Our curriculum extends far beyond the academic, to allow pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life. This is encapsulated in our Personal Development Curriculum.

We aim to ensure that, over their time at Hardwick Green, learners receive a Personal Development programme that gives them the knowledge that they need to make decisions, to strengthen them personally and to allow them to develop their character and personality. We provide these rich experiences in a coherently planned way, in the curriculum and through extra-curricular activities.

At Hardwick Green, there are four key drivers that underpin our Personal Development approach:

  • Healthy & safe behaviours
  • Awareness of the world
  • Character development
  • British Values 

Healthy & safe behaviours include our PSHE curriculum, Relationship Education, Sex Education, Physical Health, Mental Wellbeing and Wider Aspects of Safety.

Awareness of the world includes Economic Understanding, Understanding Media and Technology and Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural development.

Character development includes development of children’s own character and personality, our RESPECT values framework, children’s behaviour and wider opportunities for children to engage with.

British Values includes Democracy, Rule of Law, Respect & Tolerance and Individual Liberty.

Personal Development Curriculum

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A detailed description of our personal development curriculum for Hardwick Green Primary Academy.
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Details of the school offer for Educational Visits, and how it progresses over children's time in school culminating in our spectacular Paris residential trip in Year 6!

Philosophy - P4C

In January 2024, Hardwick Green introduced Philosophy 4 Children (known as P4C) into it's curriculum. Each class from KS1 upwards engages in a Philosophical Enquiry once per fortnight, and uses the thinking tools and skills developed in P4C across the curriculum, where appropriate. But just what is P4C?

P4C is an approach to teaching and learning that explores the big ideas that arise in all areas of education and life experience. P4C uses philosophical dialogue and enquiry to help learners to think, to speak, to listen, to learn and to live together more effectively. P4C involves regular classroom enquiries in which children, young people or adult learners share a stimulus, identify concepts — such as equality, identity, truth and beauty — and formulate questions that capture what they find curious.

With the support of a teacher as facilitator, P4C participants explore these questions drawing on the perspectives of others to deepen their own understanding. P4C concludes with reflection on the process of enquiry and on the skills and dispositions that P4C develops: critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinking. During these reflections, learners also influence the direction of their next enquiry.

P4C identifies concepts and questions that unlock aspects of the curriculum and help students to make connections between their learning and life experiences. It is not another subject to squeeze in, but an approach to thinking more deeply about the ideas that are all around us.

While there is an emphasis on accessibility, P4C remains philosophical because it focuses on fundamental questions and concepts that are contestable – that is, their truth, meaning, value and connections to other ideas are ambiguous or undecided. While these concepts and questions emerge in everyday life and learning, they are rarely explored adequately. P4C provides a structured philosophical method for investigating these issues in a satisfying way.

Why does Hardwick Green practise P4C?

P4C develops thinking skills and dispositions. 

The 4Cs thinking model supports the development of:

  • caring thinking: listening carefully, appreciating, thanking, showing interest, showing sensitivity, waiting your turn
  • collaborative thinking: responding, supporting, building on other’s ideas, inviting, sharing tasks, negotiating, joining in
  • critical thinking: questioning, reasoning, evaluating, weighing evidence, making distinctions, testing ideas, applying criteria
  • creative thinking: making connections, suggesting alternatives, giving examples, exploring possibilities, considering perspectives

P4C supports better learning and teaching

Learners learn better because:

  • they choose the subject matter, their voices are heard and valued
  • in justifying their positions and listening to others, their vocabulary expands
  • they learn how to disagree respectfully, which increases their tolerance and resilience
  • they think and reflect more deeply, so their understanding improves

Teachers teach better because:

  • they learn how to facilitate meaningful discussion
  • they develop new teaching strategies that can be used throughout their practice
  • they see students’ potential as independent thinkers 
  • by listening more, educators’ relationships with their students flourish

P4C connects to the curriculum

A knowledge-rich curriculum such as Hardwick Green's is full of concepts that require unpacking. When we explore the contested meanings of these ideas though P4C, the curriculum comes alive and new connections between stages and subjects emerge. There are opportunities for philosophy in every area of the curriculum:

  • Science: Is there anything science can’t tell us?
  • English: Can bad people write good stories?
  • Maths: Are numbers invented or discovered?
  • RE: Is faith a virtue?
  • History: Can we re-write the past?
  • IT: What is intelligent about AI?
  • Languages: Could there be a perfect translation?

