At St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy, the aim of our Personal Development Curriculum is to enable our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of our society. It supports children with their personal and social development, and develops their understanding of the moral, social and cultural aspects of society and life. We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse community. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community. Our Personal Development Curriculum is integral to the development of children’s values in order for them to become positive citizens in an ever-changing community.

Our Personal Development Curriculum encompasses many elements:

  • PSHE/RSE Curriculum
  • Catholic Life
  • Modern British Values
  • Pupil Voice
  • Sporting Events
  • School Clubs
  • Wider Curriculum & trips
  • Wider Opportunities
  • Enrichment Passport
  • Careers
  • Praise culture
  • Our Character Virtues

PSHE/RSE Curriculum

Our PSHE/RSE curriculum covers the following areas: protected characteristics, safeguarding (including road safety), sexual harassment, child on child abuse, online safety, anti-bullying and financial education. Click here to see where safeguarding is taught across the curriculum Safeguarding Curriculum Map.

Catholic Life

Christ is at the centre of all that we do at St. Joseph’s. As a member of the Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust, we strive to offer our children as many opportunities to respond to the call to 'live and serve' in the Catholic community and work closely with internal and external organisations to provide them with the chance to be who 'God has made them to be' - St. Catherine of Siena. Catholic Social Teaching underpins our policies and practices with the most vulnerable always at the centre.

Mrs Gentle, our lay chaplain, runs our Pupil Chaplaincy Team which is made up of Year 5 and 6 pupils. In Year 6, they work towards earning their Faith in Action pin. This award is something they can continue to work towards as they move into secondary education.

Our Mini Vinnies, led by Miss Kelly, turn concern into action by organising and running several events across the liturgical calendar. During Harvest, they organise the Macmillan Coffee Morning, donations to the food bank and work alongside our Pupil Chaplaincy Team at Christmas to raise money for local charities and deliver Christmas Angels to our parishioners. Both teams meet regularly and work together during our CAFOD Lenten Appeal to lead our school through this liturgical season.

Finally, our Stewards of Creation work together to look at our environmental impact on the world and look for opportunities for us to be better global citizens before implementing change in our school and community.

We are a Eucharistic community and have strong parish links. We join our parish family weekly for the celebration of mass. Our school actively supports the sacramental preparation programme for First Holy Communion.

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Fundamental British Values

The teaching of British Values is woven throughout the curriculum. Each week we have Fundamental British Values assembly based on recent news and events from the Picture News resource. We are proud to be a Picture News Ambassador school.

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Pupil Voice

At St. Joseph's, our Pupil Voice groups are a whole-school commitment to listening to the views, wishes and experiences of all our pupils by providing them with meaningful opportunities to share their experiences and hopes about school. Pupils at St. Joseph's know that it is important for them to express their views, that their opinions are valued and that their contributions will be listened to and considered.

Our Pupil Voice groups include: School CouncilStewards of CreationWell-being AmbassadorsDanger Detectives, Reading Rangers, Danger Detectives, Chaplains, Mini Vinnies, Sports Leaders and Playground Friends.

Sporting Events

As a member of the Stockton Schools Partnership, children are given the opportunity to participate in activities such as Sports Leadership Academy, Cross Country, Tag Rugby, Football, Athletics, Netball and Cricket across the year. Our school Sports Leaders hold sports activities during lunchtime for children throughout the school. By participating in competitions and festivals, our pupils receive the opportunity to develop their confidence and resilience whilst working as a team. Click below to read about the different sporting events we attend.

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School Clubs

Our extra-curricular clubs run within 4 strands: Academic, Social, Community and Character. Clubs include We Love Norton, arts & crafts, film club, forest school, netball, multi-sports, football, choir, sewing, board games, cooking club, science and STEM, story club, mindfulness and gardening.

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Wider Curriculum

Local class trips are linked to the curriculum and include visits to such as Tees Barrage Visit , Captain Cook Museum, Tweddle Farm, Kirkleatham Museum, Seven Stories, Saltburn Victorian Seaside Town and local theatres.

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In addition to our local trips, all Year 6 children have the opportunity to visit The Houses of Parliament during a day trip to London. They take part in a debating workshop, observe MPs at work in the House of Commons and The House of Lords, and meet with their local MP for a Q&A session.  Year 6 also take part in a two-night residential at an outdoor activity centre in the Lake District. Our Year 5 pupils visit the Diocesan Youth Village for a two-night retreat and residential stay. Year 4 pupils spend one night away from home on residential at an outward bounds centre in North Yorkshire.  Year 3 pupils have the opportunity to take part in an overnight sleepover, in the school hall.

Wider Opportunities

Throughout the year we participate in many national wider opportunities including: Science Week, STEM Day, Black History Month, World Mental Health Day, Remembrance Day, Road Safety Week,  Bikeability, Anti-Bullying Week, Holocaust Memorial Day, National Storytelling Week, Fairtrade Fortnight, World Book Day, National Careers Week, World Maths Day, World Poetry Day, Walk to School Week and Child Safety Week.

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Enrichment Passport 

Children have an enrichment passport ‘To write the chapters of their life story’. The passport includes many enrichment activities for children to complete both inside and outside of school. Click here to view our Enrichment Passport.

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In March, we participate in National Careers' Week, a one-week celebration of careers' guidance and inspiration to help support our young people aspire to achieve and develop awareness and excitement about their future pathways. We invite professionals from a variety of careers to speak to our children about their journeys through education and beyond. Previous visitors include individuals from Middlesbrough Football Club, the NHS, Dogs' Trust, the Police and the CEO of out Trust, BHCET. In addition to our face-to-face visitors, we also participate in webinars such as 'Green Careers and Skills' and 'Challenging Vocational Stereotypes in the World of Work'. Speaking to a range of people with vast expertise in their chosen careers allows our children to have aspirations for themselves and the possibilities that lie ahead of them.

Praise Culture

In addition to our virtue certificates, we also have virtue stickers which children receive when they demonstrate our virtues in their actions and in their learning, we celebrate a ‘Star of the Week’, send postcards home each week and have a weekly Headteacher's Award. House tokens are given to children for following our school rules ‘Be Ready, Be Respectful, Be Safe’. These tokens are collected each week and the winning house is announced. We also reward readers who read three times a week and class attendance.

Our Character Virtues

Our character virtues of respect and responsibility, justice and compassion, confidence and resilience, honesty and self-belief, run through our curriculum and are designed to help children develop their sense of self and be ready to move with confidence onto their next chapter.

Careers Education

As part of our curriculum at St Joseph’s we want each of our children to have the aspiration to achieve whatever they desire. We want our children to aim high, and know that their aspirations are limitless no matter what. As well as organising off-time table Careers Weeks, we aim to provide children with careers learning throughout the school year, whether that be visits from a range of professionals, or building essential skills children will need throughout their lives and careers.

Career activities

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Tees Valley Careers Pilot

We are currently excited to be taking part in the Tees Valley Careers Pilot launched by the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA). This programme aims to ensure careers education is taught early, whilst raising aspirations and broadening children’s horizons. The pilot also supports the development of non-academic skills such as enterprise, financial awareness, behaviours, and life skills.

Skills Builder

Being part of Skills Builder, our children are able to develop their essential life skills through short steps and working through the Skills Builder Framework.

Essential skills that are covered in Skills Builder:

  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Problem Solving
  • Creativity
  • Staying Positive
  • Aiming High
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork

Please follow the link to learn more about the Skills Builder Framework.