Announcements

SECONDARY PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

Introduction

At The Aylesbury Vale Academy (AVA) we believe that every child and young person, regardless of their background, ability or circumstances can thrive and succeed. The AVA curriculum provides a comprehensive education that goes beyond academic achievement. Our commitment to the personal development of our students is deeply rooted in our belief in nurturing well-rounded individuals who are not only academically competent but also spiritually, morally, socially, and culturally aware to enable them to be fully equipped for life beyond school. It aims to support our students to:

  • Unlock their potential
  • Be Respectful.
  • Aspire to the very best that can be.
  • Show Resilience in dealing with challenging situations.

Our Aims

We strive to support our students through a broad, rich and ambitious personal development programme which delivers the following:

  • Support students to become responsible, respectful and active citizens who are able to flourish as adults.
  • Develop students’ understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance.
  • Develop students character including their confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy.
  • Develop students’ age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationships and sex education
  • Develop students’ ability to reflect about their own beliefs and perspective on life and show respect for different people’s faith, feelings and values.
  • Develop students’ understanding of how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle.
  • Enable students to recognise online and offline risks to their well-being including recognising the dangers of inappropriate use of mobile phones and social media.
  • Support students’ aspirations and readiness for the next phases of education, so they’re equipped to make these transitions successfully.
  • Support students’ moral development by fostering their ability to recognise the differences between right and wrong and how to apply this understanding in their own lives and understand the consequences of their behaviour and actions.

Spiritual Development

We aim to create a safe and inclusive environment where students can explore their beliefs, values, and spirituality. We encourage reflective thinking, meditation, and mindfulness practices to support spiritual development. Regular assemblies, workshops, and discussions are organised to foster spiritual growth and a sense of purpose.

Moral Development

We instil a strong sense of ethics, integrity, and responsibility in our students. Our curriculum includes moral education, and we promote open dialogue on ethical dilemmas and social issues. Students are encouraged to participate in community service and volunteering to develop a sense of social responsibility.

Social Development

We create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that celebrates diversity and promotes mutual respect. Various extracurricular activities, clubs, and societies are available to encourage social interaction and teamwork. Anti-bullying programs and conflict resolution strategies are integrated into our pastoral care to develop strong interpersonal skills.

Cultural Development

We value and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures represented within our school community. Cultural awareness is embedded in our curriculum, with opportunities to learn about different traditions and customs. Festivals, cultural exchange programs, and heritage events are organised to promote cultural understanding and appreciation.

SMSC Across the Curriculum

We ensure that SMSC development is integrated into all aspects of our curriculum, not limited to specific subjects. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate SMSC elements into their lesson plans and teaching strategies. SMSC is assessed and reported on as part of students' overall development.

Assessment and Monitoring

We regularly assess and monitor students' SMSC development through surveys, feedback, and discussions. Progress is communicated to parents/guardians through reports, parent-teacher meetings, and school events.

Community Engagement

We actively engage with parents, guardians, and the local community to foster a sense of partnership in nurturing our students' development. We collaborate with external organisations to enhance SMSC opportunities for our students.

Fundamental British Values

We recognise the importance of promoting British values in our school. Our British Values policy sets out how we will embed these values across our school community and ensure that all students are aware of their rights and responsibilities as British citizens. 

British values are a set of fundamental values that are shared by British society, and include: 

Democracy: We value the importance of democracy and the rule of law, and aim to develop students' understanding of the democratic process and their role in society. 

Individual liberty: We recognise the importance of individual freedom and personal responsibility, and encourage students to exercise their rights and freedoms in a responsible way. 

Mutual respect and tolerance: We promote a culture of respect, where individuals are valued for their contributions and differences are celebrated. We aim to develop students' understanding and appreciation of different cultures and beliefs. 

Rule of law: We aim to ensure that all members of our school community understand the importance of obeying laws and regulations, and the consequences of breaking them. 

School values

Our British Values policy reflects the values and ethos of our school, which include: 

  • Respect
  • Aspiration
  • Resilience 

Key Aspects British values: 

At AVA we focus on:

Promoting democracy: We aim to develop students' understanding of the democratic process, and to provide opportunities for them to engage in democratic activities and decision-making. 

Encouraging individual liberty: We encourage students to exercise their rights and freedoms in a responsible way, and to take personal responsibility for their actions. 

Promoting mutual respect and tolerance: We promote a culture of respect, where individuals are valued for their contributions and differences are celebrated. We aim to develop students' understanding and appreciation of different cultures and beliefs. 

Ensuring rule of law: We aim to ensure that all members of our school community understand the importance of obeying laws and regulations, and the consequences of breaking them. 

Delivery of British values: 

To deliver British Values successfully we -

  • Incorporate British values into our wider curriculum and teaching practices, through activities such as debates, discussions, and projects. 
  • Provide opportunities for students to engage in extracurricular activities that promote British values, such as volunteering and community service projects. 
  • Provide training and development opportunities for staff to enhance their understanding of British values and to develop effective teaching strategies. 
  • Foster strong partnerships with parents and the wider community to promote British values and activities. 

Monitoring and Evaluation:

We will regularly monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our British Values policy, using a range of metrics and indicators. This will involve seeking feedback from staff, students, parents, and external stakeholders, and using this feedback to refine and improve our approach over time. 

