» Curriculum » Personal Development, LIFE & Assemblies


Schools are not just about passing exams, they must also develop the wider person. This aspect of school life is called personal development.

At Northallerton School, our ethos is embodied by our motto ‘being the best we can be’ and our core values of friendship, excellence and respect. Our core expectations are that students will be ready, respectful and safe. Our school priority for personal development this year  (2021/22) is to ‘continue to develop student leadership, our LIFE curriculum, CIEAG provision and our extra-curricular offer so that all students have the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their lives.’

To this end, we use the ‘dimensions of personal development’ to clarify our intent, implementation and impact.



These are the dimensions of personal development, and our intent for each:

Dimension Intent
1 Citizenship To prepare students to play a full and active part in society.
2 British Values To ensure that students show respect and tolerance for people regardless of their faith, race or culture and understand that people are entitled to their opinions but that everyone living in England is subject to its laws.
3 Protected Characteristics To make our students aware of what ‘protected characteristics’ are; that everyone has an identity that encompasses some or all of these characteristics and that it is right (and enshrined in law) that people cannot be discriminated against based on these characteristics (but also that any kind of discrimination is wrong).
4 Character Education To develop students’ character, defined as a set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others (the qualities that the students need to flourish in our society).
5 Mental health, confidence and resilience To develop students’ confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy.
6 Safeguarding with respect to the use of technology To enable students to recognise online and offline risks to their wellbeing (for example, risks from criminal and sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, FGM, forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism) and making them aware of the support that is available and to enable students to recognise the dangers of inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media.
7 Healthy Living To develop students’ understanding of how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle.
8 Sex and Healthy Relationships To  To  To give young people the information they need to help them develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. To enable them to know what a healthy relationship looks like and what makes a good friend, a good colleague and a successful marriage or other type of committed relationship. To learn about contraception, developing intimate relationships and resisting pressure to have sex (and not applying pressure) and what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relationships. This will help students understand the positive effects that good relationships have on their mental wellbeing, identify when relationships are not right and understand how such situations can be managed.
9 Careers information, education, advice and guidance To provide a programme of advice and guidance that is stable, structured and delivered by individuals with the right skills and experience.
10 Spiritual, moral, social and cultural development To enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence; distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England; encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely; acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England; further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; encourage respect for other people; encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England. 
11 Personal, social, health and economic education To develop an understanding of drug education, financial education, sex and relationship education and the importance of physical activity and diet for a healthy lifestyle



We deliver the dimensions of personal development across the whole curriculum, including:



Our LIFE curriculum meets all statutory requirements and PHSE guidance. We have used the North Yorkshire PHSE Framework and consulted with our partner primary schools (they use a range of PHSE resources including You, Me, PHSE, Jigsaw and their own, bespoke schemes of work), the result is our carefully sequenced LIFE overview which shows what is taught when, including the key questions and learning outcomes for each lesson. We assess using a variety of methods including in class questioning (every lesson) and Google Form knowledge checks (in the final lesson of a topic).

We have recently moved to a rolling programme for our LIFE lessons - one hour per fortnight, this enables us to have specialist LIFE teams of teachers.

Personal Development in Sixth Form consists of a fortnightly Sixth Form Enrichment afternoon which is compulsory for all Year 12 and 13 students and Tutor Time which includes assemblies, coaching and the Ivy House Programme. The Sixth Form Enrichment Programme is here - Autumn Term 2021/22 , Spring Term 21/22


Tutor Time

We have recently reorganised tutor time (at the same time as changing the delivery of LIFE), it now looks like this:

Year 7 Year 8 Year 9 Year 10 Year 11 Year 12 Year 13
Monday Attendance Attendance Attendance Attendance Assembly Ivy House Next steps
Tuesday Learning to Learn Learning to Learn Assembly Learning to Learn Options Revision Coaching Coaching
Wednesday Responding to Current Events Responding to Current Events Learning to Learn Assembly Revision Skills Assembly Assembly
Thursday Assembly Numeracy Responding to Current Events Responding to Current Events Core Revision Coaching Coaching
Friday Numeracy Assembly Numeracy Numeracy Numeracy and Attendance Coaching Coaching

We use the Daily Presentation, example here - Monday to ensure that tutors have all the resources they need at their fingertips and communication is efficient.

Assemblies take place once a week for each year group - Assembly Themes for the website Spring and Summer Terms 2022

Our Learning To Learn Programme is another new addition - 

Copy of Overview of Learning To Learn Programme Half Term 1 Jan 2022 for the website


Extra-Curricular Offer

Our aim is to provide a well-planned, coherent extra-curricular offer that complements and expands on the ‘taught’ curriculum and ensures that cultural capital is experienced by all. 

General - Extra-Curricular Spring 2022

PE - Extra Curricular Jan - March 2022 -

Music - Extra-Curricular Activities


The House System

All students are in one of our four houses. Each of the houses are led by a teacher who is Head of House, assisted by a House Captain and Deputy House Captain who are members of the Sixth Form Council. Our House Calendar shows the half-termly House Challenges that all students are encouraged to take part in. 


DofE Award

We set up DofE in 2020 with the ethos of making it accessible to all. We do this by keeping the cost very low (£40 or free to disadvantaged students), this is possible because all necessary roles are filled by our staff.


Student Leadership:

The structure of our student leadership team looks like this -

KS3 KS4 Sixth Form
Arete Student Leaders in Years 8 and 9 Arete Student Leaders in Years 10 and 11 Arete Student Leaders (2 members of the Sixth Form Council)
Northallerton Student Leaders Northallerton Student Leaders 6th Form Council made up of House Captains and DHCs, Environment Ambassadors and a Social Media Ambassador

The Sixth Form Council meets weekly on Tuesdays after school. The NSLs meet in the year groups with a member of the Sixth Form Council on Tuesdays during tutor time. The ASLs meet at least every half-term with the ASLs from the other schools. 



There is a LIFE Careers topic for every Year, 7 to 11. All students have access to Unifrog, a comprehensive careers resource. All students in Year 11 have at least one one-to-one careers session with one of our excellent careers advisers. All other students have access to our careers advisers if they need or request it. 



All aspects of the delivery of personal development are continually quality assured. The focus of our QA is making sure that lessons are sufficiently challenging and accessible for all students including SEN and disadvantaged.

One measure of the quality of our personal development provision is the fact that we have had no NEET students leaving Year 11 for the last 2 years.

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