Personal Development Days

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:

Tuesday 8th October 2019 - PD Day 1 - Community
Thursday 5th December 2019 - PD Day 2 - Respect
Wednesday 5th February 2020 - PD Day 3 - Aspiration
Tuesday 24th March 2020 - PD Day 4 - Resilience
Wednesday 15th July 2020 - PD Day 5 - Inclusion
Personal Development Day 1:

Wednesday 10th October was our 1st Personal Development Day of the year where we focussed on 'Community'!

Both staff and students were released from their normal timetables for the day and prepared themselves to welcome the numerous speakers and guest presenters who were to join us.
Each year group was given a particular focus. Year 11 took part in a First Aid certificated course, learning all about emergency and practical first aid.  They had great fun trying to 'resuscitate annie or andrew', and they were 'bound' to enjoy the practical skill of bandaging!  Well done Year 11, you survived training and are now qualified first aiders.
Year 10 were looking at crime and punishment, with a number of our students visiting the Magistrates Court today.  The information and experience has provided them with a real understanding of the judicial system and the roles within it.
Year 9 had a venture into CSI with a murder mystery to solve using blood for DNA.  We are pleased to say that their scientific skills had the culprit 'banged to rights', as their results clearly pointed to the guilty party.
Year 8 were imprisoned for the day .... or rather experienced first hand what a prison cell feels like with the help of the mobile cell.  They sat up and took note of our 'Prison me, no way' visitors who gave them a gritty and honest account of what life is like when you make the wrong choices with the law.  We had the privilege of welcoming former prison guards, police officer's and many more visitors who have worked within the judicial system who gave personal accounts of their experiences.
Charity was the word for Year 7s, as they spent the day researching local charities to find out more information about them and what it is that they do.  This was completed in houses with the idea that at the end of the day each house would pick their chosen charity.  Each group with the houses produced a poster and delivered some amazing presentations on why their charity was so important, how people could support the cause and a charity was selected for each house- well done Year 7s!
Personal Development Day 2:

Thursday 6th December was our 2nd Personal Development Day of the year where we were discussing all things 'Respect'!

Year 7s were put straight to work on their ‘Healthy Lifestyle’ day by partaking in a fitness Boot Camp in the Hall as well as a Yoga session. They did get to experience a sleep meditation session afterwards though to allow those weary muscles to relax.
Year 8 were also considering how to respect their bodies and minds. There were mindfulness sessions, where they learnt the art of “being” in the moment as well as discussions on a healthy diet. In the afternoon, all of year 8 chose an activity that they wanted to partake in – some went to ROKO to take part in a tournament, others released some aggression in a boxing session, whilst another group went to Queen Elizabeth Country Park to get hiking active!
Year 9 were discussing sex and consent, with a focus on respectful relationships. Pupils considered a variety of scenarios and discussed “What if…?” as well as learning about contraception and some tricky STIs!
Year 10s were focused on Sex, Drugs and Alcohol for the day, with some honest and frank discussions on the impact of these on the body and mind. There was also a session with a banana, which provided lots of information – and a few giggles!
Finally, Year 11s were considering how to raise their achievement in key subjects and spent the day developing, improving and adding to their coursework or exam skills – a productive day for all involved!
Another wonderful PD day with staff and students alike beaming with smiles all day. Here’s to the new year and PD 3 – Aspiration!

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.