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Orchard School Bristol

Personal Development

We are very proud of the Personal Development opportunities our students take part in at Orchard School.

The core of our Personal Development education comes through our tutor time programme. Every afternoon, students have 30 minutes in their tutor group, where they focus on different aspects of personal development, held together through our Orchard Values Curriculum. 

  • Character Education
  • Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)
  • Personal Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) through Jigsaw
  • Relationships, Sexual and Health Education  (RSHE)
  • Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural (SMSC) Education
  • British Values
  • Oracy - using our voices powerfully and respectfully 

Orchard Values Curriculum

The Orchard Values Curriculum is a special spiral curriculum written by our Pastoral Leaders around the ORCHARD values of being:

  • Open-Minded

  • Respectful

  • Creative & Curious

  • Healthy

  • Ambitious

  • Responsible 

  • Determined

Examples of topics covered in this programme include:

Year 7

How do I make friends?  What is the best way for me to organise my homework? Who am I? What does my name mean? What is compassion? Whose lives matter? How much sleep do I need? What happens at a university? Am I motivated intrinsically or extrinsically? How do I find out about different careers? 

Year 8

What is brain plasticity? How do we disagree respectfully? What are the 10 greatest....classical music pieces/artists/museums/operas/authors/bands?  The Science of Happiness. What is the cost of living? What do I know about impulse control and delayed gratification? How do I use rhetorical techniques well? What is my locus of control? What is my understanding of equality and equity?  Exploring my strengths and how these link to different careers.

Year 9

Self-regulation and self-care. What are the 10 most incredible... views across the world/ buildings/quotes/lines of poetry/Nobel prize winners? What makes a great leader? How do I recognise stress? Opinions, arguments and fallacies. Charity and altruism. Balancing important vs urgent. Strengthening wellbeing. What GCSEs do I need to take to keep my career options open? What grades do I need to get in order to reach each of my possible career choices? What do I know about different universities and colleges? 

Year 10

Optimism vs pessimism. Hedonism vs Eudaimonia. Why does feedback feel threatening? Executive Function. Cognitive bias and confirmation bias. How politics affects leadership decisions. Viewing the world as an adult.  Knowing my strengths. Exploring career options in more detail, and preparing for work experience. Preparing for my final year in school. 

Year 11

Self-efficacy. Metacognition. Self-evaluation and self-criticism. Motivation theories. Personal finance. Preparing for post-16 and my life beyond school. Looking forwards to the future....looking back on my school life. Celebration! 


Careers  Education 

Please see our Careers and Post-16 (Parents & Carers menu tab) , for full details of our Careers information, advice and guidance.


Personal Social, Health  and Economic Education (PSHE) 

Our children are growing up in the most rapidly changing period in our history.  This creates complex challenges and new opportunities.  PSHE education deals with the real life issues affecting our children, families and communities.  It is concerned with the social, health and economic realities of their lives, experiences and attitudes.

What does PSHE education provide for our children?

  • Relationships: developing and maintaining positive relationships, dealing with negative relationships (which may include bullying and sexual violence); how to communicate effectively.
  • Health: healthy lifestyles, healthy eating and exercise, mental and emotional health, alcohol and tobacco education.
  • Personal finance; savings, debt management and budgeting.
  • Risk; financial and careers choices, personal safety, Internet safety and violent incidents.
  • Careers choices, enterprise, business and finance.

How can I support my child's PSHE education?

The personal, social, health and economic development of our children is achieved through a partnership between school and the family. More information and resources are available from the following

:PSHE Association provides information and resources

Parent Channel TV is an on-line service designed to support parents and carers with a range of videos addressing every day questions and concerns.

Mumsnet works with the PSHE Association to engage parents in issues covered by their children's PSHE education.

Please click here for DfE Statutory RSHE requirements for England 

Relationships, Sex Education and Health (RSE)

We have reviewed our curriculum so we can be sure our Relationships, Sex and Health Education gives young people the information they need to help them to stay healthy both mentally and physically but also develop healthy, nurturing relationships of all kinds, not just intimate relationships. We ensure that the curriculum is appropriate for our pupils based on their: 

  • Age
  • Physical and emotional maturity 
  • Religious and cultural background
  • Special educational needs and disabilities 

 We consulted with parents and carers, and there was overwhelming support for our approach to RSHE.  Students will be taught the following in RSE and Health Education within the Jigsaw national scheme. This has scheme been recommended for use by our local authority.    

