The Russell School

Personal Development

 ‘No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.’  Aesop


Please also refer to the SMSC and PSHE website pages. 


Visitors to our school often comment on the maturity and sincerity of our pupils as well as their confidence and kindness. Over their years at The Russell School, learning experiences across all subject areas feed into the personal development of our children.  Children are expected to treat all people with respect and kindness, regardless of any differences. 

Our school ethos ‘Aim High, Have Courage and Be Kind’ is the foundation of everything we do.

Personal development is taught discreetly through PSHE lessons, using the Jigsaw scheme across the school as well as through a wealth of additional planned learning opportunities across all subject areas. 

Our pupils have the opportunity to experience an extensive range of curriculum enrichment activities during their time at The Russell School and are encouraged to record the extent of their participation in their Personal Enrichment Passport.  Each opportunity is assigned points to enable the children to gain credits towards an award certificate.

We aim to develop the personal growth and wellbeing of all of our pupils to enable them to:

  • Develop lively enquiring minds and a spirit of curiosity
  • Have high self-esteem through respect for themselves, others and the environment
  • Communicate effectively
  • Develop a strong awareness of their own health and well-being

 The development of every pupil’s self esteem and confidence is important to us at The Russell School and some of the strategies we use to achieve this include:

  • Merit Awards
  • House points
  • Positive phone calls home
  • Headteacher Awards
  • Praise stickers for effort and behaviour
  • Class marble jar rewards
  • Team building events such as sports day, the house system, concerts, productions, community engagement and specialist curriculum focus days/weeks.

Personal Development Opportunities Across the Curriculum

Development of Character:

  • Daily mindfulness sessions
  • One word mantra for each child
  • Growth mindset philosophy – classroom monitors
  • Philosophical questions for debate – assemblies
  • Self challenge
  • Response marking
  • Stuck routines and help desk - resilience
  • Power of yet
  • Outdoor learning
  • Engagement in Mini Police project
  • Learning ladders - class marble jars, rainbow stickers and Learning Leader status
  • Positions of responsibilities – Head Girl/Boy, house Captains, School Council, Eco Squad, Growth Mindset and Learning Behaviour monitors, Buddies, Peer Mediators
  • Opportunities to perform – music concerts, productions, class assemblies, Christmas productions and concerts
  • Fundraising and support for charities (food bank, Spread a Smile, Children with Cancer)
  • Outdoor learning across the curriculum
  • Talent shows
  • Caring for the school pets
  • Aspirations Week and careers events (Harefield theatres open day)
  • Art Therapy
  • Community engagement (road safety, collaborative school council events)
  • Collaboration in school newspaper
  • Effective learning skills assessment framework
  • Personal development passport to record achievements and participation in wider school activities
  • Whole school homework to respond to current affairs and encourage debate on moral and ethical issues
  • Diversity, identity and equalities are celebrated – whole school displays
  • SMSC development opportunities (see SMSC framework)
  • PSHE curriculum
  • Pupil voice – children’s views lead to change
  • Use of paired talk in lessons

Wellbeing and Mental Health:

  • Rebalance training – all staff
  • Fitter Futures – daily class activity and homework
  • Morning runs
  • Art therapy
  • Participation in Mental Health transition project – DET
  • School pets
  • Reading dogs
  • Worry box
  • School vision – kindness underpins
  • Annual Anti bullying week
  • Kindness – ethos
  • NSPCC workshops and assemblies

Positions of Responsibility:

House System:

There are three houses in the school: Chess, Colne and Gade. Every pupil is allocated a house when they join the school and siblings are put together in the same house.  Children are encouraged to support their house through their work and participation in activities throughout the year. On Sports Day the houses compete against each other as teams and the ‘Sports’ cup is awarded to the winning house.

In September Year 6 students prepare speeches to explain why they would make good House Captains and the KS2 pupils vote for their preferred candidate.

House points are earned for good behaviour, good work or kind deeds.  Pupils are given a token for each house point awarded to them to place in the token box.  House Captains count the points at the end of half term and announce the totals in assembly.  The house with the most points for each half term receives a mufti day.  

