Personal Development and Pitstop

Why Personal Development?

We want to develop happy, confident learners prepared for adulthood; in order to do this we need to develop critical thinking, problem solving skills, improve student’s ability to concentrate, and make learning more meaningful, valuable, and rewarding. Personal development activities promote these skills, are fun and help students to become more engaged in their learning and retain more information.

Phase 1 students will access 1 afternoon per week of personal development on a termly carousel between Forest School, Beach School and Dance.

Phase 2 and 3 students will access 2 afternoons per week of personal development on a termly carousel between Forest School, Beach School, Swimming, Dance, STEM, Outdoor Education, Environmental Projects, Enterprise, Cutural Captial Projects, French Projects and Bushcraft.

Phase 4 and 5 students do not access personal development afternoons as their timetables focus on career pathways and Preparation For Adulthood. For further details see Phase 4 and 5 curriculum link.


We want all of our students to be able to swim by the time they leave Epinay because drowning is the third most common cause of accidental death in children. All children should have the opportunity to learn how to swim and be taught how to stay safe in and around water. Many children learn to swim outside of school. But research has shown for many, school will be the only opportunity they have to learn these vital lifesaving skills (Swim England).


At Epinay we want to develop the ‘whole’ child and ensure our students experience an enriched curriculum research has shown “Studying cultural education subjects, such as art and design, dance, drama and music, sparks creativity across the curriculum, encouraging young people to be inquisitive, disciplined and determined. Wherever children start in life, a high quality cultural education in every school should be a right, not a privilege.” (Arts Council England)

Dance Enrichment

Outdoor Education

A review of research focusing on the more adventurous kinds of outdoor learning carried out by Jon Barrett and Roger Greenaway commissioned by the Foundation for Outdoor Adventure, 1995 found that outdoor adventure can cause short-term enhancement of aspects of self-concepts such as gains in self-esteem, self -confidence and self-efficacy and can have significant mental and physical health benefits. Various developmental benefits are associated with regular physical exercise such as humour, patience, energy, optimism, self-confidence, self-esteem, self-assurance, emotional stability and improved body-image. Strong anecdotal evidence indicates that outdoor adventure experiences can enhance interpersonal relationships and improve socialisation, and can facilitate group bonding and co-operation.

Forest School/Bushcraft

We want to develop emotionally resilient and socially able students. A recent study published in 2019 authored by Mel McCree, Roger Cutting, and Dean Sherwin, tracked disadvantaged Key Stage 1 children over three years of weekly Forest School sessions. Key findings were evident changes in children’s self-regulation and resilience, children’s academic attainment, social development, and emotional well-being increased as a result of Forest School, and did well in comparison to peers who didn’t participate, whole school and national data. The study showed, in particular, how playful social interactions in Forest School support emotional resilience which in turn supported academic attainment.

The aim of Forest School at Epinay School is to provide children with alternative learning experience. Outdoor education is so important and we aim to give children experiences which will teach appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the natural environment. Children will have regular, long-term access to a woodland environment. They will learn the importance of their own local environment and how to respect and care for it. “Forest School aims to promote the holistic development of all those involved, fostering resilient, confident, independent and creative learners.” (Forest School Association).

Forest School offers a learner centred approach where participants can learn through a combination of adult initiated activities and self-directed play and exploration.

Forest School Personal Development

Bushcraft Personal Development

Coastal School

At Epinay School we are privileged to be located within close proximity to the coast. Beach School provides pupils with long-term access to a coastal environment as a platform for a whole new learning experience, where they can explore their natural surroundings in an organised setting and learn safety around the coast as well as respect for our local environment. The aim is to “improve students’ knowledge about their local coastal environment by connecting them with nature; opening their eyes to this amazing habitat and inspiring them to care for our coasts.” (The Wildlife Trusts). We aspire to enable children to be independent, self-motivated, courageous, and considerate and sets them up for lifelong learning. It particularly supports the development of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Coastal School Personal Development


Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is aimed at preparing our students to see the benefit of these subjects in the real world and prepare them to make successful career choices. We aim to provide our students with a variety of alternative interests that may spark a desire to explore independently either as a hobby or career.

STEM Personal Development


Research shows that students who receive enterprise education are three to six times more likely to start a business in the future (British Council). Students will be given a start up grant and expected to work as a team to generate income for school. Students will be encouraged to take ownership of their own success, in doing so key skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, risk-taking and teamwork will all be developed.

Enterprise Personal Development

Cultural Capital Project

Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviours, and skills that a student can draw upon and which demonstrates their cultural awareness, knowledge and competence; it is one of the key ingredients a student will draw upon to be successful in society, their career and the world of work. We aim to give students exposure and opportunity to a range of experiences within a given project in order to develop these skills.

Cultural Capital Personal Development

Environmental Project

Epinay is situated in an area within easy local access to the coast and country environments. The key aim of this enrichment is to connect students to the world around them, raise awareness of issues impacting the environment upon which we all depend and promote the actions we can take to improve and sustain it. The aim of each project would be to take on an issue that has a direct impact on the local environment so that students feel empowered in that they can effect change.

Environmental Project Personal Development

French Project

Epinay School has a direct links with Epinay-Sur-Seine town twinning group and as such we feel that students would benefit from exposure to the French culture and the aim of this is to foster links and forge understanding of other cultures and countries.

French Project Persaonl Development


In addition to the curriculum offer a series of interventions are available for targeted pupils to maximise engagement and offer personal development. PITSTOP is Epinay’s Personalised Intervention Targeted Support and Therapeutic Opportunities Programme which aims to provide additional support both academically and therapeutically to enable students to fully access the curriculum and ensure they make expected progress. Students data is micro analysed and those students who require additional input to make expected progress are identified, Senior Deputy Head Teacher works in conjunction with the usual subject teacher and intervention targets are agreed and work towards these targets are tracked within class for 12 weeks. At the end of the cycle data is analysed to establish if the PITSTOP has been successful in putting the student back on track.

Alongside the core intervention this personalised offer also includes interventions in: emotional resilience via Relationship Works, lifeskills, Tacpac, Sensory Sam, gardening, and play therapy.