St Thomas More Catholic Academy & Sixth Form College

With grace and humility,
glorify the Lord by your life

Sixth Form Personal Development

Personal Development in the Sixth Form is taught in a variety of ways including through dedicated Personal Development lessons, assemblies, and specific events including Diversity Day, Careers Fairs, Mental Health Awareness and Tutor provision. Our curriculum aims to provide students with a sound understanding of their role as a citizen now and in the future, the opportunity to consider wider societal and personal issues and the ability to develop critical thinking to make safe and informed decisions. Today’s children and young people are growing up in an increasingly complex modern world and are living their lives seamlessly on and offline and this presents many positive and exciting opportunities, but also challenges and risks. In this environment, children and young people need to know how to be safe and healthy, and how to manage their academic, personal and social lives in a positive way.

We work in line with the Government’s Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education Guidance, Please click here to view. 

St Thomas More Sixth Form College is committed to developing students’ awareness in three key areas, including;

  • Mental Health & Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • The World We Live In

Form tutors deliver the RSHE curriculum as part of Personal Development. Tutors cover topical Personal Development stories/issues in tutor time and during the compulsory and timetabled PD session and these can be focused on a specific topic and aim to contextualize the lesson-based learning of students, making them accessible, relatable and current affairs based. This encourages our students to gain a wider understanding of the world they live in and to debate differing views whilst respecting the views of others. The tutor role is pivotal and will allow for a sound platform for students to share ideas and broaden their position in society.

Core Theme Overviews

Topics taught in Personal Development are ‘spiral’ and developmental. The aim is that knowledge and understanding are built upon through the academic years whilst also looking to make cross-curricular links, where possible and appropriate e.g. drugs education to enrich students’ awareness.

Topics are aimed at the developmental stage of students and are revised regularly to ensure they are suitable for our students. Topics come under the following 3 Core Themes of the PD Curriculum;


This Core Theme covers mental, physical and emotional well-being. Enriching understanding of what mental ill health can look like, healthy coping mechanisms that can be used to manage mental ill health and how to promote positive mental well-being in yourself and others. The topics developed further into looking at the links between physical and mental health and the impacts this can have on emotional well-being in the now and in the future. Core Theme includes; Anti Bullying, Mental Health & well-being, Tolerance, Diversity in the Media, and Drugs Education.


This Core Theme covers the development of healthy relationships and incorporates the statutory requirements of Sex, Health and Relationships Education. The topic explores how to build healthy relationships with family and peers before looking at romantic relationships, consent, contraception/pregnancy choices and the development of the family unit. The aim is to equip students with the knowledge to make informed choices, behave in a respectful and appropriate manner and understand the law around Sex, Relationships and Media.

Core Theme includes; Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE), Community, Relationships & The Abuse of Power


This core theme covers the development of students as part of their wider community. Developing awareness global issues, different cultures and of how developmental stages can influence personal change, students look to enhance their understanding of broader topics and gain a practical and useful understanding of topics covered to develop healthy discussion, make informed and appropriate decisions and contribute positively to their local and wider community.

Core theme includes; Personal Finance, The Legal System, Social Justice, Medical Ethics, Careers, Values & Global Education, Personal Safety and Diversity & Awareness.

The programme allows teachers the flexibility to deliver high-quality PSHE and encompass many areas of study. The central aim of PSHE is to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary to make safe and informed decisions.

We are raising awareness through the following;

  • Supporting global charities 
  • Introduction to the MAC chosen local charity-(Doorway) and promoting social action
  • Authentic freedom
  • Sex/Peer/virginity/procreation
  • Self-image/body shame/dignity and modesty
  • Values, attitudes and beliefs – making wise choices
  • Parenthood
  • Pregnancy and abortion
  • Abuse – different types and signs
  • Solidarity- Female genital mutilation and honour-based crimes
  • Bone Marrow talk
  • Driving safely
  • Staying safe in society – Talk by the police
  • Mental health signs/signposting and support
  • Finance and budgeting and making sound decisions
  • International day
  • Hidden disabilities talk
  • What it means to study at a Catholic college and understand and embrace  different faiths and using the multi-faith room for spiritual reflection
  • Police talk about staying safe