Term Dates at Gosforth Junior Academy Hero

Personal Development

At Gosforth Junior High, the personal development of our students is crucial to ensuring that our pupils are happy, safe and achieve well.

Our PRAISE ethos is at the forefront of Personal Development:


We foster a positive environment where students learn to maintain a constructive outlook, even in challenging situations. 


We help students develop the ability to bounce back from setbacks, promoting emotional strength and perseverance. 


We inspire our students to aim high and set ambitious goals for their future, motivating them to reach their full potential. 


Inclusivity is vital in our school. We encourage an environment where all students feel valued, regardless of their background or abilities. 


We celebrate and encourage success in all its forms, whether academic, personal, or extracurricular.


We cultivate empathy, teaching students to understand and respect the feelings of others, fostering a caring and compassionate community. 


Our PRAISE ethos can be seen throughout all aspects of the school day to continually develop our students' character. Students are rewarded when they demonstrate PRAISE through additional stamps, postcards, and invitations to Celebration Breakfasts or Golden Book. Each half-term we focus on one particular element of PRAISE, ensuring that everybody understands why we place such value on this attribute. 

Our Personal Development calendar aims to ensure that all students are exposed to a range of planned opportunities every week, including assemblies (both staff, student, and visitor led), a well-sequenced PSHE curriculum, Personal Development lessons, and tutor reflection opportunities. Stand-alone enrichment days/weeks, such as Careers Day, Anti-Bullying Week, and European Day of Languages, are also part of this offer. 

We also have a broad range of extra-curricular clubs and activities, and run mentoring programmes to ensure that those who need it are offered a more personalised approach. 

This academic year, all students will take part in Personal Development lessons. These sessions link to the school ethos of 'PRAISE'. In every lesson, pupils will be encouraged to connect what they have learned to one, or multiple, of the six key themes of PRAISE - positivity, resilience, aspiration, inclusion, success, and empathy. Lesson Intentions also aim to develop pupils' understanding of British Values and how to become more responsible and active citizens.  

Key Stage 2 

Students work in 3-weekly block rotations every half-term. Each block has an overriding question that aims to develop pupils' character, confidence, resilience, and knowledge. The topics are wide-ranging but aim to cover the moral, cultural, and social development of our pupils. Oracy plays an important role in these sessions, with all pupils encouraged to practice and develop their speaking skills in a variety of ways. 

Year 5: 


Year 6: 


  • Where does our English language stem from? 

  • Why should we look after our planet? 

  • How can I be more inclusive of people with disabilities? 

  • Can I confidently sing a Gospel, spiritual song? 

  • Can I understand the basic rudiments of chess? 

  • What are the important aspects of Japanese culture? 

  • How does Italian architecture reflect the different cultural personas of different cities? 

  • Can PE help us to be better at PRAISE? 

  • Can I debate to articulate my views on the rights of children?   

  • Do I know how to help safely in an emergency situation?   

  • Do I know what I need to do to be successful when looking for a job? 

  • Why should I be interested in politics? 


Key Stage 3 

Students have weekly Personal Development lessons, combining curriculum enrichment opportunities linked to PSHE and PRAISE. Both KS3 year groups will have the same outline of sessions, which are progressive and sequenced accordingly. The themes have been chosen to run alongside the new RSE policy and the school's own ethos to widen the pupils' understanding of some complex issues and to give them the tools needed to make good decisions in life now and in the future. 


Personal Development Sessions 

Year 7 

Refugee Boy 

Theme of equality, encompassing diversity, discrimination, race and gender bias 

1. Guided reading of book – discussion of new terminology and produce a book review at the end of the half term (NOVEL).  

2. Journalism – produce a news article/newsletter surrounding the theme and a digital news report 

3. PRAISE PE – Alternative sporting opportunities to develop our PRAISE ethos through sport.  

4. Logic and reasoning – using different types of puzzles to build resilience and success 

5. STEM – explore various different challenges linked to STEM careers and skills.  

6. Accelerated Reading – pupils complete accelerated reader tasks 

7. Careers – pupils explore different careers and gain skills to help them in their future in securing a career. 

Year 8 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time 

Theme of mental health, encompassing learning difficulties, healthy relationships and problem solving. 


Careers Education

At the heart of our career and progression programme is the aim that our young people understand the full range of opportunities available to them in today’s world and help them to acquire the skills and qualifications they will need to succeed in the workplace today and in the future. We also aim to prepare our pupils for the opportunities in the next stage of their education, a time when they will make choices about their future study. Our programme enables pupils to develop their skills, explore and envisage possible future careers and understand the next steps they need to take in order to secure their chosen progression route. 

Programme Delivery 

We deliver our Careers Education by embedding the program into our curriculum through assemblies, registration time, subject teaching, PSHE lessons, enrichment activities as well as our careers fair. We encourage students to engage with the careers programme to explore and discover their interests. 

If you would like to offer your expertise at our careers fair please email Kayleigh Musgrove: 

Careers Guidance 

The PSHE scheme of work in Year 8 develops students’ awareness of the world of work and career pathways. Events are organised throughout the year that expose students to the wider world of work and allow them to have encounters with professionals from a variety of industries and sectors. It is the aim of the Academy to fully meet the eight Gatsby benchmarks of Good Career Guidance: 

  1. A stable careers programme 

  1. Learning from career and labour market information 

  1. Addressing the needs of each pupil 

  1. Linking curriculum learning to careers 

  1. Encounters with employers and employees 

  1. Experiences of workplaces 

  1. Encounters with further and higher education 

  1. Personal guidance 

Student Council 

Our Student Council play a very active role in school. They are elected following a democratic process in their form class and then a Key Stage 3 sub-committee is formed following a further application process, for key roles such as Chairperson, Communcations and Secretary.  They attend half-termly meetings to discuss important issues on behalf of their peers and make key decisions regarding fundraising, the environment and school improvement.  

Last year, they were instrumental in the uniform change allowing school shorts in summer – a very popular change! They launched Friends Fridays, ensured all classrooms had paper recycling facilities, they pushed for more environmental action (we now have Green Influencers and a developing school garden) and they helped organise fundraisers to  raise almost £5000 for St Oswald's with our Shaun the Sheep appeal.  

Below you can view our elected councillors for this year.  

  • Meet our student counselors
  • Meet our student counselors
  • Meet our student counselors
  • Meet our student counselors
  • Meet our student counselors
  • Meet our student counselors

Environmental Awareness 

We have strong links with the Northumberland Wildlife Trust and run a variety of programmes to instil a love of nature with our pupils and to raise awareness of environmental issues.  Our Green Influencers Programme has been  successful in securing a number of bids to regenerate our school garden. Throughout the year a number of pupils are involved in Forest School and some of our own teaching staff are training as Outdoor Education Leaders currently, so we can further these opportunities on our own school site.