Personal development at Chiltern Academy Luton is built upon the foundations of the Academy ethos – and it’s key values which are linked to our motto, ‘Inspiring Minds, Building Futures’. These values underpin Chiltern Academy’s culture and every pupil's daily school life:
We actively promote and develop pupils' understanding and appreciation for the five core British values (tolerance, rule of law, democracy, individual liberty and mutual respect).
At Chiltern Academy we have a firm belief in the importance of the holistic development of its pupils, offering them more chances so they have more choices in the future.
Our personal development curriculum goes beyond the national curriculum. It offers unique learning experiences which provide pupils with enriched cultural capital. By offering a varied and diverse set of experiences, we help to prepare pupils for the culturally diverse nature of the society in which we live.
Chiltern Academy promotes a culture of ‘growth mind-set’ and ensures that pupils are resilient, confident and inquisitive learners. It uses a broad enrichment curriculum that pupils develop the key skills to feel motivated in the face of adversity and are self-assured when taking on any challenge.
In order for the Academy to meet its personal development intention, it implements a curriculum for pupils to have significant chances to learn and actively engage in four key areas:
- SMSC development
- Character development
- Personal Development (PSHE) and Citizenship
The personal development curriculum is developed in line with both statutory guidance and The PSHE Association's recommended curriculum.
Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development
Spiritual: explore beliefs and experience; respect values; discover oneself and the surrounding world; use imagination and creativity; reflect.
Moral: recognise right and wrong; understand consequences; investigate moral and ethical issues; offer reasoned views.
Social: use social skills in different contexts; work well with others; resolve conflicts; understand how communities work.
Cultural: appreciate cultural influences; participate in culture opportunities; understand, accept, respect and celebrate diversity.
Pupils embed the core values of Chiltern Academy and are mindful of one another’s views, demonstrating tolerance to differences in opinions. We encourage pupils to be reflective learners, showing curiosity and a thirst for knowledge in order to improve as individuals. This enables them to develop holistically and become active participants in modern British life. This is a real strength in the school and is embedded in the curriculum through the year during tutor time activities, educational visits, pupil leadership, enrichment week, an extensive extra-curricular programme, electives and the assembly programme
To promote spiritual development, all pupils study Religious Education at Key Stage 3. This encourages pupils to reflect on their own beliefs and those of others. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and Sikhism are studied. The diversity of faiths represented within Chiltern Academy is rich, with pupils demonstrating respect for others' faiths, feelings and values. One of the ways this is reflected is through the acknowledgement and celebration of religious festivals through the assembly programme and curriculum time. All pupils study a full range of creative subjects at Key Stage 3 including Art, Music, Performing Arts, and Engineering, allowing them to engage their imaginations and be creative in their learning.
The moral development of pupils is also promoted through tutor time and our Assembly programme. Chiltern Academy’s values provide a shared language for talking about moral issues which is well integrated into the school’s dialect. Pupils reflect on the difference between right and wrong, and they are equipped to apply reasoning and critical thinking skills to their own lives, based on a moral compass. All pupils learn how to make ethical decisions as part of RE, Humanities, Citizenship and Personal Development curriculum. Pupils reflect on their own moral decision-making through a focus on restorative conversations integrated into our pastoral culture.
Character and a shared culture are developed through the House System based on our STEM specialism. The houses are based on engineers Robert Dyson, Beatrice Shilling, Hedy Lamarr, and Ross Brawn. The school strives to ensure it is fully inclusive and we achieve this by ensuring all pupils have a strong sense of association with their house and that pupils are able to succeed and show resilience in failure. Pupils develop character within their houses by participating in House assemblies, Chiltern Champion character and values activities during form time, collectively striving towards a shared purpose in their house name, and taking part and competing in inter-house competitions, which are based around subjects. Please see our House Calendar.
As part of our character development opportunities, Chiltern Academy has a Charitable Giving programme which helps teach pupils key life skills to support them in being happy and active members of society. We work with local charities such as 'Luton and Dunstable Hospital' to raise money for various causes. We also support local charities such as 'Luton Foodbank' and 'Level Trust'. The pupils have set up and ran a number of events to raise money, such as our movie nights, parental coffee mornings, bake sales, non-school uniform days, summer fair, carol singing and talent shows.
