Personal Development
No significant learning occurs without significant relationship. James P. Comer, 2001.

“The curriculum provided by schools should extend beyond the academic, technical or vocational. Schools support pupils to develop in many diverse aspects of life.”

At Kippax Ash Tree we develop our powerful voice to enable us to make meaningful choices for a life of opportunity and success. We have planned an extensive Personal Development offer to ensure that our children are given as many opportunities as possible to grow and develop spiritually, morally, socially and culturally. We explicitly teach pupils the knowledge and skills they need to develop as confident, resilient, and mentally healthy individuals.

We do this by developing:

  • Respectful communicators – who act and speak with care and respect, keep themselves and others safe and use their individual and collective voice to make our world a better place for everyone. 
  • Resilient individuals - who give 100% because they have to take part in the choices we make. 
  • Global Citizens – who understand their role in society and demonstrate respect for the environment, difference, community and wider world.
  • Healthy Advocates - who develop the physical and mental strength to be successful, curious, happy in their cradle to career journey and prepared for the next phase of education.

You can download our Ash Tree Calendar of Personal Development Opportunities over the year at the bottom of this page.

Our Personal Development Opportunities and Experiences

Our Ash Tree Personal Development opportunities include:

  • Giving children the knowledge they need to prepare them to play an active part in society (citizenship).
  • The building of pupil's character.
  • Opportunities for pupil's to develop interests and take responsibility within the school and community.
  • Learning about the British Values and the Protected Characteristics.
  • Learning about diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity.
  • Learning about the world of work and business.
  • Enhancements to support the development of SMSC elements.

Further elements of Personal Development include:

  • Relationships Education
  • Sex Education
  • Physical Health
  • Mental Well-being
  • Wider Safety
  • Economic Understanding
  • Understanding of Technology and Media and safe use

During a child's time at Kippax Ash tree they will take part in:

Weekly PSHE Jigsaw lessons: Jigsaw unlocks the potential for every child to become a happy, healthy and compassionate human being. The scheme empowers children as global citizens to use their voice to shape the world for the better. The Jigsaw PSHE scheme sets out clearly the knowledge and skills that pupils gain at each stage of their learning journey. It teaches children age appropriate knowledge and skills through the themes of Being in my World, Celebrating Differences, Healthy Me, Dreams and Goals, Relationships and Changing Me. The scheme covers all aspects of the RSE statutory framework.

Assemblies: Our whole school assembly on a Monday introduces the Jigsaw PSHE theme for the week. This whole school focus allows children to work towards a value. Children are then chosen by their class teacher to be celebrated for demonstrating this value over the week in Friday's Gold Book Assembly.

Singing Assemblies: The children take part in two singing assemblies each week. EYFS have a singing assembly led by Artforms on a Monday, KS1 and KS2 have their Artforms led singing assembly on a Tuesday. The children also take part in a 'Sing and Sign' session on a Thursday.

Weekly Picture News Assemblies: Our weekly Picture News Assembly is designed to expose our children to current affairs, discover their interests and bring the world closer to their everyday lives. It inspires and engages children in real-life learning that they can impact and influence. These assemblies expose our children to a range of current issues including political, religious, cultural, environmental, social, moral, spiritual. Furthermore they make British Values relevant and meaningful and develop links between personal, school and community values whilst teaching children to demonstrate respect and tolerance of others.

Contributions to the local community: contribute towards our local community and beyond, raise money by supporting local charities, carry out acts of kindness in the community, making with the local doctors and dentist, singing at the local Care Home, visiting the Post Office and the Kippax Community Library.

School Performances: Each year the children perform a production at Christmas and at the end of the school year. Our Christmas productions are: Nursery and Reception Christmas Market and Singing Performance, KS1 Nativity, KS2 production of a Christmas themed performance show and at the end of Year 6 children perform a production of a classic (Romeo and Juliet) to parents and families. We also hold Ash Tree’s Got Talent on the last day of every school year. Children audition for their place in the final 12 and perform on the stage in front of the whole school and a panel of judges.

