From Little Acorns, Mighty Oaks Grow
What is Character Education?
The DfE document ‘Character Education – Framework Guidance - November 2019’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/character-education-framework
gives more detailed information about the background to what Character Education is, rationale for making it a focus and examples from schools around the country. There is no requirement for schools to produce data on Character Education however as a reflective tool, it is worth considering how well our school provides quality Character Education for our children. It is also worth noting that the framework is conscious of ensuring that staff workload is not excessive in response to this. Senior leaders should recognise that staff well-being is also a major factor in providing the best outcomes for the delivery of a quality Character Education.
In the following table, we have provided information in relation to the benchmarks that underpin Character Education and some simple notes (not an exhaustive list) of how Boynton Primary School is providing quality opportunities in this area.
Notes on Opportunities Provided
What kind of school are we?
• How clearly do we articulate the kind of education we aspire to provide?
• How do we ensure that all members of the school community (e.g. staff, pupils, parents/carers, governing body) understand and share our aims?
• How effectively do we create a sense of pride, belonging and identity in our school?
Curriculum Intent is strong across all areas.
School aims are concise and shared across the community. This follows in our policies and practice e.g. reading policy.
Social Media, Newsletters and the website are used to share our aims and reinforce messages.
The community are closely engaged in the life of the school through sharing assemblies, parent workshops and open events.
What are our expectations of behaviour towards each other?
• Are we clear on the importance of discipline and good behaviour in school life? How do we promote this understanding?
• How well do we promote consideration and respect towards others (pupils and adults), good manners and courtesy?
• How well do we promote a range of positive character traits among pupils?
There is a very strong behaviour policy which is consistently applied across the school. Parents are kept informed as to the behaviour of their children (rewards and sanctions).
One of the school values is mutual respect. We also promote through assemblies, rewards and praise.
SMSC opportunities and curriculum are strong. We also have a termly value and behaviour focus (cooperation, aspiration, confidence/independence).
How well do our curriculum and teaching develop resilience and confidence?
• Is our curriculum ambitious for our pupils? Does it teach knowledge and cultural capital which will open doors and give them confidence in wider society?
• Is our curriculum logically organised and sequenced, including within subjects, and taught using effective pedagogy, so pupils gain a strong sense of progress and grow in confidence?
The curriculum offer is strong in all areas. Progression is mapped out and ambitious.
Cultural Capital (see cultural capital overview document).
Middle leaders ‘deep dive’ their subject to ensure opportunities are enhanced for quality provision across the curriculum. Particular strengths in PE, Reading, Maths.
Curriculum is well organised and sequenced. It ensures quality progression across all areas and year groups. The learning journey is explicit to children.
How good is our co-curriculum?
• Does it cover a wide range across artistic, creative, performance, sporting, debating, challenge, team and individual etc. so all pupils can both discover new interests and develop existing ones?
• Do we make use of or promote local, national or international programmes or organisations? (e.g. uniformed organisations, Duke of Edinburgh, National Citizen Service etc.)
• Is provision of high quality and does it challenge pupils and build expertise? Is participation sustained over time?
• Are there ample opportunities for pupils to compete, perform etc., and is success acknowledged and celebrated?
The school promotes a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities, educational visits and visitors to develop children’s interests. E.g. Multi-cultural day, London Parliament, big sing, Children’s University trips, visiting artists and musicians, secondary school workshops such as English and drama workshops and termly trips. Sport is a strength of the school (Silver Award).
Investors in Pupils
Success is widely recognised and celebrated (social media, newspaper, newsletters, website).
How well do we promote the value of volunteering and service to others?
• Are age-appropriate expectations of volunteering and service to others clearly established?
• Are opportunities varied, meaningful, high-quality and sustained over time?
• Do volunteering and service opportunities contribute to breaking down social barriers? Are they effective in making pupils civic-minded and ready to contribute to society?
Monitor roles such as cloakroom monitor.
How do we ensure that all our pupils benefit equally from what we offer?
• Do we understand and reduce barriers to participation (e.g. cost, timing, location, logistics, confidence, parental support etc.)?
• Do we enable young people from all backgrounds to feel as if they belong and are valued?
• Is our provision, including our co-curricular provision, appropriately tailored both to suit and to challenge the pupils we serve?
The school uses pupil premium effectively to enhance the curriculum offer. Senior leaders ensure funds increase standards, opportunities and resources across the curriculum.
Extra-Curricular opportunities for disadvantaged children are closely tracked and analysed so that further opportunities to enhance their curriculum offer can be provided for.
Senior leaders ensure that the curriculum offers opportunities for all children to have an extended curriculum offer. As a result, all children have access to educational visits, visitors, workshops, competitions and performances that develop our curriculum values and aims.
Develop the co-curricular offer for volunteering within the community. We already provide opportunities for this however we feel this is an area that would fit well with the needs of our school community and give all of the children further opportunities to understand how they can ‘give back’ to society.
Possible opportunities could be a community project, engaging with e.g. community groups such as wildlife groups or charities and schemes such as JASS (Junior Award Scheme for Schools).