P4C addresses big social issues

There has never been a greater need for the kind of mutual understanding that P4C brings. Today’s learners are growing up in a period of significant instability where economic inequality, global health crises, racism and discrimination, armed conflict, political polarisation, and the climate crisis loom large, even for very young children.

These developments raise vital philosophical questions about safety, fairness and freedom. The exploration of these concepts forms a vital part of helping learners process their complex thoughts and feelings about these issues in a supportive space.   

P4C promotes playfulness and fun

P4C is also a place for play. Young children ask questions about ideas that are alive for them, such as magic, friendship and play. When they do, they reveal to adults, and to themselves, their interests and inner lives. Children enjoy philosophy as a special space to experiment with ideas, express themselves and be challenged. Many adults enjoy the experience so much that they do it for fun in cafes and pubs. P4C enquiries can be an opportunity for imaginative and joyful exchanges and even when the subject matter is serious, philosophers of all ages focus not only on what is the case, but on what could be. P4C is valuable way in which learners can envisage and create, a better future.

P4C transforms teacher-student relationships

P4C has value for teachers as well as students, shifting the dynamic in which teachers ask all of the questions and know all of the answers.

In classrooms that regularly practise P4C, learners have more freedom to ask questions, set the agenda and arrive at their own conclusions but this also comes with responsibility. In a P4C enquiry, participants must to listen attentively and try their best to understand and respond to what others have to say. In this sense it is an example of dialogue for change. For teachers, this often represents a shift in their expectations of students, revealing them to be independent thinkers with unique life experiences. For many educators this it is also a chance to be the kind of teacher they want to be, someone who can follow their students’ interests, help them explore new ideas and take ownership of their education. 

P4C enhances oracy

Oracy is our ability to communicate effectively using spoken language. This means having the ability to:

  • express yourself effectively and with confidence
  • speak eloquently, articulate ideas and thoughts
  • influence through talking and to listen/respond to others
  • have the vocabulary to say what you want to say
  • structure your thoughts so that they make sense to others 

These are all skills that we explicitly teach and practise in P4C. This is another significant reason that Hardwick Green has chosen to practice P4C, as oracy is at the heart of our English curriculum.

P4C promotes dialogue for change

Dialogue and discussion is a well-established pedagogy for exploring opinions, prejudices, values and perspectives. But often, ordinary dialogue and discussion doesn’t lead to change. Ordinary dialogue can leave people in their own bubbles of comfort, failing to recognise their own and other perspectives. Ordinary dialogue can result in people accommodating competing voices and paying only lip service to alternative points of view. Dialogue for change needs to engage young people more deeply and more meaningfully so that beliefs are really challenged and can really change. P4C is a pedagogy of dialogue for change.

What does a P4C session look like?

A typical full P4C session would follow this ten-step process.

Character at Hardwick Green

At Hardwick Green, we aim to develop children’s learning both in school and when outside in the community. We believe children need the skills and attitudes that are required to be successful in the modern world. We want the children to feel confident and secure in their abilities, and in the contributions they can make to the wider community. 

We want our children to be resilient, confident and caring. We encourage children to take responsibility and to recognise the times where they can help others by taking part in activities both inside and outside of school. 

To develop 'character' we use two main strands - the four building blocks and the RESPECT framework.