The Great Debate: At the end of each half term all children take part in an oracy project designed to improve oracy skills and provide an opportunity for children to present their ‘powerful voice’ skills to an audience. Children take part in ‘The Great Debate’ which allows children to present their knowledge and skills learnt over the half term and debate with other year groups why their learning is more powerful than the others. 

The Ash Tree Book Awards: Children present their ‘Book of the Year’ which gives children the opportunity to use choice and their voice (for more information see our Reading page). 

Curriculum themed days/weeks: Throughout the year, children take part in a variety of themed days linked to various areas of the curriculum. Children take part in a range of lessons and activities to raise the profile of this area of the curriculum and foster children’s enthusiasm and excitement for it. In the past, we have had Curriculum Days focused on Science and Maths.

First Aid: Through the Jigsaw PSHE curriculum and First Aid Week, children in all year groups learn an area of basic first aid from applying bandages to understanding what to do if someone has a serious head injury. The children also learn how and when to make a 999 call. Children also take part in First Aid workshops in Years 5 and 6 and CPR training. 

Year 6 learn life saving CPR skills with the Little Life Savers Charity.

E-Safety: Coinciding with National Safer Internet Day, the children take part in a series of lessons focusing on staying safe online. E-safety lessons are taught regularly throughout the school year as part of our Computing curriculum, however Safer Internet Week is an opportunity for us to come together as a school to consider some of the dangers being online can pose, how to stay safe online and what to do if you are worried or need help. During this week, whole school assemblies focus on e-safety and children take part in additional lessons and talk time sessions in their classes.

NSPCC Speak Out, Stay Safe Workshops: Speak out Stay safe is a programme we use to support our safeguarding duties. The programme content links directly the curriculum and helps reinforce key messages about abuse and neglect. The children take part in a virtual assembly and class workshops to help reinforce and embed key safeguarding messages.


National Anti-Bullying Week usually takes place in the Autumn term. The aim of this week is to teach children what bullying is and what to do if they or someone that they know is being bullied. During this week, whole school assemblies focus on the different types of bullying and what help and support is available. The children take part in class lessons and virtual workshops which consolidates their learning. Our Jigsaw PSHE scheme also covers anti bullying themes in the Celebrating Differences unit.

Visits & Residentials: 

In each year group, children will attend at least one educational visit off-site. Trips are linked to a specific area of the curriculum and are carefully planned and designed to enrich the children’s learning in this area. Educational visitors are also invited into school throughout the year. 

EYFS – Temple Newsham Farm (Summer Term)

Year 1 – Wilderness Adventures Forest School Day (Summer Term) 

Year 2 – Thackray Medical Museum (Spring Term) 

Year 3 – Royal Armouries - Shang D (Spring Term)

Year 4 – Jorvik (Summer Term)

Year 5 – Leeds Recycling Centre (Summer Term) and Year 5 Residential to Robin Wood in Todmorden. Children are given the opportunity to attend a 3 day residential. The children take part in a range of activities including: canoeing, archery, rock climbing, abseiling, river walks, high ropes courses and caving. 

In Year 6, children are given the opportunity to attend a 3 day residential to Edinburgh for a cultural experience. The staff ensure that the children create memories that last a lifetime in a safe and friendly environment.

Year 1 Forest School Trip to Wilderness Adventures.

At Ash Tree children experience a wide range of exciting opportunities and activities as part of our Wider Curriculum subjects. These activities help to ‘bring learning to life’ and enable children to know more and remember more. Some other examples of these Wider Curriculum opportunities are listed below:

  • Black History Month celebrations
  • Visiting our school library and Kippax Community Library
  • Visits from experts and professionals in the world of work 
  • Swimming lessons 
  • Bike ability
  • Ash Tree’s Got Talent (see finalists photo below)
  • Hatching chicks
  • Pond dipping

Extra Curricular Enrichment Clubs: We offer a range of extra-curricular activities for children in all year groups from sports and performing arts to forest school and craft clubs. Children have the opportunity to attend clubs and activities after school including Team Games, Musical Theatre Club, Chess and Games Club, Book Club and BSL Club.

