At Grimley and Holt Primary School PDL includes social, heath, learning skills and citizenship education. We believe that all people have the right to reach their full potential in their learning and that the teaching of personal, social and emotional skills play a fundamental role in this. In line with our vision we strive to balance doing our personal best with compassion to care for all members of the communities to which we belong.

We aim for our children to leave us with a variety of essential life skills, which include being lifelong learners, believing in their own abilities/attributes and recognising and celebrating differences in others. Children need to have their basic needs met before learning takes place. We aim to instil respect for each other by building spiritual, social, moral values and tolerances of other races, cultures and religions. Children learn to take responsibility for their own actions/decisions and respect themselves, each other, the environment, democracy, justice, law and human rights.

Personal and social development is a statutory entitlement for all children at our school. Although there are planned opportunities for the teaching of PDL, staff link key skills through other areas of the curriculum and in the day-to-day running of their class. The social and emotional aspects of learning: self-awareness, managing feelings, motivation, empathy and social skills are a core purpose of Grimley and Holt Primary School.

PDL is too important to be left to chance!

We give children the opportunities for and support them in:

  • developing confidence and independence to make the most of theirabilities
  • developing skills in language, decision making andassertiveness
  • developing a healthy, saferlifestyle
  • developing good relationships and respecting differences betweenpeople
  • gaining knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to participate within society as informed,activeandresponsiblecitizens andseeingthemselvesasmembersoftheircommunity
  • learn about the interdependencies ofcommunities
  • understanding how their own choices affect local and globalissues
  • becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities
  • appreciating what it means to be a positive member of a diverse intercultural society
  • developing themselves as growing and changing individuals

When and how will PDL be taught?

Teachers will be the main deliverers of the PDL, SRE and associated education programmes. PDL is taught explicitly through a planned PDL curriculum which is embedded in our curriculum based on SMSC, Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning.’SEAL.

PDL Planning

There are a huge range of resources that are stored centrally, referred to on planning and electronically catalogued so that an up to date stock check can be kept. A progression of skills is available for each strand of PDL and allows for individuality to be tracked.

PDL is also explored on a needs led basis as situations arise with individuals, within classrooms, the school and the wider community. From time to time other initiatives will allow for a whole school improvement focus. For example Eco School, Healthy Activity and Digital Leader action groups and Learning Detectives work. Core values and key issues are explored through assemblies too.

Teaching and Learning

We place an emphasis on active learning by including the children in discussions, role play, investigations and problem solving activities. Children are given regular opportunities to reason, evaluate, enquire, be creative, communicate and process information. Effective and varied age appropriate teaching strategies are employed to deliver the PDL curriculum which include: Circle time; use of fiction and poetry books; role play and drama techniques; discussion and feedback; a balance of individual/ partner/ small group / year group/class/team and whole school work; structured games; audio-visual aids; appropriate use of outside speakers/ visitors whom we invite into school to talk about their role in creating a positive and supportive community. Additionally visits are sometimes arranged with an interpersonal/ intrapersonal focus, of which the planned residential experiences are examples.


The development of independent learning

Metacognitive strategies are, simply put, those that help children to ‘learn to learn’ and regulate their learning behaviour to optimise their academic development. We encourage these strategies by being very explicit about the cognitive and metacognitive processes associated with lessons and tasks, in order that children start to use these more and more in their journey through school. Recent research suggests that there are many- relatively simple- strategies and habits that can be taught and encouraged to allow the processes to become habitual, leading to happier, confident and enthusiastic leaners.

The outcome and aim of metacognitive strategies are to:

  • Allow children to gain in independence and become more resilient
  • Develop children that feel comfortable when making mistakes and view them as learning opportunities
  • Help children to recognise learning skills and strategies that best suit their individual style of learning
  • Encourage application of learning skills in different contexts and subjects
  • Allow children to retain vital transferable learning skills to stand them in good stead for high school, higher education, the world of work and happy and fulfilled lives.

Our commitent to metacognitive learning


Philosophy for children

Philosophy For Children (P4C) does not refer to teaching children traditional philosophy, rather, it is a pedagogic approach that centres on teaching thinking skills and the ability to question and reason. It is a student-led, enquiry based approach to learning.

Research has clearly shown that P4C improves cognitive abilities of participants, developing general thinking and reasoning skills that lead to higher levels of attainment across the curriculum. Furthermore P4C has been found to have great success in improving motivation by improving levels of understanding, confidence and student ownership of learning. A further asset of the P4C approach is that it develops learning-to -learn skills – through it’s ‘thinking out loud’ approach and emphasis on questioning and reflection.

Sex and Relationship Education

Through careful planning and delivery of sex and relationship education we fulfil the statutory requirements. Aspects of SRE are taught as an integral part of Grimley and Holt broad and balanced PDL provision from Reception through to Year Six. We believe SRE will promote children’s self-esteem and emotional well-being. It is taught in the context of relationships and will help children to form and maintain worthwhile and satisfying relationships based on respect for themselves and for others at home, school, work and in the community. In this way children are able to develop their ideas in a safe and supportive environment. We believe SRE at school should be complementary to that given athome.