The Building Blocks of Developing Character:

There are four building blocks that we believe are key to the children developing good character: 

  • Participation - Taking part in activities both inside and outside school 
  • Learning - Showing determination and confidence in their academic abilities 
  • Leadership - Leading people in order to achieve a goal 
  • Service - Helping others to achieve goals 

Children at Hardwick Green will have opportunities to take part in activities which will demonstrate all of these characteristics. Children will be guided by staff and adults at home to take part in activities in school and in the community. 

The RESPECT framework:

The four building blocks above (participation, learning, leadership and service) help identify what tasks the children do.  This links to our character framework, which is concerned with who the children are – RESPECT. As part of our PE curriculum, we use Commando Joe's. Commando Joe's is a structured character development programme that allows the children to take on missions set by famous faces throughout history to develop their values through the RESPECT framework. Taking part in the activities through Commando Joe's, and the Character Passport, develops these traits within children:

  • Resilience - Determined; self-controlled; persistent; courageous; diligent; perseveres
  • Empathy - Just (fair); compassionate (forgiveness); kind; courteous; unselfishness
  • Self Aware - Self-confident; self-disciplined; honest; humorous; humility; adaptability
  • Positivity - Gratitude; motivated; positive attitude; inspires; willpower
  • Excellence - Creative; curious; inquires; pride; critical thinking
  • Communication - Listens; influences; feedback; reflective; evaluative; presence
  • Teamwork - Cooperates; responsible; cares; decision makes; helpful; unity; patient

For Year 5 and Year 6 - The Hardwick Green 'Character passport':

Our oldest children in school take part in the Hardwick Green Character Passport. The progress the children make again the Hardwick Green Character Passport will be recorded and measured using a set of criteria. The information in the passport has suggestions and tips for how the children can develop their skills, knowledge and understanding under each characteristic. There are so many activities to choose from – so all children in school will have something which they can access and that will interest them. There are also opportunities for children and families to think of their own ideas and present these to the school. 

Character development activities can be completed at any time. They can be done as a group, as a family, in school, at weekends or in the school holidays. 

If children complete the activities under each heading they will be rewarded in a special assembly with a Hardwick Green ‘Character Award’. 

Character Development

Updated: 16/10/2023 114 KB
The Hardwick Green Character Development Passport. If children complete the activities under each heading they will be rewarded in a special assembly with a Hardwick Green ‘Character Award’.

What is SMSC?

All schools in England are required to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of their pupils. Through our provision of SMSC, we aim to:

  • enable students to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence;
  • enable students to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England;
  • encourage students to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative, and to understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality of the school and to society more widely;
  • enable students to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England;
  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling students to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures;
  • encourage respect for other people; and
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic processes, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England.

How do we develop SMSC?

Spiritual Development: We teach children about themselves, others and the world around them in order to inspire and develop a sense of awe and wonder. We explore values and beliefs in which to inform their perspective on life and respect for other people. Creativity is a key part of our curriculum and we encourage a willingness to reflect on their own experiences.

Moral Development: We provide opportunities for children to investigate moral and ethical issues in order to develop their ability to recognise the difference between right and wrong, with a readiness to apply this understanding in their own lives. We develop their understanding of consequences of their actions.

Social Development: We learn to cooperate well with others and resolve conflicts effectively. We develop social skills through working and socialising with and alongside others from a variety of different backgrounds. We teach children about the way their own community as well as wider society and other communities function.

Cultural Development: We celebrate diversity within our school and share knowledge and experience within the community. We explore and develop an understanding and respect for cultural diversity. We provide opportunities to explore a variety of art, music, sport, science and festivals. We also develop an appreciation of cultural influences that have shaped the children’s own heritage.


Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural Development - Subject Statements

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British Values:

All schools in England are required to ensure that key ‘British Values’ are taught to pupils. The Government set out its definition of British values in the ‘Prevent Strategy.’ These values are democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs. At Hardwick Green Primary Academy, these values are woven throughout our curriculum, including through taught lessons and wider experiences. The values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:

Democracy: Children have the opportunity to have their voices heard through our active Smart School Council and through pupil questionnaires. All our children form a part of the school council.

