Personal Development

Supporting our pupils’ Wider Personal Development

At Finstall First School, we support the children’s wider personal development in many ways. Below, please find some examples:

Educational Visits / Visitors into School

We provide a very wide range of coherently planned, purposeful educational visits and we also invite numerous Visitors into School to enrich our curriculum and to further develop and extend pupils’ understanding and enjoyment. As part of this, each year group visits a place of worship on an annual basis. The children remember such experiences, with great fondness, for many years. They include:


Year R – Theatre Visit (Pantomime); Autumn walk around local area; St Godwald’s Church (Christianity – Baptism / Features of the Church); Easter Service at St Godwald’s Church

Year 1 - Theatre Visit (Pantomime); Little Owls Farm Park (Classification of Animals / Naming Body Parts / Recounts); Synagogue (Judaism); Easter Service at St Godwald’s Church

Year 2 - Theatre Visit (Pantomime); RAF Cosford (Travel and Transport); Bodenham Arboretum (Living Things / Habitats); St Godwald’s Church (Features of the Church); The Commandery, Worcester (English Civil War); Easter Service at St Godwald’s Church

Year 3 - Theatre Visit (Pantomime); Mosque (Islam); Black Country Museum (Victorians); Christmas Carol Service at St Godwald’s Church

Year 4 - Theatre Visit (Pantomime); Hindu Temple (Hinduism); Malvern Boundless Outdoors (OAA); Bell-boating Journey along the Canal (Geography Fieldwork / Water Sport); Cadbury World / Bournville (Canals to Railways); Pantomime at Baptist Church; Christmas Carol Service at St Godwald’s Church 


Year R – Firemen / Nurse / Vet / Police / Baker - People who help us; The Wonder Dome (Space)

Year 1 – Animal Man (Classification of animals / What they eat)

Year 2 – Samuel Pepys – Great Fire of London;

Year 3 – Professor McGinty (Ancient Egypt); Titus Flavius Lustus (Ancient Rome)

Year 4 – Savoy Chef (Healthy Eating - Design Technology) – 3 times / year; Professor McGinty (World War 2);

Themed Days / Weeks

We also hold themed days or weeks, which stretch pupils’ talents and interests – e.g. School Sports Week, Arts Week, Maths Challenge Day, Geography Day. The children also enjoy the independent projects that they complete over a series of homeworks as they can choose the subject matter from within a theme. The projects the children produce, with the support of their parents, are always of a very high quality – project themes, in recent years, have included Victorians, Ancient Rome, World War 2, Great Fire of London.

Arts Week 2023

  •          Year R made clay hedgehogs and created leaves, using wax rubbings
  •          Year 1 experienced “Pom-Pom” making
  •          Years 2 and Year 4 continued the work they started with “Jon the Potter,” a local artist who specialises in working with clay
  •          Year 2 participated in “Water Marbling” techniques
  •          Year 3 completed some “Wet Felting” artwork with local Artist, Christine Burdin
  •          All year groups also experienced a drumming workshop 

School Sports / Healthy Schools Week (2023)

The children had the chance to have a go at a variety of activities in School including the following:

Year R – Gymnastics; Martial Arts

Year 1 – Gymnastics; Football; Irish Dancing

Year 2 – Gymnastics; Martial Arts; Basketball

Year 3 – Martial Arts; Irish Dancing

Year 4 – Gymnastics; Basketball; Street Dance

All year groups also took part in the following activities – Bouldering Wall; Athletics.

In addition, the children learned about how else they can promote a healthy lifestyle through healthy eating, getting a good night’s sleep and participating in activities that are good for their mental well-being. On the Thursday morning of this week, we also held our Annual School Sponsored Footpaths Walk.

Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development

Assemblies, led by Senior Leaders, also contribute significantly to the children’s wider personal development, particularly around their Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development. Through “DR TIM” Assemblies, children develop a good understanding of the British Values of Democracy, Rule of Law, Tolerance, Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect. They develop a growing understanding of what a democracy is and how people have a say in who governs by having a vote. They learn about Britain’s democratic Parliamentary system and appreciate how this is replicated, to a small extent, through our School Council. Our pupils also know the difference between right and wrong and understand the need for rules, laws and consequences.  

During their time in School, children learn that people have different religious beliefs including Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. Our children learn to celebrate diversity and promote equality of opportunity for all. In RE and PSHE lessons and through assemblies, children learn about people who have different views and opinions and they are taught to respect the different protected characteristics and understand why it is so important that we do not discriminate against others. We discuss the meaning of terms such as discrimination and how certain characteristics are protected by law.

As a result, our pupils are respectful of people who are different or have different beliefs and they understand that discrimination means, “treating people unfairly because of their differences” and that being unique was to be celebrated.

Our children learn about different countries in the World, including France, Italy and Brazil as well as Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome.

The children also learn about artists such as Paul Klee, Andy Goldsworthy, Kandinsky and Banksy and about the kind of artwork these artists produce. They also learn about classical and more modern musical composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, The Beatles, Elvis Presley and Bob Marley. 

Extra-curricular Activities

A wide range of extra-curricular activities are also available to our children to nurture, develop and stretch their talents and interests even further. At least one club usually takes place every night after School and include the following:

Football, Zumba, Sewing, Irish Dancing, Art, Basketball, Dance, Tennis, Gymnastics, Choir, Tag Rugby, Bell-boating 

Sporting Activities / Wellbeing Activities

Through extra-curricular clubs and initiatives such as School Sports Week, we forge strong links with local sports clubs. As a result, the large majority of our pupils are active participants in sports and arts activities outside of School. In addition, all children in Year 3 have swimming lessons so that, by the time children leave our School, almost all of our children can already swim 25 metres.

Through participation in competitive sports in inter and intra-School events, children are taught to win and lose with good grace and they understand the importance of good sportsmanship. Our children have been very successful in District competitions for many years.

The running track around the field and outdoor exercise equipment allow children access to physical exercise at lunch time all year round and children can also access the bouldering wall, the adventure playground and additional sports equipment. Sports Leaders (from Year 4) and specialist staff are also used to support children, who struggle with social skills, at play times.

For those who prefer something quiet and calm, the children have access to the Sensory Garden and quiet areas for reading and colouring outside. Reading trolleys are taken outside, allowing older children (Reading Ambassadors) to read with and to younger pupils.


We also offer the children in Years 3 and 4 the opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument in School from Guitar, Violin, Clarinet and Keyboard. There is always a high uptake, from children in Years 3 and 4, who learn to play a musical instrument. These children also get to perform in a musical concert for parents in the Summer term. 

Musical Productions

All year groups produce a Musical Production, each year, that they perform to their parents. This opportunity to perform in front of an audience also impacts positively on pupils’ confidence, self-esteem and sense of achievement, as well as their acting skills and musical ability.

Character / Mental Health and Well-being / Positive Attitudes

Our School Vision statement is “Learning Together, Preparing for Life” and we try very hard to develop our children’s character during their time with us. We find that pupils display increasing levels of confidence and independence as they move through the School. Children are taught to organise themselves independently through classroom routines, right from their first days in Year R. Forest School sessions, in Years R and 1, develop children’s confidence, independence and understanding of the need to manage risks. Children are encouraged to choose appropriate resources to assist them with their learning in class and are praised when they persevere at tasks and take risks with their learning, especially when they find something difficult. Children are taught that, as long as they attempt tasks, it is ok to get things wrong and that they should not worry if they make mistakes because they will receive the help and support they need.

Through the PSHE and Computing Curriculum and through assemblies, children are taught how to keep themselves safe from a variety of risks, including online risks.