At The Aylesbury Vale Academy we are committed to the holistic development of our students, and we firmly believe that Spiritual, Moral, Social, and Cultural (SMSC) development is integral to their growth as responsible and compassionate individuals. This Personal Development Intent Document serves as a testament to our dedication to nurturing well-rounded, socially conscious, and culturally aware students who are prepared to thrive in an increasingly diverse and interconnected world.

Careers

Our careers curriculum intent places a strong emphasis on careers education as an essential component of a learner's holistic development. We believe that preparing students for successful careers is a lifelong journey that begins with the transition from primary to secondary education. During these formative years, we provide invaluable guidance and support to help students navigate their academic path and explore their interests. As they progress through secondary school, our curriculum is designed to assist them in making informed subject choices that align with their career aspirations. This commitment continues post-16 and post-18, where our cross-phase careers program comes into play. We go beyond classroom instruction by organising trips and inviting visitors from colleges and universities to expose our students to a diverse range of educational and career options. As part of our comprehensive careers provision, we incorporate valuable work experience opportunities for Year 10 and Year 12 students, offering them real-world insights and practical skills to enhance their career readiness. Through these experiences and our comprehensive careers guidance, we aim to empower every student at Aylesbury Vale Academy to have the knowledge and confidence to ultimately embark on a successful and fulfilling career journey.

Culture Curriculum

The Culture curriculum is what we add to the National Curriculum to develop AVA pupils into well-balanced citizens and it is underpinned by our drive to ensure our pupils read widely and regularly, both for enjoyment and to learn. Pupils take part in local and international visits and meet regular visitors to stretch their learning and share experiences beyond what is possible in the traditional classroom environment. We offer extensive extra-curricular provision throughout.

Reading – reading allows our pupils to dive into experiences which they would otherwise not access. Many of our pupils join AVA with below average reading ages and we are determined to ensure that this trend is reversed over time. Reading is a skill which underpins every other aspect of our curriculum and we are keen to use reading to allow pupils to explore their own passions and interests as well as providing a broader experience in their taught lessons.

Enrichment – We believe that educational visits are an important part of developing a broad and rich experience and we offer many exciting trips to all our students. These include local area visits during Geography lessons, trips to the theatre, trips to places of historical importance around the UK, and visits to universities and colleges. We offer students residential trips around the UK, international skiing trips and trips further afield to the USA. We also offer worldwide expeditions with World Challenge, next year a group of students will be visiting Malaysia.

We recognise three cultural events each term across the academy. These are student led and celebrate our inclusive and diverse community. This year celebrations include Black History Month, Diwali, Christmas, International Womens Day, St Patricks Day, Easter, Culture Week, Eid and Summer celebrations.

This year we will be working towards the Art Council’s Artsmark award. This award will support us in raising the profile of arts, culture and creativity across the academy.

Visitors - We regularly invite experts into AVA to inform pupils about their field of expertise. We aim for every child to receive at least one visitor per academic year to share the experiences which build on and reach beyond what is learnt in the classroom. We do this through our extensive enrichment programme and by inviting visitors and specialists into the school to run talks and workshops. Examples include talks from university professors, ancient History workshops, Positively Mad revision workshops, personal trainers, Army bootcamps, African drumming workshops and many more.

Extra-curricular - At AVA we believe that learning goes far beyond the classroom, our enrichment programme is designed to deepen students understanding of the subjects they learn while allowing them the opportunity to try out new activities. We offer an extensive extra-curricular programme including a range of after school and lunch time clubs. The activities on offer include sports clubs, gym sessions, gardening club, arts and crafts activities, music clubs and many more. Our activities take place in our specialist facilities, including our Music recording studios, the Drama theatres, the 3D football pitch, and ICT suites.

Collective worship – the AVA community is underpinned by acts of collective worship. Pupils and staff gather once a week in year groups. These opportunities are used to share our core values and beliefs. We also offer daily opportunities for reflection, within the classroom, assemblies, and quiet times.

Character education – At AVA we are committed to helping our students develop the habits, skills and mindset needed to succeed into the next stages of their lives. Our aim is for our students to develop into respectful, resilient, and aspirational young people and we encourage our students to participate positively in all aspects of the school community. 

Year 11 Prefects and Student Parliament

Our Year 11 prefects carry out a variety of leadership roles, including break and lunch duty and leading assemblies.  Thay are assigned to each department being Subject Ambassadors. The prefects are students selected for their outstanding attitudes and act as role models to the other students.

The Student Parliament is a student led leadership team responsible for student voice throughout the academy. They lead on important matters such as the school environment, charity events and supporting school events. The Student Parliament is currently working on 3 projects: AVA Litter Picking, AVA Paper Recycling, Eco-Schools Green Flag and will initiate Plastic Bottles recycling project soon.

The students at AVA are passionate about fundraising and regularly run charity events to raise money. Each year the Student Parliament select a charity to support and set aspirational targets to raise as much money as possible. The Student Parliament lead on a range of events to include the whole school. Events have included cake sales, staff car washes, student film afternoons and craft sales.

The Youth Social Action Group is a student led group who meet weekly to plan fundraising events for their chosen charities. The 6th form members lead the younger year groups through a programme of social action initiatives and at the same time develop their leadership and communication.