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Personal Development

Values and Ethos


Values are principles that guide behaviour and choices.  At Burnside, adults model values and give time for reflective practices. We believe that this empowers individuals to be effective learners and good citizens.


The Values that we teach help pupils develop their character, to know that individual differences should be valued, to be resilient, reflective, to have empathy and respect for one another.

Our values philosophy underpins our work to actively promote fundamental British values of democracy, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance of those from all faiths, backgrounds and cultures.  A rounded programme of assemblies and events promote children's spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, enabling them to develop their own moral and ethical compass to guide what is right and what is wrong.


Our Core Values

We have three core school values that guide children's choices, behaviour and learning.  These values are the basis of all our values teaching and will help children understand connected values.

Our core values are:

  • Be Safe
  • Be Smart
  • Be Kind


How we teach the core values

Children in the early years start by focusing on just the core values. As pupils move through key stage 1 and 2  we begin to teach linked values. widening the pupils understanding of each core values by connecting with similar values. The focus with every value is what the value looks like to us and how it looks in action. Teaching of values is cyclical, we return to each core value frequently to deepen understanding. 


The value of sustainability also underpins our wider curriculum, this is demonstrated our Eco Schools Award.


Fundamental British Values

At Burnside, our values are a framework for living and learning. We equip our pupils with the necessary skills to be the best possible people they can be. Using the fundamental British values of: Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Mutual Respect and Tolerance; our pupils are prepared for life as citizens of the United Kingdom.



Our commitment to wellbeing teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness.  Pupils learn about their emotions and the benefits of reflective practices resulting in self-regulation of behaviour and the ability to mindfully engage in focused concentration required for academic success. 


What is personal development?

A wide range of additional opportunities enrich learning taught in Early Years and through the National Curriculum. Our core values we help pupils develop their character, to know that individual differences should be valued, to be resilient, reflective, to have empathy and respect for one another. We help pupils understand and deepen their knowledge of the British values of democracy, individual liberty, the rule of law, mutual respect and tolerance.


Through our taught curriculum for Relationships, Sex and Health Education , we teach pupils to recognise and manage online and offline risks. We teach them about healthy relationships and that sexual harassment of any kind is not tolerated. Our personal development curriculum supports pupils to be ready for their next stage in education, it weaves its way through every part of what we do at Burnside. 


Our Co-curriculum

Our curriculum extends beyond the National Curriculum and includes a wide range of experiences and opportunities within and beyond the school day. Our golden time programme is designed to link with and enhance the school curriculum children from Year 2 to Year 6. All activities are run by teachers, HLTAs or  coaches who have a passion to inspire pupils and help them develop new skills. Our golden time program is a broad offer and includes sports, art, music, computing and many more, ranging from Lego to Minecraft,  we aim to have an activity for everyone.


Residential visits

Residential visits in year 5 and 6 build children’s independence and provide opportunities for learning within different contexts and settings. 


Trips and visits

Trips and visits take place throughout the school year, in all year groups linked to our learning challenges. If appropriate we also invite external speakers to deliver talks and workshops.



Assembly programme

A programme of assemblies based on our values-based ethos helps to promote pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and provide clear guidance for pupils on how to grow up to be the best person they can possible be. As well as the values assemblies, each term pupils also take part in:

  • safeguarding assemblies,
  • sports celebration assemblies

PE & Sport competition and healthy lifestyles

We provide pupils with  a wide range of PE & Sport opportunities beyond the school day. 


All pupils (& parents!) have the opportunity to take part in the 1st Burnside Marathon 2022. This is our very own running race. Pupils take part by completing 1 mile or 3 miles.



Pupils take part in a wide range of musical activities beyond the National Curriculum.  Pupils in Years 2 -6 are invited to learn to play a musical instrument. We also have a choir.  Pupils in the choir take part in an annual Christmas concert.  Those who are learning a musical instrument, or sing are asked to perform in our regular music assemblies, showcasing their talent.  


Outdoor Classrooms

Outdoor classrooms are designed to provide opportunities for outdoor learning in a natural environment.  As a school we are very fortunate in having our own outdoor classroom areas and a teachers have received training to deliver the learning outdoors.


Pupils as Leaders

Pupils have many opportunities to become a leader in school. These include elected head girl and boy, prefects, representatives on our eco & values committees and leadership roles such playground friends, school councillors, digital leaders and sports leaders.


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