The Rule Of Law: Throughout the school day, the importance of laws, are consistently reinforced. Our children are taught the value and reasons behind laws that govern and protect us, the responsibility that this involves and the consequences when laws are broken.

Individual Liberty: When in school, our pupils are encouraged to make choices, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. We encourage our children to know, understand and exercise their rights as children and when they enter adulthood.

Mutual Respect: Our school Behaviour Policy revolves around core values such as ‘respect’ and children have been part of discussions and assemblies related to what this means and how it is shown.

Tolerance of those of Different Faiths & Beliefs: This is achieved through enhancing our children’s understanding of their place in a culturally diverse country and by giving them opportunities to experience such diversity such as through assemblies and visits to places of worship. We also have a dedicated lesson per week of Religious Education, through our scheme of work 'Discovery RE'. You can read more about our RE curriculum here. Pupils of different faiths or religions are encouraged to share their knowledge to enhance learning within classes and the school.

In addition to being woven across the curriculum, British Values are explicitly taught through our PSHE scheme of work, Jigsaw. You can read more about Jigsaw here.

Fundamental British Values - End Points

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Our curriculums supports children to know and understand about British Values, and to be able to live by them in how they act. This document sets out the end points we expect children to reach by the end of their time at our school,

British Values - Subject Statements

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British Values Mapped to PSHE

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A map showing how British Values are explicitly taught through our PSHE scheme of work.


We pride ourselves on being a welcoming and inclusive school. For us, equality means that everyone is able to participate and feel welcome and safe in the activities of our school. This includes pupils, parents & carers, staff and visitors. Everyone should be able to achieve the best possible outcomes as a result of their participation. We believe that equality should permeate all aspects of school life and is the responsibility of all members of the school and community


At our school diversity means acknowledging that there are differences between people that should be recognised, respected and celebrated. We promote respect of each other’s differences and identities. We celebrate and raise awareness of diversity in the school and in the wider community and believe that teaching children about diversity prepares them for life in modern Britain. 

The Equality Act 2010

We want our children to learn that we all belong together regardless of different races, religions, sexualities, genders, abilities and ages. We encourage children to be proud of their differences and to understand the importance of not discriminating against, or being unfair to others, because of their difference

The Equality Act 2010 - The Protected Characteristics

The 9 Protected Characteristics are actively promoted in school through:

  • Our school mission statement
  • Our school core values - RESPECT
  • Our school behaviour policy and curriculum
  • Conscious role modelling by all adults in the school community
  • Active engagement and communication with parents and carers
  • Assemblies linked to British Values & the protected characteristics
  • Discussion within curriculum subjects, taking a cross-curricular approach to the Equality Act
  • Promoting articulation by building appropriate language and a coherent vocabulary
  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) sessions (see the mapping document below)
  • Religious Education (RE) lessons, RSE lessons and Protected Characteristic talks
  • Sporting, Art and Cultural Events
  • Pupil Voice, including SMART school council 
  • Educational visits
  • Real-life learning outside the classroom
  • Guest speakers
  • Developing links with local, national and international communities
  • Extra-curricular activities, after-school clubs, charity work and work within the local community

Protected Characteristics

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A map showing how the protected characteristic identified in the Equality Act 2010 are taught through our PSHE curriculum. Reviewed: September 2023

We are proud to follow the Smart School Council model which involves every pupil in decision-making, social action and developing key skills for life.

Clink on the image below to find out more about Smart School Councils.

Our school council is made up of three parts.

Class meeting - a regular meeting led by different children every time in your class.

Action teams - groups that are set up to run an activity, event or new idea.

The Communication team - the important group of pupils that help to run the model.

Eco Club

Eco Club

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A record of the achievements of Eco Club over the 2022-23 academic year.

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