This includes any of the substances that are commonly recognised as being legal or illegal ie. it relates to tobacco, alcohol, over-the-counter medicines, prescribed medicines, any legal volatile substance that may be misused (i.e. glue, solvents, aerosols), as well as any substance obtained illegally,forthepurposesofmentalorphysicalgratification.Thispolicyaimstogivedrugeducation a higher profile and raise awareness for staff, parents and the wider community. Drugs education is an integral part of the planned PDL Programme. In this way drug related issues are reinforced throughout the child’s education, so matching their increasing understanding and

  • To educate children on the effects that drugs have on health and to enable them to make informed choices
  • To give children up to date information on the risks and legal aspects of drug taking
  • To help children learn the communication skills needed to express their concerns and make responsible decisions

At ages 4-7 we feel that children should be introduced to the fact that some substances are dangerous and can cause you harm.

At ages 7-11 we feel that children should be introduced to the fact that while all medicines are drugs, not all drugs are medicines.

They should also begin to be aware of the harmful effects on health of abuse of tobacco, alcohol, solvents and other drugs.


AtGrimley and HoltPrimarySchoolwe often appoint time to support any child who requires extra support to come to terms or deal with any personal issues. Any associated issues and related incidents are significant and will have some degree of effect on the child and their family. The incident will behandledsensitively, with the concerned child at it’s heart,in order to send a message to other children in school about these behaviours being unacceptable in order not to glamorise the situation.

Personal development

Self esteem

Development of every child’s self-esteem is important to us at Grimley and Holt Primary School and we have a number of mechanisms in place to support this, including:

  • Merit Certificates
  • House points
  • 4 Rs stickers
  • Good behaviour at lunchtime stickers
  • Sports Cups 
  • Individual class reward schemes

Team building

Grimley and Holt Primary School is a friendly and safe school which is fostered through the team building activities we include each and every day. These include:

  • Sports day
  • The house system
  • Class codes of conduct
  • Productions
  • Focus days & weeks
  • The school friendship bench and garden


We have activities as part of our normal school routine in order to develop our children’s self-confidence and well-being, including:

  • Presentation time
  • School Productions Each year, the children participate in our Productions. There are two at Christmas, one for Reception and KS1 and a second performed by Years 3 and 4. Our Year 5 and Year 6 children participate in a production in the summer term
  • Harvest Festival contributions
  • Easter service
  • Records of Achievement


An important part of teaching children life skills is the development of responsibility. At Grimley and Holt, EVERY CHILD AND ADULT IS A LEADER. Below are a small number of activities that promote this:

  • House System

There are four houses in the school: Sapphire, Topaz, Emerald and Ruby.

Every pupil is allocated a house when they join the school and siblings are put together in the same house. Children are encouraged to support their house through their work and participation in activities throughout the year.

In September Year 6 students prepare speeches to explain why they would make good House Captains and the pupils vote for their preferred candidate.

House points are earned for good behaviour, good work or kind deeds- often associated with our Values curriculum. Points are recorded in each classroom and on Friday the House Captains count up the points for their house and announce the results in Assembly. The house with the most points for that week wins a treat.

On Sports Day the houses compete against each other as teams and a shield is awarded to the winning house.

  • The School Council

Year 6 develops a School Council each term. The children are major stakeholders in the school and, through the School Council, are given an opportunity both to make a difference to the way the school operates, as well as to develop their citizenship and social skills. The School Council occasionally organises ballots on certain issues helping to teach our children about the democratic system.

  • Digital Leaders

We launched our E Safety Committee in January 2013 to discuss all aspects of E-Safety and the importance of being e-safe at home as well as at school. Our committee has four pupil members from years 5 and 6 and a Safeguarding governor and parents are very welcome to attend. We meet at least once a term to discuss any e-safety issues that may have arisen and discuss how we can deal with them. We are also responsible for reviewing and monitoring our e-safety policy and practice and responding to the changing needs of our school and technology.

  • Learning Detectives

We have a group of 8 learning detectives; 2 from each year group in Key Stage 2. Their role is to look for evidence of learning behaviours in their own, and other classes. The aim of the learning detectives is to identify strengths in learning, in order to report back to their classes, School council, teachers, parents and governors. They also update a learning detective’s display.

The learning detectives focus on questions such as:

  • Are children listening/ concentrating?
  • Do children know what they are learning and it’s relevance?
  • How can the detectives and classmates move learning forward?
  • What are children’s attitudes to learning?
  • What are children’s aspirations regarding school life?
  • What cognitive and metacognitive strategies are being employed in the lesson (by both adults and children)
  • School Librarians

We have a wonderfully resourced purpose built library which includes non-fiction books, newspapers and journals to suit our range of ages, abilities and interests. We use our library extensively to teach the children how to find, and use, information in their work.

  • The Reception/Year 6 buddy system

Each Reception child buddies with a Year 6 child. The Year 6s look after their buddy, show them where everything is and help them, especially when they first start. They sit with their buddy in the lunch hall for the first couple of weeks and support them on the playground if they hurt themselves or are feeling a little worried about being in school.