School Council:

Each class elects two representatives to the School Council at the start of each academic year. The children are major stakeholders in the school and, through the School Council, are given an opportunity both to make a difference to the way the school operates, as well as to develop their citizenship and social skills. The School Council occasionally organises ballots on certain issues helping to teach our children about the democratic system.

Eco Squad:

Our Eco Squad is responsible for ensuring we do all we can to ensure the sustainability of the school and to make everybody in school aware of how they can make a difference to this world.  We believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to change the world and the choices we make in our everyday lives which can make a real difference. As a result, our school has been presented with the Eco Silver Award.

Personal Safety:

  • NSPCC – personal safety workshops
  • Safety reminders in assemblies
  • E safety focus – PSHE curriculum, e safety week, discrete teaching, e safety production ‘Better safe than e sorry’
  • Bikeability road safety
  • Mini Police project with local officers

Community Engagement:

  • ‘Pimp My Zimmer’ – project to reduce the number of falls in care homes by making zimmer frames more appealing for the elderly to use (recommended for national award).
  • Three Rivers crocus bulb project
  • Chorleywood scarecrow annual competition
  • Collaborative school council events with local schools to debate life in modern Britain
  • Fundraising – Café CW tube station (Safe Passage)
  • Harvest donations to food bank
  • Road safety engagement with police
  • Three rivers art installation collaborative project

Pupil Voice:

  • School Councillors
  • Eco Squad (Silver Award)
  • Annual pupil survey and feedback
  • Pupil participation in parent conferencing sessions
  • Head Girl/Boy learning walks
  • Russell Round Up – school newspaper

Curriculum Enhancements:

  • Christmas panto
  • Christmas concerts
  • Coding workshops
  • Arts week
  • Enterprise week – profit making activity
  • Aspiration week – learning about careers
  • Shakespeare workshops
  • Holocaust workshop (Y5)
  • STEM ambassador visits
  • Outdoor learning


  • Participation in sports partnership (PLT)
  • Morning runs
  • Fitter Futures
  • Sports week and sports day
  • 5/6 triathlon
  • Weekly swimming
  • Clubs


  • Y5 Ukelele class lessons
  • Specialist music teaching (all classes)
  • Annual ‘musical try out’ day
  • School orchestra and choir
  • Brass band
  • Participation at the 02 ‘Young Voices’
  • Choir and orchestra performances to local care home and CW village night
  • Easter and summer concerts
  • Annual music festival
  • Musical clubs
  • Peripatetic music teaching
  • Musical try out days
  • Musical performances to local care homes

Trips and Visits 

Whole school



Whole school Christmas panto

Coding workshops

Arts day

Enterprise week

Aspiration day

Christmas performances

Shakespeare productions/workshops







Carpenters Wood Teddy Bear Picnic

Willows farm

Carpenters Wood Teddy Bear Picnic

Willows farm

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Walk to CW library

Natural History Museum

Visit to Chorleywood Common, tour with the ranger







St Alban’s cathedral

Ancient Greek day

Chiltern Open Air Museum

Ancient Greek Day

Maths Mastermind Workshop

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Residential – Shortennils (1 night)

The Railway Children theatre trip (English/West End)

Maths Challenge (Maths/Gayhurst School, Gerrards Cross)

ISKON Education Services  Diwali speaker


Residential – Ufton Court (3 nights)

Y5 Fun Run

Y5 Hockey Tournament

STEM Ambassador visits (Ian Melville – Sun and Planets, RES team – Forces)

Watford Move and Learn Football Coaching sessions

Smiling Minds workshops – confidence and team building skills

Ukulele lessons

Tri-golf festival (PE/Chorleywood)

NSPCC talk

Annie Jnr – production visit to St Clement Danes

Watford Football Club – Move and Learn football sessions

Residential – PGL (5 nights)

Joseph production

Kwik Cricket Festival

RAF Hendon

Bletchley Park

STEM Ambassador visit (Dr Melissa Upjohn – Micro-organisms)

NSPCC – talk

Sport Relief Cake Sale (Charity event organised by Year 6)

Oliver production/theatre workshop with actors

Annie Jnr – production visit to St Clement Danes