School of Character

Why School of Character?

As an outstanding school we have always educated students in so called soft skills; these are the very skills which fundamentally underpin achievement, motivation and aspiration. The underlying concept of School of Character is that everyone can choose the type of person that they want to be and then take steps to achieve it.

The decision to introduce School of Character is a natural one for Polesworth as it formalises and develops what we already do; the many group activities, presentations, extra-curricular opportunities, performances and teams all contribute to students developing into the people they want to become.

The Polesworth School of Character will present and explore a range of role models / heroes, scenarios and tools to engage students in the concept.  Mixed Age Tutoring (MAT) and Enhanced Learning Days (ELD) will be linked to and taught through the virtues upon which we have chosen to focus. The concepts of choice and resilience will underpin the whole programme.  Our logo has been designed as a cog to show that Character fits into the many other aspects of our school.

cogs

The Virtues

Curiosity

Asking questions, researching and discovering are central to making progress; curiosity is a critical catalyst in reaching goals.
Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Present and develop structures for investigating problems
  • Encourage questions and present a range of structures to develop this skill
  • Consider Why?and What if?
  • Spark interest with a range of stimulus
  • Engage students in thought processes, thinking and sharing their ideas
  • Encourage thinking outside of the box and making connections
  • Encourage curiosity with regards to local, national and global issues and events

Communication

Being able to communicate is a central skill to every human life.  This virtue embraces all forms of communication including: written, spoken, technical, numerate and non-verbal.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Teach students how to improve their oracy in terms of manner, tone and language
  • Present a variety of audience opportunities for verbal and written work
  • Teach specifically about the high impact of non-verbal communication and self-presentation to ensure greater awareness of how students project an image of themselves without speech
  • Enable opportunities to develop numeracy, literacy and ICT literacy
  • Present role models and case studies for consideration and discussion

Commitment

Committed people persevere with tasks, own failures and see how they enable progress and are determined.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Develop determination, drive and resilience
  • Present heroes from a wide range of contexts
  • Present tools and opportunities for students to develop autonomy
  • Celebrate volunteering, club membership and leadership (inside or outside of school)
  • Develop endurance, target setting and achievement

Compassion

A compassionate person is able to empathise and show kindness, however challenging that may sometimes be.  They will move through life showing empathy, grace and benevolence.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Present a range of scenarios from a range of contexts including but not limited to: charity, action, sport, literature, music and art to inspire compassion in our students
  • Present moral dilemmas for thought, debate and discussion
  • Consider relevant, contemporary issues locally, nationally and globally
  • Present local, national and international heroes

Courage

Courage is the ability to stand by your own beliefs, to resist the pressures of peers and oppositions and to stand strong.   It is being able and willing to take risks, to step beyond comfort zones and boundaries.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Present strong local, national and international examples of courageous actions and role models
  • Offer opportunities for and encourage students to show courage and move out of their comfort zone
  • Offer models of risk assessment and awareness
  • Encourage a positive self-image and celebrate courageous acts
  • Reflect upon the value of failures (First Attempts In Learning)
  • Enable reflection upon prior courageous actions to enable students to analyse how and why they acted as they did
  • Give clear structures for target setting and review

Confidence

Confidence is a critical skill to realising dreams.  Confident people own their mistakes and continually move forward regardless of challenges.  Confident people are more likely to be successful in a range of situations.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Teach a variety of techniques to feel, look and be more confident
  • Present situations challenging students to move outside of their comfort zone and to experience successes in order to develop confidence
  • Give opportunities for students to present in front of each other as well as a broader range of audiences
  • Teach stress, anxiety and self-management techniques
  • Teach students about their brains, emotions and hormones to enable them to understand themselves better
  • Teach leadership skills and enable opportunities to lead
  • Equip students with key knowledge to enable confidence in the wider world

Creativity

Creativity is the power to think, to problem-solve and to come up with ideas, solutions and processes.  Creativity is applicable across subjects and skills and is certainly not limited to traditional arts based subjects.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Present models and structures to develop critical thinking
  • Engage students in the consideration of multiple perspectives for any given problem
  • Challenge!
  • Present a range of role models and contexts for consideration and discussion
  • Broaden the concept of creativity beyond the arts
  • Present opportunities for problem solving and team collaboration

Consideration

Thoughtfulness is a core skill in teams and community cohesion.  Consideration of the self is also critical to achievement.  Through School of Character we aim to:

  • Encourage student reflection on their identity, community and wider impact upon our world
  • Ensure knowledge and understanding of democracy, rights and responsibility
  • Engage students in the skill of empathy, treat others how they would like to be treated.
  • Discuss respect and how it is earned and given
  • Develop a sense of team, leadership and cooperation
  • Present a range of case studies and scenarios for consideration

What does it mean for our students?

The Polesworth School of Character will give our students time and space to reflect upon their lives, choices, actions and characters.  It will enable them to identify where they would like to make changes and it will support them in achieving their personal goals. It will also serve to guide them through transitional phases from school into the wider worlds of further education, higher education or work.

The School of Character will show students that heroes and role models are all around them and indeed that they, themselves, are role models to others.  It will focus students thinking into what kind of person they would like to be.

What content will be taught to students?

Age dependent content will be taught on ELDs and other content during MAT sessions.  Subject specific content that will be taught through School of Character includes:

Sharon Leftwich-Lloyd
Head of School of Character
s.leftwich-lloyd@thepolesworthschool.com