Personal Development

Education at The Birley Academy encompasses more than just academic instruction. It embraces a diverse range of subjects while also delving into worldly knowledge, broader societal issues, and the development of traits that shape individuals to become their best selves: confident, resilient and independent.

At The Birley Academy, we recognise that the development of students, morally, socially and culturally plays a significant part in their learning.

Our aim is to develop our young people so that they are prepared for life in modern Britain and understand how to be responsible citizens and contribute positively to society. Given the uncertainty of the future awaiting our students, we firmly believe that exam results alone aren’t sufficient preparation; hence, personal development is considered equally important for a complete education.

At The Birley Academy our core values, which are aligned in three pillars of Ready, Respectful and Resillient, are designed to actively promote and complement the five fundamental British values identified by the Department for Education: 

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect 
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs 

We teach our students the importance of being kind, compassionate and respectful to everyone that they meet, irrespective of their faith, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class or any other perceived differences. 

Our school community is encouraged to embrace all that life in modern Britain has to offer and, therefore, we consider it essential for our staff to lead by example and exemplify and model British values. 

The examples provided below – whilst by no means exhaustive – serve to demonstrate how British values permeate our curriculum, ethos and a wide range of leadership activities, along with our commitment to providing ample opportunities for our students to develop a strong moral foundation and a drive to make a positive impact in their local, wider and global community. 

  • Delivering an assembly programme with core ethical values and beliefs at its core, themed in conjunction with our school values and wider national and global awareness. 
  • Having a strong pastoral system that ensures all individuals are recognised and valued and fosters a family ethos. 
  • A well-structured PSHE programme linked to DfE updates and in conjunction with the PSHE Association 
  • A strong Religious Studies programme. 
  • Effective and well-managed Student Councils enabling students to actively participate in the democratic process 
  • A broad and balanced curriculum which addresses many of these core values across a range of subject areas 
  • Having a clearly communicated and consistently applied Behaviour Policy so that students understand what is expected of them and the consequences of both meeting and failing to meet these expectations 
  • A rewards system that recognises positive contributions in school and celebrates success 
  • Adopting restorative approaches, where possible, to resolve any difficulties between members of our school community 
  • Having a rigorous commitment to student safety (for example: trips and visits policy and procedures, Safeguarding procedures, Code of Conduct and Health and Safety procedures) 
  • Celebration of the diverse nature of our school community through menus, themed events, the Assembly programme and the choice of texts/resources across the curriculum 
  • An extra-curricular programme that provides opportunities outside the curriculum to develop individual talent and contribute to school life

Student Ambassadors

Student Ambassadors 

The Student Ambassador programme at The Birley Academy is a prestigious role designed to empower students to represent our school with pride, integrity, and enthusiasm. Student Ambassadors serve as exemplary role models, demonstrating leadership qualities and a commitment to both academic excellence and community engagement. They play a pivotal role in fostering a positive school culture, supporting events, and welcoming prospective students, parents, and visitors to our institution. 

Responsibilities of our Ambassadors: 

  • School Representation: Act as representatives of The Birley Academy at various events, such as open days and school functions. 
  • Student Support: Offer guidance and support to new students, assisting them in acclimating to school life and answering queries about academic lessons, extra-curricular activities and facilities. 
  • Leadership and mentoring: Take leadership roles in clubs, societies, or mentoring programmes, guiding and inspiring fellow students. 
  • Promotion of school values: Uphold and promote the school’s values, encouraging positivity, inclusivity, and respect among peers. 
  • Assist with School Events: Help organise and execute school events, including fundraisers, charity drives, and cultural celebrations. 
  • Communication: Effectively communicate school policies, events, and initiatives to students, staff, and visitors. 

The Student Ambassador role at The Birley Academy is an exceptional opportunity for motivated students to make a positive impact within our school community while honing essential skills for future success. We encourage enthusiastic individuals who embody our school values to apply and embrace this enriching experience. If you are interested, please collect an application form from the library. 

Student Councils

Student Councils 

Our student councils are an integral part of our commitment to fostering a student-centric approach to school improvement. We believe that involving students in decision-making processes empowers them and contributes to a positive and vibrant school community. 

Currently, we have nine distinct student councils, each focusing on a specific area of interest: 

  • The Arts Council 
  • The Charity Council 
  • The Culture Council 
  • The Education Council 
  • The Environment Council 
  • The Sports and Outdoor Council 
  • The Science and Technology Council 
  • The Justice Council 

We are thrilled that over 100 students from all year groups are actively participating in these councils, representing the diverse perspectives and interests of their peers. The purpose of these councils is to provide a platform for students to express their views, contribute ideas, and actively engage in shaping the school’s policies and initiatives. The collaborative efforts of our students in these councils will play a pivotal role in driving positive changes within our school and local community.  

As school leaders, we are immensely proud that our students have an active voice in the ongoing development of our school. We believe that by working together with our students, we can create an environment that reflects the values, aspirations, and needs of our entire school community. 

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PSHE Curriculum