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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy

Personal Development

Personal Development (PD) is at the heart of our curriculum. It promotes, adopts and embeds a range of skills that allow our children to become life long learners.

At Orchard Primary Academy, we aim to ensure our children become informed, responsible, respectful and active citizens, regardless of their social and/or economic background. We want to ensure that all our children are prepared to manage their lives now, and in the future by developing their cultural capital skills and the knowledge and understanding needed to lead happy, healthy and independent lives. 

Having PD implemented within our curriculum ensures that our children are prepared to manage critical opportunities, challenges and responsibilities they will face growing up in rapidly changing times. It also helps them to connect and apply the knowledge and understanding they learn in all subjects to practical, real-life situations while helping them to feel safe and secure enough to fulfill their academic potential.

As a whole-school approach, PD allows us to create effective relationships between all members of the school community. Having the promotion of pupils’ personal and social development underpins other learning., PD contributes to assist children and young people to build their personal identities, confidence and self-esteem and understand what influences their decisions.

How do we do it?


The Curriculum

Our fantastic curriculum enables children to access a broad and balance curriculum, whilst also developing their personal, cultural and social knowledge, understanding and skill set. Our curriculum is built on rich, purposeful knowledge, carefully planned enrichment, wider-world experiences and fundamental learning behaviours' and skills. Each subject is underpinned by PD, securing a consistent, whole-school approach. 

To look further at our curriculum rationale, aims and specific subjects, please click on the link below:

Our Curriculum 

 PSHE and RE are timetabled into our classes each week. We are a flagship school for 'Jigsaw'; the approach we use for the teaching of PSHE.  Within this, we also teach RSE. For more information on this, please click on the 'Jigsaw' link.



As part of our curriculum offering, we want our children to experience a range of activities and visit different attractions to support their learning, but also develop their cultural and social understanding. To enable this, we have planned a range of visits (internally or externally). These visits include places of worship, workshops, a trip to London and much more! We also invite M&M Productions back every year, who always put on a fantastic theatrical performance for us.

Experiences Overview 23/24



Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2


Zoo Lab

Visit the Minster – Christmas focus

Visit to the school woodland - Gruffalo hunt

Living eggs Yorkshire hatching program for schools



Real life caterpillars in the classroom



Visit local library


Zoo Lab

Posting Letters to Father Christmas.


Collecting a Christmas Tree from Tingley Garden Centre


Dewsbury Minster


Visit local garden centre

Visit to the Sea life Centre 

Year 1

Aqualease Rock Pooling

Trip to Caulms Wood Dewsbury for English Recount

Trip to Brambles. Local area History study

Trip to the Hepworth Gallery Wakefield

Skype a Scientist

Ponderosa visit including animals’ workshop

Year 2

Skype a Scientist


Aqualease Rock Pooling

Church visit

RSPB Fairburn Ings


Yorkshire Wildlife Park – Use for English recount

Mission out

Year 3

Herd Farm – Prehistoric Britain

Skype a Scientist



Prime VR (in school): Ancient Egypt

Bagshaw Museum - Egyptians

Year 4

Visit to Yorkshire Water Headingley Water Treatment Works

Bagshaw Museum - Egyptians

Skype a Scientist


Prime VR (in school): Ancient Greeks


Year 5

Skype a Scientist


Hindu Temple visit


Wonderdome Planetarium

Prime VR (in school): The Vikings

Leeds City Museum – Anglo Saxons


Year 6

Mosque visit

Leeds City Museum – Living things and their habitats

Holocaust Exhibition & Learning Centre Huddersfield

Skype a Scientist




Reward trip – London


SMSC and Picture News

We are committed to developing our children's social, moral, spiritual and cultural knowledge and understanding.  All our curriculum areas have a contribution to make to a child’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and opportunities for this will be planned in each area of the curriculum. Each class has a SMSC book which is updated regularly with examples of how each class is developing their SMSC understanding.  We also take part in 'Awareness Days' and 'Unity Afternoons' , many of which are noted on our Twitter pages. To find out more about the vast amount of opportunities we offer our children at Orchard Primary Academy, through SMSC please click on the link:

SMSC at Orchard 

Picture News provides our school with resources to continue to create engaging and exciting lessons, that allow opportunities for children to learn about our world, develop independence, resilience, respect and unlock their own drive and passion for learning. Each week, we are provided with a discussion topic. Within class, children will discuss and debate these articles that link directly to wider-world and local issues that are currently arising and could potentially, affect their day to day lives.


Assembly,  Awareness and Unity Afternoons

Our assembly days are carefully planned to ensure that our children are receiving the knowledge and understanding of key events, elements of SMSC, national and local celebrations and opportunities for children to showcase their learning. Also, we acknowledge many awareness days throughout the year. On these days, children will learn about national and international events and take part in short activities. 

This year, we are implementing 'Unity Afternoons'. Race, religion and global awareness are all themes that drive our half termly unity days within school. Each year groups will spend one full afternoon off timetable exploring various stimuli, including texts, quotes and photography. They will using their democracy skills to debate and discuss opinions, developing their conversational skills, vocabulary and public speaking skills. 

Character Building

At Orchard, we want out children to be responsible, respectful and aspirational individuals; as seen in our curriculum drivers. To support this, children are aware of the 'Protected Characteristics' and discuss them regularly in class, in assembly and on awareness days. We also encourage our children to take part in a range of experiences (internally or externally) and in after school clubs to continue to develop their talents. An overview of the clubs we are offering this half term are found here.

Each year, we utilise our skills and understanding learnt through SMSC and democracy to vote for our new 'Head Ambassadors'. These children have the opportunities to make decisions around school, be part of meeting with senior leaders in school, greet visits and take them on a tour of our wonderful school and much more. We have meetings fortnightly and further information can be found on our 'SchoolAmbasadors' page - Click Here!