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Personal Development


Our pastoral system is founded on a code of conduct that is highly visible around school and all students are familiar with. In addition, weekly ‘Ethics’ and Preparation for Adulthood lessons ensure students study all aspects of Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) and Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE). This is further highlighted through the planning documentation of individual staff. 

A pastoral curriculum is offered across the school to deliver targeted interventions to small groups to support outcomes identified in the Education, Health, Care, Plan (EHCP) by Emotional, Literacy, Support Assistant (ELSA) trained staff. This includes understanding and coping with feelings about ourselves and others. Developing high self-esteem and positive interactions with others and being emotionally literate helps children focus better on their learning. ELSA's builds the capacity of schools to support the social/emotional and mental health needs of their pupils from within their own resources.

Areas covered in lessons: 

•Recognising emotions 


•Social Skills 

•Friendship skills 

•Anger management 

•Loss and bereavement 


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is designed to empower young people; to support them as they learn new skills, overcome obstacles, and build confidence and resilience.

The Award’s new strategy ‘Youth Without Limits’ ensures that the D of E is open to all young people and that our participants reflect the most diverse generation of young people ever.

(Youth Without Limits video)

What is the D of E?

A life-changing experience. A fun time with friends. An opportunity to discover new interests and talents. A tool to develop essential skills for life and work. A recognised mark of achievement; respected by employers.

The D of E is many things for many people, supporting generations to successfully navigate adult life.

14–24 years, can do a D of E programme at one of three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, leads to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

There are four sections to complete at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold. They involve helping the community/environment, becoming fitter, developing new skills, planning, training for and completing an expedition and, for Gold only, working with a team on a residential activity.

Any young person can do their D of E – regardless of ability, gender, background or location. Achieving an Award isn’t a competition or about being first. It’s all about setting personal challenges and pushing personal boundaries.

Through a D of E programme, young people have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem and build confidence. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as resilience, problem-solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing CVs and university and job applications. 

Woodlands are proud to be a Licensed Organisation for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Elly Downing, an experienced D of E Leader, is now managing the group, assisted by Joe Robinson. Various staff across the school help out with leading activities and supporting our young people to complete all parts of the award. 

Jo Wildman is our Award Verifier, checking that all activities meet the requirements of the award. 

For further information on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, please see the Award website

For further information on the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at Woodlands, or to support us in any way, please contact: