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‘You can help all students achieve through Personal Development Programmes’

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ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes engage and motivate learners through a personalised curriculum. Sarah Hall, Head of Year 9 at The Market Weighton School, shares how the programmes boosted students’ self-belief and broadened their experiences.

The Market Weighton School, East Riding of Yorkshire, is a mainstream school of 500 students and delivers ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes to learners in Years 9, 10 and 11.

“We offer a broad curriculum in Key Stage 4 at The Market Weighton School, with courses that cater for students working at all abilities,” says Sarah. “We have an enhanced provision for SEN students in the school and I’ve found that a less academic approach better meets the needs of my learners. 

“Some of our students require a more practical and diverse pathway that isn’t heavy on paperwork. I therefore chose ASDAN’s PDP (Personal Development Programmes: Bronze, Silver and Gold) because their structure provides smaller, more manageable chunks of activity-based learning,” says Sarah.

Flexible and tailored programmes

ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes contain 12 broad modules that develop learners’ personal, social and employability skills. 

Learners exploring food from another culture in
Module 10: The wider world

“It’s really important for me to be able to tailor a programme with the learners’ best interests at heart,” says Sarah.

“ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes allow me the flexibility to deliver a programme that really harnesses students’ engagement and gets them on board. Our students get a huge amount out of PDP.

“I like the fact that I can tailor the programme to include local events in the community. For Module 2: My community we did a big project on Hull Fair. Students researched the fair’s history and did taste tests of the fair’s food products, which they really enjoyed.

“For Module 5: My environment, I incorporate our school’s yearly 20km walk and the students complete a project on the countryside code, which is great because it enables them to link their learning and ASDAN credits to something that they’re already taking part in.

“PDP also enables students who struggle with their attendance to still be awarded for the work they complete and their achievements,” says Sarah. “ASDAN’s PDP are a brilliant option all round.”

Learners baking flourless cookies
Learners exploring a restricted recipe by baking
flourless cookies

Building students’ self-esteem

ASDAN’s Bronze (60 hours’ work), Silver (120 hours), and Gold (180 hours) programmes are designed to incentivise and motivate students.

“The programme’s formative assessments give students a real morale boost as I’m able to show them what they’ve achieved already. The programme really improves their confidence,” says Sarah.

“I incorporate a cooking task at least once every couple of terms because that’s something they really enjoy and gain a huge sense of achievement from. We’re very lucky that we’ve got a school garden where the students grow vegetables.

“One particular student, Molly, really struggled academically but every PDP lesson she attended supported her along her pathway. She really enjoyed PDP and it developed her self-belief. Molly has since gone on to do an agricultural course at college and is doing really well.

“Since completing PDP, all my students have gone on to do very well at college,” says Sarah. “PDP progresses students’ social skills in leaps and bounds.”

Students completing first aid training as part of health
module

Developing skills for life after school

“ASDAN’s PDP stand students in good stead with lots of skills for when they leave school, skills that can be put into practice in their chosen career path,” says Sarah.

“As part of Module 8: World of work, our Year 11 students choose where they want to complete work experience, which goes towards their Gold award. They often choose local nurseries, garages and hairdressers and gain crucial work-related skills.

“For Module 10: The wider world, students complete an assignment on writing and exploring CVs. They research three local colleges and a course at each one. They look up transport links and what the colleges have to offer. PDP enable a real focus on preparing students for life after school.”

Boosts cross-curricular attainment 

Sarah Hall, Head of Year 9 at The Market Weight School
Sarah Hall, Head of Year 9 at The Market
Weighton School

“PDP support core subjects as well as practical and social skills,” says Sarah. “Through their PDP lessons, students use their IT knowledge and practise independent learning, both of which are skills that support the rest of their curriculum. 

“ASDAN’s PDP are fantastic for learners working towards and at Level 1,” says Sarah. “They are brilliant programmes for supporting learners to gain skills that then improve their performance in other subjects. The flexibility is a real benefit. You can help all students achieve through ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes.”

Updated PDP available for purchase

ASDAN’s Personal Development Programmes have been redeveloped for 2021 to include 31 engaging new challenges, 60 new resources to support delivery and an increased focused on mental health and wellbeing.

Contact info@asdan.org.uk to find out more or to share your centre's success story.

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