As part of our core curriculum offer students in Years 7-11 will experience 5 days during each academic year when the usual timetable is suspended. Each year group will undertake a different whole day experience designed to develop further their Personal Learning and Thinking Skills (PLTS), literacy and numeracy skills and their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.
These PD Days provide an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in learning activities for a whole day and covers themes that are not necessarily addressed in subject areas of the curriculum.
Dates are as follows:
Wednesday 10th October was our 1st Personal Development Day of the year where we focussed on 'Community'!
Thursday 6th December was our 2nd Personal Development Day of the year where we were discussing all things 'Respect'!
Personal Development Day 3:Aspiration
We are now in full swing into this academic year and our 3rd PD Day took place on Wednesday 6th February – all based around the idea of 'Aspiration'!
A crowd of excited year 7s made their way to the gym to meet for their trip to London to visit Kidzania. Sweets and sandwiches were packed and by 9:30am, everyone was on one of the 4 coaches, waving Trafalgar goodbye.
Once at Kidzania, students had the opportunity to discover a variety of job roles, from firefighters to hoteliers, all in a special ‘no adults’ zone, allowing them to explore to their hearts’ content.
Back at school, Year 8s were thinking careers, with a variety of workshops throughout the day. Students embarked on a job ‘scavenger hunt’ to see how many jobs were available just in our community. They also had the chance to find out just how to manage the day to day running of a household, once that dream job had been secured.
After a busy day of exploring jobs, students wrapped up with the chance to write a letter to their future selves about their dreams for their careers. Mrs Morrison is keeping hold of these and they will be handed back to students when they are Year 11!
Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, we had to cancel the Year 9 ‘Stockmarket Challenge’, but rest assured it will be back next year – bigger and better than ever!
Year 10s were also thinking about careers. In tutor time, they had written a job application in preparation for today. This had been passed onto real employers who were then coming in to interview our students. After a morning of discussing CVs and work place etiquette, students nervously took their place in the ‘waiting room’, until they were called in to be interviewed. The interviewers – all business people from the local community – commented on the excellent conduct and energy from our students. Well done year 10 – we hope these practice interviews lead to great things in your future!
A small group of Year 10s and Year 11s made their way to school bleary eyed at 7:15am, to wait for their coach to Oxford University. Once at the University, students explored one of the many colleges and got to hear speeches from current students. The beautiful grounds and delicious 3 course meal for lunch certainly impressed!
Finally, for the rest of year 11, who are approaching their final countdown to GCSEs, it was time to think revision! Students started the day by receiving motivating messages from their tutors and teachers, before considering how to keep calm and mentally healthy during the exam period and undertaking an English ‘booster’. Students showed excellent behaviour and focus, but saved just enough energy for the end of the day House Quiz!
At Trafalgar, we always seek to improve our PD days year on year and they are certainly going from strength to strength! As we reach the end of another half term, it’s time to start planning for PD Day number 4 (and our final one for year 11) – watch this space!
Personal Development Day 4:Resilience
On Tuesday 27th March, all year groups took part in our 4th PD day of the year – this time with the theme of 'Resilience'!
Over the course of the day, pupils considered questions such as ‘What skills are needed to be an effective team player?’ ‘What sort of job might I like when I’m older?’ and ‘What can I do to de-stress myself?’
Year 7 were lucky to be joined by the ‘Unloc’ team from Portsmouth University who introduced them to team work skills. Pupils worked in groups to create tower structures that could rival Portsmouth’s own Spinnaker Tower, with the winning groups going forward to the ‘Pitch Room’ to explain exactly what made their towers so special.
Year 8 went on a group outing to ‘Kidzania’ in London – a huge indoor city where they tried a multitude of jobs found in real life cities. Some pupils went to the journalism desk in association with The Metro to write articles; others did some choreography in the nightclub. When that all got too much, pupils cooled down with a homemade smoothie in the café.
In year 9, Mr Morris led pupils through a series of Duke of Edinburgh style activities including tent building on the field and how to cook a decent meal when camping in the great outdoors. Mr Au even bought in his reptiles to teach pupils how to care for some lesser known pets!
In year 10 the theme was ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’. Pupils spent the morning considering the necessary ingredients for a healthy mind including a sensible diet and the art of de-stressing. In the afternoon, pupils chose from a variety of sporting activities; a football tournament held at Roko proved to be extremely popular!
With exams on the horizon for Year 11, they were focusing on revision skills. Pupils spent the morning next door at The UTC, hearing some motivational words and receiving personal postcards and messages from their tutors. They then spent the day exploring different revision techniques and skills, whilst also considering the importance of organisation and time to relax. Their day culminated with some positive thoughts to send them home with.
All in all, the day was a great success, with all pupils gaining some important life skills that they can apply in the future.