Personal Development Programme (PDP)

What is the curriculum trying to achieve?

The Personal Development Programme (PDP) strives to give students the knowledge and understanding to become aware, active and responsible citizens.

Our PDP curriculum at The Downs School empowers students to grow socially, emotionally, culturally and physically, fostering their potential for fulfilling lives and careers. Students will know more about themselves and others; becoming socially literate and emotionally aware whilst also understanding how they are developing, who they are becoming and how to fulfil their potential. We aim for our students to become confident, ambitious, articulate citizens capable of engaging in effective debates on moral, social, cultural, and political issues.

The PDP curriculum aims to helps students to:

  • Identify their personal qualities, attitudes, skills, attributes and achievements and what influences these.
  • Explore their attitudes, values and beliefs about themselves and develop the skills, language and strategies needed to manage any issues should they encounter them in their lives.
  • Apply academic skills such as critical thinking and resilience to their approach to the study of PSHE.
  • Promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
  • Equip all pupils with the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe and be able to communicate when they do not feel safe.
  • Provide expert, independent, up-to-date careers guidance that gives our pupils the best information and opportunities available.

How do we organise learning?   

Each of our subjects organises learning to achieve our federation vision of ‘Educating today’s students for the world of tomorrow: a seamless education from 4 to 19’.  Please click below to see a visual map of students’ planned ‘learning journey’ in art across Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

PDP summary plan

PDP core themes

Anything else?

If you have any questions about our curriculum or require more information, please contact the Head of Faculty by emailing




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