Personal Development @ The Key

Our Mission:

At The Key Education Centre, we are committed to ensuring that our provision enables pupils to learn the skills that they will need in order to thrive and not just survive. Pupils’ personal development is underpinned by our school values of ‘Respect, Resilience and Aspiration’.

We are passionate about promoting self-efficacy in our young people and supporting them to understand how the development and workings of their brain can impact their responses to a range of different situations. At the core of our work we seek to develop emotional literacy, empathy and self-regulation skills in our pupils. Only when pupils are able to reflect effectively can they accept responsibility for their mistakes and learn how to take positive ownership of their life choices. These self-regulation skills are also fundamental to their ability to access learning.

Many pupils arrive at The Key with a sense of ‘learned helplessness’ and it is fundamental to their personal growth – academically, socially and emotionally - that they are supported to become more independent and develop their metacognitive skills.

We know that our pupils need to be prepared for a world of work which requires them to demonstrate a range of transferrable skills that many do not currently hold. The World Economic Forum has identified the following essential and in-demand workplace skills that we are seeking to embed in our work around personal development:

  • Active learning and learning strategies

  • Complex problem solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Creativity

  • Leadership and social influence

  • Emotional intelligence

  • Judgement and decision making

  • Service orientation

  • Negotiation

  • Cognitive flexibility

Personal development is woven into many aspects of our teaching and learning curriculum but is explicitly taught through our Life Skills, RSHE and Psycho Education curriculum areas. The intentions of our personal development curriculum are as follows:


  • Responsible, respectful and active citizens who are able to play their part and become actively involved in public life as adults.

  • Pupils’ understanding of the fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance

  • Pupils’ character, which Ofsted defines 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

  • Pupils’ confidence, resilience and knowledge so that they can keep themselves mentally healthy

  • Pupils’ understanding of how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle, including giving ample opportunities for pupils to be active during the school day and through extra-curricular activities

  • Pupils’ age-appropriate understanding of healthy relationships through appropriate relationships and sex education


  • Equality of opportunity so that all pupils can thrive together, understanding that difference is a positive, not a negative, and that individual characteristics make people unique

  • An inclusive environment that meets the needs of all pupils, irrespective of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation


  • Pupils to recognise online and offline risks to their wellbeing – for example, risks from criminal and sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, substance misuse, gang activity, radicalisation and extremism – and making them aware of the support available to them

  • Pupils to recognise the dangers of inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media


  • Readiness for the next phase of education, training or employment so that pupils are equipped to make the transition successfully

  • Pupils to develop the skills of reflection and self-regulation


  • An effective careers programme in line with the government’s statutory guidance on careers advice that offers pupils:

    • Unbiased careers advice

    • Experience of work

    • Contact with employers to encourage pupils to aspire, make good choices and understand what they need to do to reach and succeed in the careers to which they aspire