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 the ‘learnable skills of resilience’, and the content of the taught sessions and assemblies is specifically mapped against these seven key skills: emotional awareness (being able to identify what you are feeling and express it); impulse control (thinking before acting); optimism (being positive but realistic to facilitate problem-solving); causal analysis (being able to consider problems from different angles); empathy (providing social support for others); self-efficacy (knowing your strengths and weaknesses), and reaching out (being open to accepting support or trying new approaches).
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.