Whenever we have a service at church, the Year 6s walk with their buddy and hold their hand to keep them safe. This really helps the younger children to settle into school quickly and to get to know more of the older children throughout the school. The Year 6 children benefit enormously from the sense of responsibility they gain from the buddy system.

  • Children’s contributions to PTFA events

such as running stalls at the summer and Christmas Fair and helping with raffles at performances.


We teach children how society is organised and governed with careful regard to Community Cohesion opportunities. At Grimley and Holt we ensure they experience the process of democracy. Our culture is dependent upon a strong recognition of that with rights comes personal and mutual respect and that we all have responsibilities. Children throughout the school, mainly within the classroom setting, are given various responsibilities on a daily basis. Year by year we encourage the children to take part in a range of practical activities that promote active citizenship, eg, Charity fundraising, the planning of special school events such as an assembly or an activity to help other groups. As the children reach year 5 and 6, their responsibilities will increase to include whole school responsibilities. Children in year 6 will be invited to participate in a citizenship scheme, which has particular foci on citizenship values. This scheme directly encourages the children to become involved in the wider school community.

Each of the other year groups celebrate citizenship qualities by agreed methods and are consistent within the year group teams.

School Council

Our School Council consists of elected members from Year 6. Their suggestions are listened to and acted upon appropriately. Each Councillor has opportunities to feed back to class with opportunities for class discussion.

Staff support and training

As part of the induction programme all staff are expected to make themselves familiar with the

Policy for Personal Development Learning and the SRE and Drug Education.

Support for the teaching of PDL will be given through

  • The sharing of current developmentinformation
  • Opportunities to attend courses relevant to area of need. eg drug education, circle time, sex and relationship issues,SEAL
  • Access to latestpublications
  • Updating ofresources
  • In houseCPD

Continuous Professional Development

All staff have access to the PDL policy. Staff training needs will be identified on a regular basis through peer discussion and whole school improvement. Training will be provided as needs arise. Governors support the PDL policy through liaison with the PDL leader and are invited to work with staff and children where they see fit.

Assessment, monitoring, evaluation and reviewing

An audit of the learning and teaching will occur through planned action by the PDL leader on a regular basis in the form of work sampling, pupil and parent interviews, questionnaires, lesson observation and pupil evaluation.

The Governing Body will take such steps as are reasonably practicable to ensure that any provision is in accordance with current guidelines laid down by the Government. They will also pay regard to representations made to them by anyone connected with the community served by Grimley and Holt Primary School. In addition they will, in consultation with the Head teacher, take advice received from Health Authorities, and religious or ethnic minority groups.

The needs of pupils

SRE, Drugs education and PDL are all planned according to the children’s age group and their level of maturity. It is clearly linked to the science curriculum.

Drugs and SRE are both very sensitive issues and must be dealt with delicately. Children may ask questions of any adult teaching them about drugs or SRE, most of which will be easily answered. However, there may be occasions, especially in Key Stage 2, where the questions become more difficult to answer, or it is inappropriate to answer in a class situation.

TEACHERS CANNOT PROMISE TOTAL CONFIDENTIALITY TO THE PUPILS.The policy allows for teachers and outside agencies to use their professional judgement when dealing with awkward questions. If the question has caused concern it may be necessary to follow child protection procedures. If in doubt, use your professional judgement and seek advice. The Child Protection Officer at Grimley and Holt is the Head teacher or Assistant Head teachers in the HT’s absence. It should be remembered that staff are not allowed to question children about a personal issues. (Child Protection Act)

Role of outside agencies

The school will actively co-operate with other agencies such as the Police, Health Nurses, Social Services, LA and Drug agencies to deal with education and incidents of substance use and misuse. This will be co-ordinated by the PDL leader or the Head teacher depending upon circumstances.

Parents and communication

All teachers have the responsibility to liaise with parents and carers of all children in their class. Personal, social and emotional well being of children should be reported to families both formally in the annual written report, through general comments and the PDL sections (as set out in the assessment policy) and informally. If teachers have particular concerns about the personal, social and emotional well being of any child they should either:

  • Inform the parents ofconcerns
  • Refer to Child Protection Liaison Officer and follow safeguarding guidelines.
  • Speak to PDL leader or Inclusion Leader.
  • Talk with our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) to arrange somesuitable further intervention.

This document was agreed as best practice for Grimley and Holt Primary School by a cross section of the school community, including parents and will be developed and reviewed in the same way.

As a school committed to working in partnership with parents in order to benefit their children’s education, Grimley and Holt School will:

  • Make available the full Policy for Personal Development Learning to any parent, if requested;
  • Acknowledge concerns and anxieties raised by parents and provide information about other agencies that may be able to help;
  • Encourage parents to support our SRE and Drug Education programme by understanding that this preventative method is an important part of learning in both keystages;
  • As deemed appropriate invite parents in to look at resources and discuss SRE and Drug Education, along with learning about information relating to the local area and SRE/Drug trends.

Ofsted Outstanding 3D

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