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Personal Development

The Purbeck School Sixth Form facilitates students’ personal development through a range of activities, both within the tutor programme and in our enrichment offer. Indeed, our ‘Grow’ ethos, consistently draws our students’ attention to the importance of developing their experiential knowledge and skills, as well as those related to their academic study.

Pastoral Care

Students are supported in their development through a pastoral system, including their tutor, head of year and our sixth form centre manager. These role models provide excellent examples of how to become positive members of a community.

The Tutor Programme

Our tutor programme includes sessions which support student growth in many key areas of maturing into adulthood:

  • Monday PM: Progression – These sessions are designed to give students the opportunity to think about their future plans. This includes information about university courses, apprenticeships and career related employment. The comprehensive programme Unifrog is employed at specific times as students develop their own individual post-18 plans.
  • Tuesday AM (Year 12) Thursday AM (Year 13): Assemblies – These focus on key messages, such as resilience, perseverance and work ethic.
  • Tuesday (Y12); Thursday (Y13): Mentoring – Our mentoring system allows each student to be supported in their development with one to one sessions with their tutor every term.
  • Wednesday AM: News – We encourage students to think critically about current events and give them the opportunity to learn about what life is like in other countries and cultures.
  • Thursday (Y12) Tuesday (Y13): Tutor Theme – Each half term we have a different tutor theme, which focus on a key area of personal development. These include:
    • Preparing for work experience: Work on writing a CV, interview technique and health and safety in the work place.
    • Leadership: Preparation for our student leader roles as well as developing students’ ability to work as part of a team.
    • Debating: Encouraging students to consider other people’s points of view and to argue critically on a subject.
    • Presentation: Building students’ self-confidence by asking them to prepare and deliver a presentation in front of a body of people.
    • Revision: Giving students the tools to prepare for their examinations
    • Progression: Work on securing a place in further education, including an apprenticeship or university course. This with reference to visiting speakers (e.g. Bath University) and the employment of Unifrog.
  • Friday AM: Personal Development – A comprehensive programme including the following, which is linked to the weekly sixth form bulletin and delivered by the tutor team. The programme is taken from the PSHE association scheme of learning, resourced through the Cre8Tive VI Form package:
    • Self-concept
    • Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing
    • Healthy Lifestyles
    • Managing Risk and Personal Safety
    • Sexual Health
    • Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol
    • Relationship Values
    • Forming and maintaining respectful relationships
    • Consent
    • Contraception & Parenthood
    • Bullying, Abuse & Discrimination

We also look to cover topical issues such as drink spiking, laughing gas misuse, etc… as well as having external agencies come in to deliver sessions such as Save Drive Stay Alive


This is a new project which is designed to share the wisdom of giving appreciation and critical thought to a range of belief systems, and to this end we are inviting representatives from within our wider community to share with us the wisdom of their religions and/or moral frameworks. Our EWCaP Conference is scheduled to take place in the second half of the Autumn Term.


As well as our tutor progression sessions, we have a dedicated UCAS and apprenticeship advisor who supports the students in securing the next step in their education.


Giving students the opportunity to develop further their knowledge, interests and skills, this rich programme is designed to allow students to develop their experiential side, offering them a range of activities, most of which are completed on a termly rotation following the completion of student preference forms. The offer has been improved through student voice, which has suggested content such as cooking, finance and first aid, all of which have been added to the offer.

In 2023/24 the offer includes:

  • Finance (3 sessions) and First Aid (3 sessions) with Mr Waterman and Mrs Scott
  • Cooking on a Budget with Ms Taylor
  • EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) with Miss Wetherall and Mrs Armstrong
  • Art/Craft/DIY with Mr Clarke
  • Music with Mr Foyle
  • Arts and crafts with Miss Stewart
  • Board games with Mr Nicolaides
  • Book Club with Mr Clay
  • Primary teaching organised by Mr Holmes
  • Sport with Mr Smith and Mr Tullett

Additionally, some students have secured separate enrichment experience which takes places on Wednesday afternoon. Such placements include working with the RSPB at the nearby Arne Nature Reserve.

The Year 13 Leadership Team

This consists of a broad body of leaders; each position is substantial and includes a job description which supports both the student and associated staff in providing a time-specific framework intended to secure strong experiential and practical outcomes. The roles include the following: four House Captains; a Welfare Leader; Wellbeing Leader; Equality and Diversity Leader; Publicity Leader; Social Event Leader; Charity Leader; Student Voice Leader; Inter-house Leader; other supporting prefects.

To gain these positions of responsibility the students complete an application and interview process and, if successful, attend weekly minuted meetings with their associated head of year.

Work Experience

Every student is supported in securing a week’s work experience which occurs in the Summer Term of Year 12.