Why is this important?
Character education is primarily aimed at providing students with the opportunities and guidance through which they can become confident and responsible members of the school community and society more broadly. Effective character education permeates all subjects and aspects of school life and in the process develops the personal traits and dispositions of all students that allow them to fulfil their potential. By developing young people’s character during their time in school, staff are able to provide pupils with the qualities that they will need to flourish in society and guide their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly and behave with integrity. In the longer term, character education is about helping students grasp what is ethically important, how to act for the right reasons and develop the capacity to choose the right course of action in difficult situations. Therefore, character education allows students to decide the kind of person that they wish to become whilst providing the opportunities for all young people to be both effective and reflective people, now and in the future. Therefore, effective character education has a legacy far beyond the school gates and benefits the individuals themselves as well as their wider communities.
Character Education at STWA – Curriculum Intent
Our Academy utilises an intentional and planned approach to character development where students are encouraged and supported to become active participants in the school community and contribute positively to society more broadly. Character education at STWA is delivered as part of a structured tutor programme, the life skills curriculum, and through the Academy’s hidden curriculum. As a result, the subject both implicitly and explicitly permeates all subjects across the Academy.
To ensure that students learn and develop positive moral attributes that enhances their chances of success in all aspects of their lives.
To provide appropriate support and guidance across the curriculum that enables our young people to build a set of positive personal traits and dispositions and become effective members of a thriving society.
To create a range of opportunities that allows our young people to explore and express their character in a variety of ways by setting goals and reflecting on the outcomes of their actions.
To provide and promote a school environment where our students benefit from a rigorous and stretching academic education alongside an opportunity for wider personal development.
To create among our students a sense of pride, belonging, and identity in our school and explore aspects of the character whilst developing additional skills and virtues.
To provide a school environment where all young people to feel as if they belong and are valued regardless of their background.
To promote the importance of social confidence, the ability to make points clearly and constructively, and listen attentively to the views of others
How do we measure the ‘success’ of Character Education at STWA?
Whilst measuring the character of an individual or the impact of a character education intervention can be difficult, the very nature of character means that it is educable and therefore, it is possible to evaluate the development of particular components of virtue. Firstly, there is clear and coherent ethos across the Academy that highlights what character traits the school promotes which enables students, staff, and parents to measure themselves and others against. Secondly, all staff and the senior leadership team in particular consistently engage in assessment and reflection related to the impact of our character education strategies and initiatives. These include regular form tutor and lesson observations, direct involvement in year group and house assemblies, and interviews (formal and informal) with students, staff and parents in order to gain evidence and monitor impact of specific activities as well as the character education strategy generally. Thirdly, character education provision and the resources specifically designed to directly link to it are strategically aimed at enabling students to reflect upon the traits, skills and values that they have developed and applied. The entire character education provision at STWA is design to provide students with the opportunity to not just think and do, but also understand what it means to be and become a mature, reflective person. They should help prepare students for the tests of life, rather than simply a life of tests.
Character Education at STWA is aimed at supporting and encouraging students to develop social, moral, spiritual and cultural strengths that are viewed on an equal footing with academic attainment and allow all young people in the Academy to prepare themselves adequately for the tests of life, rather than simply a life of tests.