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Personal Development and Life Skills

Personal Development and Life Skills (PDLS) is a crucial part of Vanguard's curriculum and our Quality of Life framework. It is largely based on the Citizenship Studies curriculum and is intended to help students become informed and responsible citizens by broadening their knowledge of the society they live in and encouraging them to have greater confidence in challenging viewpoints and the narrative of their own environment.  

PDLS should enable students to deepen their knowledge of democracy and government, the law, rights and responsibilities and how we live together in society. The subject enables students to think critically, evaluate evidence, debate ideas, make persuasive arguments and justify their conclusions. It also enables students to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills to take responsible citizenship actions, play a positive role in public and democratic life as informed and active citizens, and provide them with the basis for further learning and study. 

Topics are divided into three main areas; Life in Modern Britain, Rights & Responsibilities, Politics & Participation. This work is augmented by the use of discussions and debates, and we will seek to challenge some embedded misconceptions about the legal system and democracy to help students understand where political power resides and how government is devolved to a local level. 

The Key Stage 3 programme of study covers rules, fairness, rights and responsibilities, communities and identities, laws and the justice system, managing money, liberty and freedom and parliamentary democracy. 

The Key Stage 4 programme of study covers principles and values in British society, the media and the free press, laws in contemporary society, bringing about change in the legal system, politics and participation, and taking part in active citizenship. This has the potential of leading to a Citizenship Studies GCSE.  

Students are assessed in a number of ways using an ipsative assessment. The impact is also measured with the development of softer skills such as increased self-esteem and confidence and a wider understanding of society. PDLS will help challenge attitudes and behaviours to make a difference in modern British society.