QE’s Personal Development Time programme is at the heart of our comprehensive pastoral support; it seeks to ensure that boys are happy and successful.
In line with the School’s mission to produce young men who are ‘confident, able and responsible’, the extensive PDT programme aims to foster and maintain good mental health by giving pupils a ‘tool box’ of strategies they can use to manage their own expectations and disappointments. All boys receive 90 minutes of PDT each week.
PDT consists of four elements:
- PDT Taught Sessions: tutors deliver lessons specifically designed around the aims of the programme.
- Assemblies: these are led by Heads of Year and reinforce messages from the taught sessions.
- PDT Discussion Slots: these focus on spoken communication, with class discussion considering topical issues.
- Bespoke Tutorials: one-on-one discussions between tutors and boys, which take place on a termly basis.
PDT aims to develop in boys a knowledge and understanding of diverse cultures, from around the world and those within our own pluralistic society, and of the institutions, services and traditions of Britain. We seek to foster an attitude of tolerance and respect towards those from a culture or background different to one’s own. In addition, we seek to support boys in exploring and understanding their personal feelings, attitudes and values and those of others, and to address moral and social questions relevant to forming healthy, enjoyable and fulfilling relationships.
Discussion slots allow boys to develop their powers of expression. They feature age-appropriate subject matter drawn from news & current affairs, as well as more in-depth discussion of topics covered in PDT taught sessions and assemblies. ‘Vertical’ tutoring also takes place at various points throughout the year, where older boys lead discussions with Lower School forms on topics such as coping with examination stress and GCSE option choices.
Our bespoke tutoring process, which begins at the start of Year 7, ensures that each boy’s performance and academic progress is monitored in detail every term when boys have an individual meeting with their Form Tutors. In these one-to-one sessions, boys can talk about their progress and any issues which may be bothering them. Boys are expected to record the essence of these conversations in their diaries so parents can see what was discussed.
Further one-to-one meetings take place during pastoral checks, where every pupil meets with a senior member of staff to discuss areas such as current progress, future choices, and career aspirations. This adds to the ever-growing ‘portfolio’ of insights that the School maintains on its pupils and helps ensure that future targets, tasks or development objectives are made personal to each individual. Any issues can also be spotted early, so that action can quickly be taken to assist the pupil concerned.