Year 5 and 6 Jobs and Responsibilities: Every member of Year 5 and 6 has a role of responsibility. Children apply for jobs by presenting their qualities and skills strengths. Jobs are then matched to either their strengths or alternatively the jobs can be given to children to support a personal area for development. The jobs consist of responsibilities such as: well being ambassadors, play leaders, lego masters, lunch time servers, litter pickers and sports leaders and much more. 

Junior Leadership Team: At Ash Tree, we actively encourage all children to ‘find their voice’ and strive to ensure that the children’s thoughts, views and opinions shape the learning experiences and opportunities that we provide. Throughout their time at Ash Tree, the children have opportunities to work alongside subject leaders and have an integral role in supporting to lead a subject and furthermore support the school in our mission of giving every child ‘voice, choice and opportunity’. The Junior Leadership Team is composed of children in KS2 and consists of a range of roles and responsibilities for leading different parts of school or areas of the curriculum. Successful candidates work alongside subject leaders to be the pupil voice for their subject. They plan and organise events, take part in monitoring and assessment of their curriculum area, promote the school at events, support teaching and learning across the school and be role models for others.

The Art Junior Leadership Team created Nile the Bear Cub to raise money for Leeds Charity Hospital Fund.

Pupil Parliament: Ash Tree’s Pupil Parliament are a group of elected children from Year 5 and 6. Children in Year 5 apply to represent a year group by writing a manifesto. The children of that year group then democratically vote for their winning manifesto. Pupil Parliament meet weekly in their Pupil Parliament Chambers to discuss whole school events linked to personal development such as Anti-Bullying Week and E-Safety Week, share pupil voice ideas and suggestions and discuss our Jigsaw PSHE Curriculum to ensure that it is regularly updated and fit for purpose, meeting the needs of all children. The Pupil Parliament also share messages with the whole school and make links with our local community. They meet with local councillors and play an active community role creating campaigns and ensuring everyone’s voice is heard. They take part in whole-school assemblies and record a weekly ‘news’ programme which is shared with parents and families to communicate upcoming events and important dates. Pupil Parliament engage with events in our city of Leeds such as the Leeds Children’s Lord Mayor, the Young Citizens Projects and have also travelled to London to visit The Houses of Parliament, Westminster for a workshop focused on democracy.

Forest School: We are extremely fortunate to have an area of school which is perfect for forest school. Children in EYFS take part in weekly outdoor forest school sessions throughout the school year. Forest school sessions help to develop: self awareness, empathy, social skills, communication skills, independence, self esteem and confidence and physical development including both fine and gross motor skills. Our forest school curriculum teaches children a range of experiences including: tree and plant identification, knot tying, den building, whittling and fire lighting.

In addition to these specific forest school experiences, forest school sessions include opportunities for children to explore reading and writing in a different environment and develop their oracy skills through activities such as storytelling, poetry, song writing and much, much more. All staff are encouraged to use the forest school area, pond and growing beds across the curriculum and take learning outside where possible.

Sporting Opportunities

Over the year children from all year groups have the opportunity to represent the school through various Brigshaw Trust Sporting Competitions. These vary from sports such as Netball, Football, Athletics, Cross Country, Swimming and much more.

Children at Ash Tree excel in our Trust Sporting Competitions.

British Values

These values are at the core of all we do whether it be through our assemblies, our RE curriculum, our Relationships and Sex Education, PSHE lessons or through other areas of the curriculum. The term British values can be somewhat misleading as these values are integral to so many countries across the world.

Being Part of Britain  

Our curriculum reflects, celebrates and teaches children about diversity. For example, in RE children learn about the four main religions of Christianity, Islam, Judaism and Hinduism. They compare and contrast marriage customs and naming ceremony customs, for example, and have opportunities to visit places of worship. Throughout the year we celebrate being part of Britain. In general terms this means we celebrate events such as Christmas, Harvest, Mothering Sunday, Remembrance Day. In addition, we always take part in key British events. For such events we hold parades, tea parties, performances and do additional curriculum classroom work about how such events relate to being British.