Year 7 



  • Puberty and body development: 
    • I can understand the changes that happen during puberty 
    • I know how a baby is conceived naturally 
    • I know that there are other ways a baby can be conceived, e.g. IVF 
    • I understand how a baby develops inside the uterus and is born 
  •  Emotions within friendships 
  • Different types of relationships, parenting and families 
  • Responsibilities of parenthood 
  • Happiness in intimate relationships 
  • Characteristics of healthy relationships and being able to make positive choices 
  • Assertiveness in relationships 
  • Consent 
  • Awareness of FGM and breast ironing 
  • Sexting 
  • Sources of help and support 
  • First aid 
  • Taking responsibility for health 
  • Substances and their effects 
  • Managing stress and anxiety 
  • Mental health and exercise 
  • Sleep 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Nutrition 
  • Changes in adolescence 
  • Self and body-image 
  • Media and self-esteem 




Year 8 (age 12-13) 



  • Positive relationship with self 
  • Managing a range of relationships 
  • Family and identity  
  • Types of close intimate relationships 
  • Physical attraction 
  • Legal status of relationships 
  • Recognising behaviours in healthy and unhealthy romantic relationships  
  • Recognising coercion and an unhealthy balance of power in relationships 
  • Pornography (no images seen):
    • I know that pornographic images do not reflect reality 
    • I know how pornography can impact on expectations and self-image 
  • Sexuality 
  • Alcohol and risky behaviour: 
    • I can list some risks associated with drinking too much alcohol, including unprotected sex, non-consensual sex 
    • I know what the law says in relation to sex and alcohol  
    • I can discuss the steps someone could take if they had engaged in risky sexual behaviour as a result of drinking too much alcohol 
  • Sources of support 
  • Taking personal responsibility for health 
  • Long-term physical health 
  • Managing stress, their triggers and negative self-talk 
  • Substances, their effects, exploitation and the law 
  • Role of medicines and vaccines 
  • Dental health 
  • Blood donation 




Year 9 (age 13-14) 



  • Consent  
  • Family Planning and Contraception choices:
    • I know about the different contraception methods available 
    • I know that contraception is important for sexual health as well as preventing a pregnancy 
    • I know that communication and negotiation about contraception use is important 
    • I understand that information and facts are vital in making an informed choice about contraception if and when needed  
    • I understand that there are consequences if I choose to have unprotected sex  
  • Risk in intimate relationships, including sexually-transmitted infections (STIS) 
  • Power, control and coercion in intimate relationships 
  • Sexual exploitation 
  • Grooming 
  • Assertiveness skills  
  • Sex and the law  
  • Pornography and stereotypes 
  • Support and advice services
  • Positive and negative self-identity 
  • Links between body image and mental health 
  • Triggers and support strategies for mental health 
  • Self-harm 
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Eating disorders 
  • Depression 
  • Managing emotional changes 
  • The importance of sleep  
  • Physical and psychological effects of alcohol and other substances 
  • Alcohol and drugs in the law 
  • First aid and CPR 
  • Sources of advice and support 


Year 10 (age 14-15) 



  • Understanding love 
  • Equality in relationships 
  • Relationship choices  
  • Sustaining long-term relationships 
  • Stereotypes in romantic relationships 
  • Gender spectrum of sexuality 
  • Family change 
    • Divorce and separation 
    • Impact of family breakup on children 
  • Ending relationships safely 
    • Consequences of relationships ending e.g. bullying and revenge porn 
  • Abuse in teenage relationships 
  • Sexual health 
  • The law, support and advice 
  • The impact of work-life balance on mental health  
  • Common mental health disorders 
  • Improving health 
  • Blood-borne infections  
  • Self-examination 
  • Diet and long-term health 
  • Misuse of prescription drugs 
  • Common threats to health including 
  • Chronic disease, epidemics and misuse of antibiotics  
  • Organ donation 
  • Stem cells 


Year 11 (age 15-16) 



