Last week, teachers from over 20 secondary academies across United Learning took part in an inspiring webinar focused on supporting students’ personal development.
The webinar forms part of our unique Aspirations programme. Delivered in partnership with East Learning, Aspirations is a framework which has been specifically created for our secondary academies to help them develop and run successful personal development programmes for their students. It allows our schools to provide an Education with Character that is based around students’ needs and interests and gives students the opportunity to create a personalised development plan.
To kickstart the session, staff were greeted by our Secondary Regional Director, Benjamin Antell, who gave a warm welcome to all attendees. Following this, staff heard from a series of guest speakers from academies across the Group, who gave first-hand insights into the personal development strategies and initiatives they have successfully embedded within their individual schools.
Caroline Saunders, Assistant Principal at The Regis School, spoke about how the academy has developed a student values system called ‘The Regis Ten’ and how they give student leaders ownership of themed social action weeks. From Walthamstow Academy, Vice Principal Dan Seed discussed how the school put in place a bespoke wellbeing programme for students during periods of lockdown.
Nicola Amner, Assistant Principal at Coleridge Community College, explained how the school is strengthening their careers offering and embedding careers education into the curriculum. One of the ways they have done this is by introducing PSHE as a lesson for all year groups, guaranteeing students across the school have access to careers-related discussions and opportunities.
Nicola was followed by Emma Breen, Assistant Principal at Salford City Academy, who discussed the school’s popular extracurricular club offering, ‘Aspire’. Emma spoke about the ways they encourage attendance, including through end-of-term reward events and by regularly advertising the clubs via email, social media and posters.
Our final speaker was Phillip Lloyd, Vice Principal at Midhurst Rother College, who talked about the school making their start in the Aspirations programme and the steps they are taking to raise the profile of their personal development package amongst students.
Benjamin Antell, Secondary Regional Director at United Learning said:
“Given the challenges our young people have faced over the last year, it is crucial that we continue to give them access to opportunities where they can develop and grow as individuals – what we call delivering an Education with Character. Last week’s webinar provided an excellent opportunity for our staff to collaborate and share their ideas, tactics and strategies on how schools can achieve this in practice.
“It was fantastic to hear from our guest speakers about the ways they are supporting students’ personal development and likewise, to see such engagement and enthusiasm from all attendees. I look forward to seeing how schools take inspiration from the ideas that were shared and embed some new initiatives within their own settings.”