The annual election and work of our Pupil Parliament reflects British democracy. They are proactive in developing their powerful voice and having their voice heard. Recent work has included deciding upon equipment for the new community play park, creating one minute Anti-Bullying Children’s Guides, developing class Thrive Charters and creating their own key areas of development in school. In addition, Pupil Parliament lead and organise our charity work throughout the year. This includes days such as Odd Socks Day for the Anti-Bullying Alliance and Red Nose Day. This fostering of a commitment to charities is another way in which we teach a sense of Britishness.

At Kippax Ash Tree we make decisions together. We encourage children to see their role in the bigger picture, to know their views count, value each other’s views and values and talk about their feelings, for example when they do or do not need help, eg voting. We support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children are given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.

Rules and Laws

Children are taught the importance of rules and laws and how the ones in school reflect those in our country. Children are taught the reasons behind rules and that they are there to keep us safe and happy. Each class has its own Thrive charter and positive behaviour reinforcements are operated throughout the school. Visits form authority figures in society such as the fire brigade, the local community police officers, local councillors, doctors, dentists, nurses, MPs and our school governors demonstrate to children how rules and laws are an integral part of a safe and happy Britain. Right from Early Years we ensure that children understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and learn to distinguish right from wrong. We provide opportunities for children to collaborate to create the rules and the codes of behaviour, for example, to agree the rules about tidying up and ensure that all children understand rules apply to everyone.

Individual Liberty

Alongside rules and laws, we promote freedom of choice and the right to respectfully express our views and beliefs as an integral part of what it is to be British. Children may choose to take part in our very wide range of extra curricular activities. They have a broad choice of lunchtime play areas and activities from sport, physical activities, reading, drawing and den building.  They are involved in their own learning and respond to their learning by feedback systems and self review of marking. They are taught how to use their choices and freedoms safely through our curriculum in areas such as e-safety, anti-bullying, sex and relationship education and drugs awareness education. We help children develop a positive sense of themselves through our PSHE Curriculum and provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example in Early Years through allowing children to take risks safely in Forest School, mixing colours in the Atelier and talking about their experiences and learning. We plan a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand we are free to have different opinions, for example in Family Groups discuss how they are feeling about moving to KS1 from Early Years.

Early Years visit the Leeds Playhouse to watch the production of Stickman.

Mutual Respect and Tolerance

Our children are taught and know how to show respect to everyone no matter what our differences may be. We celebrate this diversity in our curriculum. Examples include our celebrations of different religious festivals throughout the year, the participation of all our children, including those with a disability, in all our curriculum activities and the regular staff diversity training we undertake to ensure this inclusive practice remains integral to our work. Behaviours which are contrary to these British values are actively challenged, whether they come from children, parents or staff members. At Kippax Ash Tree we have created an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and children are engaged with the wider community. We discuss similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences. Children are taught the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions. We promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.

We visit our local church for Easter and Christmas celebrations together.

Application timetable

The below timetable applies to applications made to Leeds City Council. If you apply to another local authority, they may have different dates

Admissions Timetable (2023 start)
Applications Open
1 November 2022
Deadline date for applications for Reception places in September 2022
15 January 2023
Late applications
12 February 2023
National Offers Day
17 April 2023
Deadline date for parents wishing to lodge an appeal (please return appeal forms to the academy)
16 May 2023
Date on which Year Reception appeal hearings will be held
June – July 2023
Appeal decision letters to be sent
Within 5 working days from date of hearing wherever possible

Application timetable

The below timetable applies to applications made to Leeds City Council. If you apply to another local authority, they may have different dates.

Admissions Timetable (2024 start)
Applications Open
1 November 2023
Deadline date for applications for Reception places in September 2024
15 January 2024
Late applications
12 February 2024
National Offers Day
16 April 2024
Deadline date for parents wishing to lodge an appeal (please return appeal forms to the academy)
14 May 2024
Date on which Year Reception appeal hearings will be held
June – July 2024
Appeal decision letters to be sent
Within 5 working days from date of hearing wherever possible