best utilised. 
  • Build links with local businesses as the school grows and expands. 




  • The RE curriculum improves pupils awareness of the importance of religion in many people's lives. 
  • Opportunities for meditation through mindfulness allow pupils to reflect. 
  • Subject areas such as science and geography celebrate the wonder of the natural earth and its beauty.  


  • Pupils are taught about the importance of making positive choices. Telling the truth, doing the right thing, and accepting responsibility for their actions. This is reinforced through the PRAISE code.  


  • The spirit of inclusivity runs throughout the school. Pupils play together and support each other during social times. Pupils can talk passionately and confidently about this.  
  • Debate club gives pupils the opportunity to engage in discussions that are important to them.  
  • Kind Minds and nurture groups support pupils to develop their confidence and social skills. 
  • NUFC project delivered to support pupils with forming positive friendships. 


  • Unique events celebrating cultural diversity are planned at regular intervals. Pupils are encouraged to engage in conversations about their own cultural identity, be proud of their heritage, and if they feel comfortable, share their stories during assemblies, PSHE and tutor times. 
  • A dedicated section of the library celebrates different cultures from around the world. and offers wider reading on diversity. 
  • Special projects such as the Cultural Box Share where pupils communicate with children from different countries. 
  • Cultural Superlearning Days including a day of celebration for Chinese New Year. 
  • Visits to local museums, landmarks, historical sites and places of worship. 


You can read the DfE's guidance on relationships education by clicking the following link:

Foodbank donations
Each year, pupils and staff collect donations for the Newcastle West End Foodbank. This allows pupils to reflect on those less fortunate than themselves and recognise the significance that even a small donation can have on changing and improving the lives of others. Our pupils organised, packed and delivered the donations in person. Other charitable events include raising awareness and money for Children in Need. Pupils at GPA show a strong desire to become involved in wide range of charity events making them greatly successful.
Planning school assemblies
Pupils play an active role in the planning and delivery of assemblies at Great Park Academy. This encourages personal growth, confidence and allows the pupils to raise awareness of topics and themes that are important to them. In this picture, 5 Ash are delivering an assembly celebrating uniqueness and sharing the qualities that make them fantastic individuals.
Looking after our mental health
Pupils recognise the importance of looking after their mental health. To raise awareness of mental health, we held a series of events to support mental health and wellbeing across the school. Pupils were encouraged to experience meditation, mindfulness, exercise, smile club and taking ten minutes to read each day.