Enrichment and Electives
The enrichment and elective programs are “out of lesson time” school activities designed to give pupils the opportunity to try new things and explore and develop interests outside of the classroom. Activities can range from engineering to cooking, from art to coding. The enrichment and elective program at Chiltern is there to promote critical thinking and problem solving skills, improve our pupil's ability to concentrate, and make learning more meaningful, valuable, and rewarding. Enrichment activities are fun, which helps pupils to become more engaged in their learning and retain more information. At Chiltern we have over 40 different clubs and electives covering a plethora of subjects and where there has been a request for a new club the school has facilitated this. We also have a week dedicated to enriching activities and events at the end of every academic year, this also includes a 'Sports Day'.
PSHE stands for the Personal, Social, Health and Economic Wellbeing Education. PSHE is taught as a standalone subject and threaded through the pupil's curriculum.
Citizenship is taught as part of the RE curriculum. You can view the curriculum plan here. In lieu of the Citizenship lessons taught as a part of the RE curriculum, we have undertaken a National Curriculum Mapping exercise for Citizenship. Please click here to view.
Tutor Time and Pupil Development Time
Pupils develop their character and cultural capital through a well-planned and focused curriculum and through a well-developed Pastoral Programme.
Tutor Time at Chiltern Academy is split across five days with nine different sessions. AM tutor sessions are 30 minutes long and run on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday morning. PM tutor sessions are 20 minutes long and run on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoon.
Tutor time on Friday is dedicated to ‘Reading Forms’. Together as a form they participate in ‘Reading Form Time Book Club’ where they collaboratively read a shared novel. There is a strong promotion of active reading skills and developing a love of literature.
All pupils attend weekly assemblies which are focused on areas such as, SMSC, a core theme from the PSHE/Citizenship curriculum, Careers and aspirations, Chiltern Academy’s core values and British Values. Assemblies help to supplement the tutor time programme, providing a time where pupils can engage and enquire in a different context. House assemblies are led by the Heads of House and celebrate success along with sharing in community characteristics.
Assemblies are delivered by senior leaders, middle leaders and pupils as well as visiting speakers from a wide range of partners. A broad range of topics are investigated each year under themes which promote British values such as tolerance, respect, a moral compass and empathy.
School trips and educational visits are a powerful and positive teaching tool that help enhance the social, personal and emotional development of all learners. Extra stimulation in new environments can be particularly beneficial to SEND pupils and can help teach life skills, build on social skills and improve independence and self- confidence. Pupils at Chiltern regularly take part in educational visits and trips, to develop their understanding of historic and culturally significant events and landmarks within the world, build a growth mindset and allow pupils to see potential careers and further education. These visits and trips give pupils the opportunities to develop an association when retrieving key information whether this be in lessons or in conversations in their everyday lives. Some examples of trips pupils have been on in the last year include: The Globe Theatre (English), The Chiltern Challenge (Growth Mindset), Putteridge Bury Observatory, Bedfordshire University (Further Education),Luton Magistrates Court (Citizenship), Wembley (Maths), The Lion King Westend (Performing Arts), Geography field trips, Western Marble Arch Synagogue (RE) and many more.
Duke of Edinburgh
Pupils at Chiltern Academy have the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme through our enrichment programme.
Chiltern Academy creates a culture that is ambitious for its students to understand different pathways into the wider world of work, encouraging students to actively contemplate different careers and the chances they must take now to help them achieve their employment goals. The school is committed to achieving all 8 of the Gatsby Benchmarks to ensure pupils receive the right guidance and support for future aspirations. We have a commitment that every child will visit a place of Higher Education before the end of year 8. This is to ensure they are not limited in their aspirations. We recently have been awarded with the ‘Quality in Careers Standard Award’. This award highlights our Careers provision to be of excellence, representing national accreditation and recognition.
A breakdown of the CEIAG offer for each year group can be found here.
Enrichment Week takes place at the end of every academic year and is delivered through the House System. Enrichment week is run by Chiltern Academy Staff and is an opportunity for pupils to learn beyond the academic curriculum in a variety of ways. The week supplements the four core themes of the personal development curriculum (SMSC development, character development, PSHE/Citizenship and careers).