Children are also given greater responsibility as they move through the School through the jobs and positions they can take up (E.g. Play Leaders, Sports Crew, Reading Ambassadors). Children become increasingly responsible for changing their reading book and returning homework on time. The 3-day residential visit to Malvern in Year 4 develops pupils’ organisational skills, independence, resilience and confidence in themselves. During their stay, children really push themselves beyond their perceived limits and overcome their fears, which really helps them to develop an “I can” attitude prior to moving on to Middle School.

We have a token system linked to our “Rainbow of Resilience.” Children can earn different coloured tokens for their house for showing resilience or performing acts that will help to build resilience in other children – helping them to feel loved, empowered, engaged, connected or able to cope. Regular assemblies linked to each of the areas have helped children to understand how they can develop resilience, which, in turn, will lead to improved mental well-being.

As a result of their developing character, our pupils cooperate and collaborate well and are happy and confident to participate in a variety of community and social settings such as performing on stage, participating in sports tournaments, singing for the elderly at the local Residential Home or at the Christmas Fayre, running enterprise initiatives – e.g. running stalls at the PA Fetes.

Excellent relationships between pupils and between pupils and staff are clearly evident from lesson observations and from observing pupils at break and lunch times. During regular pupil discussions, children always tell us that they knew of more than one adult they could go to if they were concerned about anything. They feel that adults will listen to them and deal with issues or concerns raised. They know about different forms of bullying and know they have a part to play in stopping bullying.

 Class Teachers and TAs are initially responsible for the pastoral support provided to children although they are aware of the further support that they can signpost parents / children to through the Senco, DSL, Head Teacher, Deputy Head Teacher and our recently appointed Pastoral Lead. The Pastoral Lead provides a bridge between parents and School as she provides support for parents and children experiencing a wide range of difficulties. She also provides support for matters related to attendance and punctuality.

Two experienced Teaching Assistants have also been trained as bereavement counsellors and are able to provide support to pupils who have lost family members. The DHT has received training as the School’s Designated Mental Health Lead and an experienced TA has received training as a Youth Mental Health Champion. Their roles continue to be developed in School through the Mental Health annex of our School Development Plan, which has led to the formation of a School Mental Health Action Group that promotes good mental health and well-being across the School. 

Through discussions, pupils show that The Jigsaw PSHE Curriculum that we follow has a strong focus on mindfulness and the need for good mental health and well-being. Through this PSHE curriculum and other curriculum topics, the children develop a very good understanding of how and why they should keep themselves healthy, both physically and mentally. As a result, they can make informed decisions about healthy eating and fitness, they have a very good understanding of healthy relationships and Year 4 pupils also receive age appropriate sex and relationships education in the Summer term.

Our pupils understand the importance of good attitudes, behaviour and positive learning characteristics in school life, adult life and work and most are very aspirational with regard to the occupations they would like to consider in the future.  

As they move through the School, especially in Year 4, children also have more opportunities to discuss and debate moral and ethical issues and offer reasoned views, including when writing persuasively in English lessons. They also have opportunities to look at arguments for and against simple motions in morning “arrival” challenges.  They are also encouraged to resolve friendship issues, conflicts, etc. more independently as they move through the School. The very large majority of children leave our School as confident, independent learners, who continue to excel at their next Schools and are able to participate fully in and contribute positively to life in modern Britain.

Transition to Middle School is also carefully planned and, as a result, children cope very well with this.

Helping Others / Charity Work

Our children are also taught how they can help other people in School and in the local and wider community through charity work, much through their own instigation. The children learn about and participate in annual Charity events such as Harvest Festival for Homeless shelters and Food Banks, Macmillan Coffee Morning for Macmillan Cancer Nurses, Children in Need, Comic / Sport Relief. In addition, they collect for various local and national charities through the annual Sponsored Footpaths Walk and through collections after Year group performances.  Our children have also raised money for people who have been displaced by war, such as those in the Ukraine. Children in Years 2, 3 and 4 also have the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills by creating or growing products to sell for profit at the PA Summer Fete.