Personal development

"A tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruits in season" (Psalm 1:3)


Personal development at The Deanery CE Academy

"I have come so that you may have life... in all its fullness" ~ John 10:10

The personal development of students at The Deanery CE Academy is just as important as the academic progress and achievement.  That is why we ensure we have a broad range of opportunities in which our young people can flourish as responsible, respectful and active citizens in our society, who are prepared for life in modern Britain.  From Values in Practice lessons, to an exciting enrichment and extra-curricular programme, our young people are encouraged to participate, be curious and ask questions about the world around them, whilst appreciating diversity and being tolerant of those who may appear different to them. 

Our RE curriculum at KS3 studies a variety of faiths and worldviews, as well as secular and Humanist approaches to life.  The safe and inclusive learning environment established by our specialist staff within the faculty means that our young people will be confident to ask big questions and become invovled with discussions and debates.  Additionally, our Values in Practice (PSHE/RSHE) curriculum is built to encompass three three key areas:  Health and wellbeing; Relationships; and Living in the wider world.  In every ViP lesson our students are given the chance to develop their emotional and mental resilience as well as feel comfortable and safe enough to ask questions about potentially sensitive topics.  In preparation for life beyond GCSEs we are lucky to have a Careers Advisor, Mr Ouldridge, who is committed to developing a rich and diverse careers programme for our students.  This year we have welcomed speakers from further education settings, as well as some industry visitors, and our Year 11s have had the opportunity to visit a local sixth form provider for a 'taster' morning.

The Social, Moral, Spiritual and Culural development of our young people is also very important to us.  Education is about giving students the tools to flourish as a whole person and that is why our tutor time programme, as well as weekly year group assemblies, feed into this development and growth.  From assemblies to celebrate Diwali to tutor time sesions exploring disability, for example, we strive to ensure every one of our students (and staff) feels represented and valued as precious children of God.   Further down this page you will be able to see more of what we offer our students here at The Deanery outside of the regular academic studies and how we continue to support the personal development of all our students, so that they may yield those fruits of resilience, compassion, respect and responsibility.  Our personal development curriculum can be found here.

Our newsletter is a great way to get a feel of what is happening at The Deanery.  You can find past issues here.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ”

~ Galatians 3:28

At The Deanery CE Academy we want every member of our community, both staff and students, to feel safe and valued.  That is why we spend one tutor time per week exploring each of the 9 protected characteristics in UK law, as per the Equality Act 2010.  It is important to us that everyone feels they have a voice and that they are represented.  That is why we spend time, in tutor groups, exploring issues and challenging prejudice and discrimination, whilst nourishing a culture of tolerance and respect for individuality and personal liberty for all.  We are all “fearfully and wonderfully made” regardless of what we look like or what we believe.  We are all precious and deliberately created “in the image of God”, therefore there is no room for prejudice or discrimination in our community.  We want our young people to grow to become respectful and inquisitive members of society, who speak out for the marginalised and have the courage to speak out for what is right.  Jesus taught us that noone is better than anyone else and that we all have amazing and wonderful talents and skills to share with the world.  Our young people will learn how to ask questions, and the right questions, about the world around them whilst contemplating their own place in this world and our society.

You can see our yearly overview of the EDI tutor sessionshere 

British values at The Deanery CE Academy

British values are those values which underpin and are the foundations of what it means to be a British citizen and form a part of British identity.  They allow us to create environments free from prejudice and discrimination and help us to grow a tolerant and compassionate society in which everyone feels safe and valued.  They also align with our school values of wisdom, hope, service and resilience and the teachings of Jesus, who promoted values such as respect, tolerance and liberty.  The 5 British values are:

1. The rule of law - the law is there to protect everyone and ensure everyone feels safe.  If we did not have any laws then society would not function and we could not enjoy the freedoms we have today.  The law ensures everyone is treated equally and free from prejudice, creates order and stability and should be followed by everyone.  "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's" ~ Matthew 22:21

2.  Individual liberty - individual freedom means we are all free to live as we want to, as long as we do not hurt others.  We can make our own choices and decisions about how we choose to live our lives, within the rule of law.  "“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others" ~ 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

3. Democracy - the UK government is built on democracy and we all have the right to a say in how we are governed.  This value means that not only do we have a say in how our contry is run, but we also have the right to hold those governments to account.  "Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’" ~ Deuteronomy 1:13

4. Mutual respect - this value promotes a society in which our individual liberty is respected.  We cannot dictate how another person lives their life, nor can we tell them it is wrong.  Whilst we can disagree, a society built on mutual respect ensures everyone feels valued and safe.  “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you..." ~ John 13:34

5. Tolerance of different faiths and beliefs - the UK is a melting pot of diversity, both culturally and religiously.  We may be a country built upon traditionally Christian values but we welcome all faiths, and none, into our communities.  Having individual liberty means we are free to follow any faith or worldview, or none, and therefore we must respect each other's differences.  Everyone is welcome here, providing your views or beliefs do not hurt others or break the law.  "But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean" ~ Acts 10:28

The promotion of these values in schools is part of the government's efforts to create a more cohesive and integrated society, as well as as a way to protect children from extremist ideologies.  Students at The Deanery CE Academy encounter all of these British values throughout their curriculum, but they are mostly explicitly taught in subjects such as : RE, History, Geography and ViP (PSHE), as well as during tutor time learning.  