  • Spectrum of gender and sexuality 
  • LGBT+ rights and protection under the Equality Act 
    • Challenges of “coming out” for those who identify as LGBT+  
  • Long-term relationship dreams &  goals 
  • Stages of intimate relationships:
    • I understand the influences that inform decision making with regard to sexual relationships.  
  • Positive and negative impact of sex 
  • Contraception:
    • I understand the choices available in relation to contraception and pregnancy 
  • Fertility and Pregnancy facts and myths:
    • I know key facts about fertility and pregnancy  
  • Parenting skills and challenges 
  • Protecting sexual & reproductive health:
    • I understand the range of risks to physical and mental health associated with unhealthy sexual relationship
    • I understand ways people can stay healthy when they are sexually active 
    • I understand the preventative steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of contracting STIs 
  • Sexual pressure:
    • I know some strategies to help manage sexual pressure  
  • Safely ending relationships 
  • Power, control, sexual experimentation 
  • Forced marriage 
  • Honour-based violence 
  • FGM and other abuses 
  • Sources of support 
    • I can explain where to go for advice and support concerning sexual and reproductive health 
  • Managing anxiety and stress 
  • Self-examination 
  • Identifying a range of health risks and strategies for staying safe 



 Right to withdraw children from RSHE

The Department of Education states that there will be no right to withdraw from Relationships Education as the contents of these subjects, such as family, friendship and safety are important for all children to be taughtAs of September 2020, parents will?continue to have a right to request to withdraw their child from Sexual Education delivered as part of the tutor time programme.  Parents are not able to withdraw children from Sexual Education lessons which are delivered as part of the Science curriculum. 

We inform all parents and carers in advance when RSE sessions are taking place within the tutor time curriculum.  If parents wish to withdraw their child from this aspect of Sexual Education, they can make the request initially through their Head of Year. The Headteacher will provide formal acceptance of withdrawal of your child from this education.  

RSE Consultation Questions and Answers

What support do you provide teachers? 

All teachers who deliver the scheme will be offered training and support to deliver the sessions effectively. 


Do students have an opportunity to get support if they feel uneasy? 

We pride ourselves at Orchard on having excellent working relationships with students. All students will be reminded that they have an opportunity to speak to an adult who they trust should they feel worried about the RSE lessons. For example, they can speak to their tutor, Head of Year or Pastoral Manager. Brook, a specialist provider of young people's sexual health and wellbeing services are also in school once a week which provides students with another group of adults who are able to listen to and support students.  


Do you revisit topics in each year group? 

The Jigsaw scheme is designed so that students revisit and build on their knowledge each year. For example, students will look at what a healthy relationship does and doesn’t look like in year 7 but will also discuss the signs of risks of where a relationship is not going well in years 8 and 9. 


Are teachers confident in delivering Relationships and Sexual Education (RSE)? 

The majority of RSE will be delivered through tutor time with tutors who have developed excellent relationships with their tutor groups. This alongside the training that we provide staff ensures that staff are confident in delivering RSE. 


Given that students may form relationships at a younger age, do students learn about relationships early enough? 

Students are taught about what healthy relationships should look like from year 7, including what different families could look like alongside puberty and consent. We are confident that RSE is delivered in an age appropriate way. 


How do you ensure children know how to stay safe online? 

The Jigsaw sessions include online safety and online relationships. However, we also discuss this with students through assemblies, IT lessons and other tutor time sessions. We encourage students to report any incidents to us immediately, either in person or through the Whisper button so that we can effectively deal with them. 


Can you inform parents of what is delivered and when??? 

Yes, as a result of this consultation, we will inform parents regularly about what topics will be taught in each year group.  


How can parents share the RSE information with friends and family? 

We have now shared the consultation presentation on the website. If you would like to know more about the DfE’s guidance, the following link provide very useful summaries in English, Somalian and Arabic: 



Do you give students the opportunity to ask questions anonymously?  

Where sexual education is taught within the Key Stage 3 Science curriculum (Years 7, 8 and 9), students have an opportunity to write any questions that they do not want to ask in front of others and place them in a question box or alternative anonymous place. The teacher can then answer these questions to all students where appropriate.  


What if a child doesn't want to take part in the lesson discussion? 

Students will not be pressured to discuss aspects of RSE which they may not be comfortable with, but are encouraged to listen to what is said.  

