Life Skills

Our aim in Lifeskills is to help our students become pro-social, independent, proactive and responsible citizens.  We aim to support our students in developing a skill-set for life, centred on a range of topics and activities, enabling them to succeed in life in modern day Britain. 

We value and promote especially collaborative learning, teamwork, participation, problem solving and resilience.   We aim to inspire students to develop a sense of responsibility and a pro-social approach to everyday life - whether in or outside of school.  At the core of what we do is an understanding of the importance of emotional and social awareness and resilience, and as such we aim for all students to develop a strong sense of self-awareness.


In Lifeskills we aim for our students to develop effective skills as:

  • Team workers.
  • Effective participators.
  • Reflective, resilient learners.
  • Creative thinkers.
  • Independent Enquirers.
  • Self-managers

The skills developed in Lifeskills ensure students have success across the curriculum.  Students are encouraged to consider scenarios and issues related to a variety of local, national and global issues, and to develop life-long skills in effective communication and a respect for, and understanding of, a variety of different perspectives.



Through our curriculum we provide our students with Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE), Citizenship and Careers.  In years 8 and 9 students will study each of these in urn, term-by-term.  Year 7 begin with a focus on transition from primary school, with a strong focus on independence and responsibility, before going on to study Citizenship and PSHE.


Year 7 Topics

  • Personal Relationships
  • Personal safety
  • Emotional development
  • How Britain is run
  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Animal Rights
  • Personal health and physical development


Year 8 Topics

  • Citizenship
  • Styles of government
  • Running a political campaign
  • Charity
  • Mental health
  • Drug and alcohol education
  • Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle
  • Managing money
  • Careers insight


Year 9 Topics

  • Careers education
  • Options for Upper School
  • Strategies for positive mental health
  • Social issues: addiction, homelessness
  • Sexual health and relationship education
  • Financial education (taxation, payslips, fraud, savings, debt)
  • Youth and the law
  • Legal issues in the UK and abroad
  • Aspects of life in the UK (Disability, homelessness, race relations, immigration, charity work)



Students are given frequent opportunity for peer and self-assessment throughout the curriculum.

To enhance student progress in the subject we take a modern approach to learning, in which students are not streamed or set on pathways, as a reflection of life outside of school and to promote collaboration and appreciation of others' skills and abilities.  As such, students are able to consider a range of real-life and current issues, working with a range of different characters possessing skill-sets different to their own.  Students are able to make significant progress in their social communication and confidence in their own abilities to succeed in a range of real-life scenarios - present and future.

Core curriculum content is assessed through end-of-term quizzes completed through Moodle, and students work throughout their study to achieve their literacy targets and to develop their PLTS.


How does Lifeskills embed cross-curriculum literacy skills?

We use the personal literacy targets set by the English Department to help students develop their written communication.  Furthermore, students are encouraged to join in with discussion and debate activities, through which they can improve their verbal communication.  Students learn a range of key words and concepts and are encouraged to practice their note-taking skills, as well as expressing their ideas and learning in a range of creative ways, other than formal writing.  Marking and feedback has a strong literacy focus in Lifeskills.


How does Lifeskills embed cross-curriculum numeracy skills?

Our subject area is well placed to embrace everyday numeracy, whether debating statistics surrounding key issues in the news, or personal finance.  Students in all year groups study statistics in a range of formats including graphs and percentages, and in Year 8 and 9 are required to use the skills they have learned in other subjects in order to complete budgeting tasks, for example.


How does Lifeskills link to SMSC and PLTS?

SMSC and PLTS are at the centre of Lifeskills, and we firmly believe that, as such, our students will leave Ivanhoe with the awareness and skills needed to succeed in whichever avenue of life they take. 


Spiritual Development in Lifeskills

Pupils are prompted to consider and express their attitudes and beliefs surrounding the issues and topics studied.  They are encouraged to discuss and debate other points of view and afterwards to reflect on their understanding and appreciation of others' points of view, and of any impacts these issues and ideas may have on their own lives.

Pupils explore how the choice of actions, words and tone of voice is important in expressing one's feelings and thoughts in modern society and how these communications may differ depending on context.


Moral Development in Lifeskills

Students are required to discuss and debate the moral issues relates to all topics - whether the morality of lying, or of the death penalty as punishment.  We encourage all of our students to take on the moral responsibilities associated with being a proactive and pro-social citizen of any community - whether local or global. 


Social Development in Lifeskills

Students are challenged to develop their social skills in a challenging and thought-provoking way.  We encourage students to engage with current issues and news topics, as well as to engage in social action around school and in the wider community.  Visits from outside theatre companies further enhance and bring to life social issues for our students.  For example, our students in Year 9 benefit from a performance that deals with a wide range of issues linked to young homelessness in Britain.  Furthermore, students are encouraged to work with those outside of their friendship groups to build their resilience ready for the workplace.


Cultural Development in Lifeskills

Our students study aspects of life in the UK as a multicultural society, so that they can appreciate the many benefits of living in a diverse society, as well as giving them opportunity to tackle and discuss perceived difficulties and issues related to in, within a safe environment.  Our students also study aspects of life and culture in other countries in order to draw comparisons and to further appreciate links, and to empathise, with people from other nations and cultures.  Our students study the processes and associated benefits of living in a parliamentary democracy, and what that means for citizens of the United Kingdom.



Students are given frequent opportunity to work both collaboratively and independently in lessons, whether in completing a one-off task, or working with others in a team project. We often use paired and group work to develop the ethos of being a team worker and an effective participant. Students are also encouraged to self-manage and reflect on their learning by being set tasks that require them to consider the relation of the learning to their own life and experiences.  Students are set homework and follow-up tasks that require them to reflect on and/or put into practice new ideas and strategies from their learning.  For example, students in Year 7 consider becoming more independent by taking on responsibilities and identify a strategy to try out at home.




Updated Coronavirus measures for schools

23 November 2021 Dear Parents/ Carers, Additional coronavirus (COVID-19) measures for schools and educational settings You will be aware that nationally, cases of COVID-19 amongst school aged children are currently high, and Leicestershire is no exception. As a result, all schools and early...

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Design Competition Finalist

A huge congratulations to former Ivanhoe College student, Megan Harris, who has made it through as a regional finalist for the Royal Mail’s ‖Heroes’ Stamp Design Competition 2021. Megan is one of only 120 young people to reach this stage of the competition, from a staggering 606,049 entr...

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