Values in Practice (PSHE, RSE and RHE)

Part of growing up is not just learning academic skills and learning knowledge, but growing as an individual and becoming a young adult.  Our young people live in a world that is very different to even ten years ago and face pressures that are new to many of us with the rapid advancement of technology and social media.  Not only is it our responsibility as a school to educate your young person academically and ready them for the world of work or further education, but it is also our role (in partnership with parents and carers) to help our young people become equipped with the social, moral and cultural tools they need to truly "live life in all its fullness" ~ John 10:10.  Therefore, our carefully crafted Values in Practice (ViP) curriculum has been designed to ensure our students know how to keep themselves safe and how to care for both their mental and physical wellbeing, whilst they also develop personal traits and virtues that will motivate and guide our them to flourish in their community and in society.  Our curriculum is built upon both the statutory elements as prescribed by the UK government, but also in response to our local community and the issues facing our young people today in the Swindon area.  As students progress through the school they will study a range of topics which are designed to best prepare our young people for life in British society.  Woven into our lessons are the five British values and our DCEA values: wisdom, hope, service and resilience.

Relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) is a statutory element of our PSHE curriculum and all secondary schools in England are required to teach RSHE.  We will be teaching lessons about RSHE/RHE as part of our ViP curriculum which will include topics such as: families; online safety; puberty; relationships and communication skills; pregnancy; contraceptives; prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; prevention of sexual abuse; FGM; body image; sexting and social media; pornography; consent. During these lessons, pupils will be able to ask questions, which will be answered factually in an age-appropriate manner. Each student's privacy will be respected, and no one will be asked to reveal personal information.

Right of withdrawal

RHE/RSHE is a statutory subject and although parents can withdraw their child from the sex education element, we want to assure parents that our curriculum is taught in an age-appropriate manner and provides pupils with the time to ask questions in a safe environment and ultimately receive factual information, rather than hearing content second hand or via online platforms. In the 21st century pupils are exposed to so many of the incorrect messages about their bodies, relationships and expectations. The prevalence of sexual images in social and other media make it important that all young people have a place to discuss pressures, check facts, dispel myths and ultimately feel safe.  Parents and carers can make a request for withdrawal from sex education lessons up until 3 months before their child or young person turns 16.  They can do this by sending a request 'for the attention of Sarah Gallagher' to:  Parents do not, however, have the right to withdraw their young person from the relationships element of ViP.  Therefore, any requests for this on the basis of religious beliefs cannot be granted.  

At The Deanery CE Academy ViP is a carefully planned curriculum and is there to ensure our pupils can navigate the world around them safely.  An un-informed child is often a child left vulnerable and we want to empower our pupils here at DCEA.  At The Deanery Church of England Academy, everyone will be treated with dignity as all people who are made in the image of God and are loved equally by God.

Further information on what is taught in the RSE curriculum can be found here:  

For further information about our ViP curriculum, please click here.



The Deanery's enrichment offer provides students with a broad ranging choice of additional out of classroom opportunities that help to build a student's character traits and skill set for later in life. From improving fitness levels, socialising through common interests, gaining qualifications through leadership, or even learning a new skill, there is something for everyone.  For more information about our enrichment programme, please click here


Our trips programme is still evolving and growing, just as we are as a school.  The disruption of Covid meant that we were unable to run many of the trips and visits that we had initially planned.  However, as the world has now opened up its doors again, we are able to offer our students those experiences and give them memories that will last a lifetime!  So far we have been able to take groups of young people on residential trips to Switzerland, Amsterdam, and Paris, as well as more local visits such as Cirencester, Bath and Swanage, and there is plenty more in the pipeline.  We aim to have a programme of trips and visits that not only enhace the learning experiences of our young people, but allow them to immerse themselves in their learning and build that cultural capital which will benefit their life chances and choices throughout their life.  

Archbishops' Young Leaders Award




Beginning in January '24, the KS3 Archbishops' Young Leaders Award is a leadership, character education and personal development programme for delivery within schools. It supports students to become confident and resilient leaders, who develop a growth mindset, become independent thinkers and good communicators, and who have compassion and care for their communities.  

When taking part, over the course of two 'big' terms, our young people will:

- Explore the role of servant leadership

- Be inspired by people of faith who have impacted their communities in this way

- Identify social and environmental issues

- Examine how to bring hope to community

- Prepare to be courageous advocates

The AYLA has strong links to numerous aspects of our curriculum, including: Literacy, numeracy, oracy, citizenship and PSHE, as well as helping our young people to grow and flourish as independent and compassionate children of God who work towards the betterment of our world.  Students will develop their 'soft skills' which will help them to progress into the world of employment and will enable them to access a range of opportunities beyond school life. 

Through the AYLA, pupils examine what it means to be part of wider society, deepening their understanding of British Values. Students investigate ideas of faith and leadership looking at individual leaders and charities; their positive impact on society; and the importance of liberty and mutual respect in influencing society for good. Several people of faith sessions focus on the principles of democracy, as pupils evaluate what makes an influential leader. Pupils also examine the different areas of need within society and how they can contribute to making the world a fairer and inclusive place.

Through personal challenges, school and community action projects, the Award provides opportunities for pupils to integrate these values. Pupils work, both as individuals and in teams, with different faiths and cultures to make a difference in communities locally, nationally and globally, developing as responsible, respectful and active citizens. 

You can find out more about this award through the AYLA website here: 

Duke of Edinburgh

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is a fantastic opportunity for young people to develop skills and interests in a non-Acedemic context. At the Deanery, the Duke of Edinburgh's award is available to year 10 and 11 and rolled out to year 9 at Easter 2024. This is where they learn independence, motivation, commitment and resilience over a prolonged period of time. Students work together on a range of activities to gain understanding of mutual respect and tolerance. 

Being accountable for their own Award allows students to practice democracy, have fun, make friends, improve their self-esteem, build confidence and individual liberty. They gain essential skills and attributes for work and life such as, resilience, problem solving, team-working, communication and drive, enhancing their CVs for university and job applications. 

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  • Peglars Way, Wichelstowe, Swindon, SN1 7DA

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