All students experience First Aid education through Key Stage 3.  In Year 7 they learn to Re-start a Heart and then in Years 8 and 9 where they learn essential first aid skills such as what to do in the event of an emergency such as noticing someone has had a stroke, broken limbs or a head injury, and how to manage basic first aid cuts, nosebleeds and panic attacks.



Orchard School takes the teaching of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development very seriously. SMSC development is threaded through our curriculum and appears through all of our subject areas.

We have gained the Silver SMSC Award for the quality of our provision. 

What does each section mean?


Students’ spiritual development is shown by their:

  • ability to be reflective about their own beliefs, religious or otherwise, that inform their perspective on life and their interest in and respect for different people’s faiths, feelings and values
  • sense of enjoyment and fascination in learning about themselves, others and the world around them 
  • use of imagination and creativity in their learning 
  • willingness to reflect on their experiences.


Pupils’ moral development is shown by their: 

  • ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, readily apply this understanding in their own lives and, in so doing, respect the civil and criminal law of England 
  • understanding of the consequences of their behaviour and actions 
  • interest in investigating and offering reasoned views about moral and ethical issues, and being able to understand and appreciate the viewpoints of others on these issues.


Students’ social development is shown by their:

  • use of a range of social skills in different contexts, including working and socialising with pupils from different religious, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds 
  • willingness to participate in a variety of communities and social settings, including by volunteering, cooperating well with others and being able to resolve conflicts effectively 
  • acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs; the pupils develop and demonstrate skills and attitudes that will allow them to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.


Students’ cultural development is shown by their: 

  • understanding and appreciation of the wide range of cultural influences that have shaped their own heritage and that of others 
  • understanding and appreciation of the range of different cultures within school and further afield as an essential element of their preparation for life in modern Britain 
  • knowledge of Britain's democratic parliamentary system and its central role in shaping our history and values, and in continuing to develop Britain 
  • willingness to participate in and respond positively to artistic, sporting and cultural opportunities
  • interest in exploring, improving understanding of and showing respect for different faiths and cultural diversity, and the extent to which they understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity, as shown by their tolerance and attitudes towards different religious, ethnic and socio-economic groups in the local, national and global communities.

British Values

British Values are embedded in our core values and promoted through our curriculum, extra-curricular opportunities and PSHE, RE, assembly and tutor programmes. Our British Values provision is designed to support our Prevent Duty, which is described in our Safeguarding Policy.


Democracy is deeply embedded within our culture, with students frequently given the opportunity to have their voice heard via the School Council and student leadership groups. Elections for the school council tutor representatives, Bristol Youth Council  and Head Prefects mirror the British electoral cycle, further embedding the principle of student voice.


Self-respect and respect for others lie at the heart of the Orchard values, underpin our Ready to Learn behaviour system and thread throughout our student leadership model. Through student leadership and extracurricular opportunities, we encourage our students to experience, understand and engage with people from different backgrounds to foster respect for others. Mutual respect is modelled consistently by staff throughout the school and seen in every staff-student interaction. Within the PSHE and Values curriculum, we focus on life skills to target areas such as self-management, respect, religion, prejudice, sexuality, disability and body-image.


We encourage young people to learn from each other by sharing and celebrating their different faiths and cultures both in lessons and in the wider school community. Our curriculum is diverse and representative, providing opportunities for students to learn about other faiths and beliefs.  Our student leaders organising fundraising and celebration days on days such as Diwali and Chinese New Year to help celebrate the school’s diversity. At these times, a hugely popular themed lunch is offered and awareness of the different faiths and beliefs is shared through the tutor programme. In addition, RE and PSHE lessons help us to embed our ethos of tolerance and understanding, underpinned by regular topical assemblies, to break down potential misconceptions and challenge any stereotypes or prejudices.


The importance of laws, whether they be those that govern the lesson, school or country, are consistently reinforced in lessons and through the Ready to Learn behaviour policy. Through our PSHE, tutor and assembly programmes, students are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.


Students are actively encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. Students are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised on how to exercise them safely; for example, through our PSHE and tutor programme, students receive guidance on e-safety, safe behaviours and relationships. Key Stage 3 students are given the freedom to make their own enrichment choices which can be changed regularly through the year.