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Success for Life

Head of Faculty: Ms McKay

Success for Life is the over-arching umbrella that encompasses the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum that became compulsory for all schools in 2020. As per the statutory Relationships, Sex and Health Education guidance our curriculum covers topics on physical health, mental health, growing and changing, personal safety, relationships, and sex education, bullying and discrimination, media and digital literacy, money and careers, community and responsibility.

Our Success for Life curriculum is designed to ensure all children and young people in our school community benefit from current and responsive lessons that educate and support students at a time when there are increasing concerns about mental health, misogyny, racism and sexual harassment in schools.

Student Voice

We are currently in the process of increasing the number of opportunities to listen to student voice on issues such as diversity, emotional wellbeing and bullying. 

We are currently piloting a two-year initiative called ‘Positive Choices’ which is designed to support schools with delivering the most current relationship and sex education. At its heart is a ‘School Health Promotion Council’ comprising equal numbers of staff and students who meet regularly to discuss issues that are facing Denefield and to find innovative ways to raise awareness in school and promote healthy behaviours.

Our EDI group (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group) meets regularly throughout the year and focus on issues of equality, diversity and inclusion, aiming to challenge prejudice and eradicate discrimination as well as provide students with a platform for leadership and chance. This is a consultative group of students and staff which helps ensure our Success for Life curriculum and current and relevant to our community.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Lead teacher: Mrs Netton

Success for Life promotes mental health and strategies for students to maintain and foster positive mental health. This is supported by a range of strategies.

Each year we have trained Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs), amongst our Sixth Form students, who provide regular 1:1 mentoring and support to younger students who are referred to them. The MHFAs are all clearly identifiable by their white MHFA lanyards, they also have a dedicated noticeboard for their work, where they can communicate messages to the wider school. In addition, they visit many of our feeder primary schools to deliver wellbeing workshops for Year 5 pupils. This helps to get the Year 5 pupils used to seeing older students and introduces them to links at Denefield, as well as encouraging them to think about how they can look after their own wellbeing.

Once a week, in tutor time, tutors undertake a wellbeing activity with their tutees. The purpose of these wellbeing activities is to help everyone get the day off to a calm start, they include activities such as listening to calming music, square breathing, looking at positive news stories and making shapes out of clouds and discussing what we can all see in the sky. We also ensure that we join in with national initiatives too, such as World Mental Health Day, with special assemblies, and Children’s Mental Health Week, with a range of activities and resources for tutor time.

We recognise that mental health and wellbeing do not exist in a vacuum, therefore there are regular items on mental health and wellbeing in the school newsletter, aimed at both parents/carers and students.

All members of the school community have access to ‘The Wellbeing Hub’, a fantastic website with a wealth of accumulated knowledge and resources to help students and parents/carers alike with ideas and practical tips on helping with mental health.

This year we have teamed up with the University of Oxford to participate in the Oxwell Survey. This is a large-scale survey that provides us with anonymised information about how students in our school feel about mental health and well-being and helps us to identify where we need to focus our attention in future.


Specialist: Mrs Jackson

To support our students with developing their ideas about their futures we use ‘Unifrog’ which is a fantastic platform for exploring potential careers.

In Key Stage 3 lessons we introduce students to Unifrog via the Interests Profile which allows them to consider how their passion can lead to different pathways. The careers library allows them to explore thousands of careers and industries and the skills and qualifications needed for them, as well as learning about Labour Market Information (LMI). The Skills profile introduces the concept of employability or ‘soft’ skills and how to develop them.

In Key Stage 4 we develop this knowledge further, using the Personality Profile, Work Environments quiz and Skills quiz to further explore career and subject ideas. Students learn how to use the platform to explore their post-16 and post-18 options including apprenticeships, Sixth Form, colleges and university.

These lessons are built into our Success for Life Curriculum ensuring exposure and access for everyone.

In summary the curriculum includes weekly lessons for all students in Key Stage 3 and cyclical lessons for all students in Key Stage 4, as well as tutor time sessions each day, of which two sessions are specifically dedicated to covering Success for Life topics, and one dedicated to an assembly. These sessions include delivered content that ranges from important issues in the news which may affect the lives of our students, or anyone in the global community, to information about other cultures, religions and parts of the world, to ways to stay safe and healthy, now and later in the lives of our students, their families and their friends.

Success for Life is ‘at the heart’ of school life, encompassing and developing our CHARACTER values. It requires students to think about the kind of people we aspire to be and the kind of world we aspire to live in and create. Through Success for Life lessons and sessions, students develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy, safe and prepared for life and work.

This page provides:

  • an intent statement
  • course content overview
  • information on tutor time sessions and assemblies.

If you require further information regarding our curriculum, please contact the Head of Faculty as detailed above.

Success for life faculty curriculum intent

Detailed curriculum intent statement can be accessed here.

Course Overviews

Course Overviews
All groups will have a current affairs session delivered on one session in the week. This will consist of content provided by The Day or Newsround websites. Tutors will be guided to the content, and it will consist of news overviews, clips, quizzes and debating topics to encourage participation, articulacy, and an opportunity to share views and enhance both listening and speaking skills. It is also an opportunity to develop questioning skills and to display characteristics including empathy, tolerance, curiosity and awareness of what is happening in the world around them.  

Tutor Time
There is one specific Success for Life session per week in tutor time, on top of timetabled lessons which cover areas of the Success for Life curriculum underpinned by SMSC (Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural values), PSHE and RSE education. These sessions are delivered each day by the tutor team, with assemblies delivered by SLT, Heads of House and staff who are topic specialists, or leading on an issue. They are also delivered by the tutor groups themselves and the student leadership team, which includes the Head Boy and Head Girl. Typical example subjects will include 'how to build relationships', 'kindness', 'the power of peaceful protest', 'Holocaust Memorial Day', 'World Wildlife Day', 'religious observances', 'International Women’s Day' and many, many more.

We are an adaptive and flexible department that reacts to current issues and concerns, therefore our content is subject to change at short notice.