There are many pressures which young people may encounter in the outside world today. They are often surrounded by consumerism, bombarded by social media, distracted by screen time, stressed by academic targets, deceived by digitally- altered celebrity images and exposed to damaging messages of online pornography.

At St Mary’s we place a high priority on helping our pupils to face these challenges and the Personal Development and Wellbeing Programme is a critical vehicle for such support. It is the way in which we can guide young people to become:

• confident individuals with a high self-esteem who are able to make informed, safe choices about their health and wellbeing
• successful learners who enjoy studying, set goals and achieve their full potential
• responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society
• resilient and self-reliant when facing difficulties, coping with pressure, resolving conflict and managing risk.

Although we have mapped out a curriculum across all Key Stages, the programme is flexible and is designed to meet the needs of the pupils at the different stages in their development.

Each pupil from Years 7-10 will have at least one double lesson a fortnight and pupils in Years 11 have one single period every week. The Sixth Form Programme is delivered on a Saturday morning in a Carousel by a team of committed staff. This course will include sessions on developing resilience, identifying signature strengths and managing risk to stay safe. There will be opportunities for pupils to attend Mindfulness sessions and/or Yoga sessions to learn relaxation techniques to help alleviate stress and anxiety.