What Builds Character?

What Builds Character?

“A growth mindset is a character trait – that character being the drive to succeed. Teachers can educate students through the power of growth mindset language and therefore build character in young people that will make them ready for life outside of the school gates.” Oliver Beach

One of our core objectives when developing our unique Character programme, was to encourage our learners to look beyond their academic studies and think about their own unique qualities and strengths that could be nurtured during their time at school. Their responses to opportunities and interactions will inform their readiness for their future so we hoped to provide our students with a programme that would enable them to document and reflect upon their character development and personal achievements. We hoped that by actively encouraging our learners to engage with the concept of character development we would deepen their love of learning and enhance their personal growth mindset.

We have worked with our School Leadership team to identify character traits that we feel are essential and have shared these with all of our learners. We have discussed the features of each trait and also shared assemblies which focus upon the traits individually to highlight awareness of the programme and concept. Baroness Tyler, chair of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, has argued that schools and parents could all do more to help children develop greater fortitude “This has not been area that has been high on the agenda for Government’s but it should be. There’s evidence to suggest that this improves academic learning and helps develop more well-rounded people that are more employable.”

 

In order to ensure fortitude and character has equal value to academic study, we have also identified opportunities for students to demonstrate our identified traits; tolerance, initiative, aspiration, resilience, confidence and integrity. Students are able to collect evidence as an online portfolio and we use life-long sessions as an appropriate time to reflect upon their collected evidence and share their achievements with their tutor and peers.

TRAITS POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITIES EVIDENCE YOU CAN COLLECT
Tolerance

 

 

●        Volunteering – Work in the community with different groups (elderly)

●        SLT – Help improve the relationship between students & staff

●        Peering mentoring – supporting a vulnerable student

●        Equality group – join to discuss difficult issues/topics

●        Diary of your experiences whilst volunteering

●        Postcard from SLT coordinator explaining your impact

●        Letter from your mentee to say thank you

●        Evaluation of what you have learnt from sessions

Initiative

 

 

●        Work experience – Find and organise own placement

●        Independent E block qualifications – Enrol on EPQ/Young enterprise/Dragon’s apprentice

●        House Captain/Form Captain – Plan and lead others in a house event

●        Extra-curricular – Set up and run extra-curricular activities

●        Fundraising – organise fundraising/charity events

●        Explanation of how you sourced own placement

●        Any research/work from these qualifications

●        Qualification certificate

●        Postcard from Head of House explaining your impact

●        Letter from student to say what they have learnt in your EC activity.

●        Evaluation of what was achieved from fundraising

Aspiration

 

 

●        Academic – Making consistent progress throughout the year

●        Extra -curricular – Success in either the arts/sport etc.

●        Careers – Taking on a project for career progression

●        Leadership – Applying for a leadership position such as senior prefect/senior executive committee

●        Super-curricular – Completing super-curricular activities such as talks, lectures, reading etc.

●        Reports/assessment trackers that show evidence of progress

●        Qualification certificates

●        Extra-curricular awards

●        Diary of your experiences during your career project

●        Application letter for leadership position

●        Letter from HOY/HOS explaining your impact

●        Evaluation of super-curricular activities conducted and what impact they had on you

Resilience

 

 

●        Academic – Persistence and progress in weaker subjects

●        Academic – Balancing studies, extracurricular, super curricular and work

●        Extra-curricular – persistence with learning a difficult skill

●        Gold Duke of Edinburgh

●        Postcard from subject teacher congratulating on continued effort

●        Diary of different commitments

●        Diary of experiences whilst learning a difficult skill

●        DofE documentation

●        DofE certificate

Confidence

 

 

●        Leadership – Leading a year group or whole school assembly

●        Leadership – Applying for a leadership position such as senior prefect/senior executive

●        House events – Taking part in House competitions

●        Extra-curricular – Taking part in extra-curricular performances

●        Assembly presentation/script

●        Application letter for leadership position

●        Postcard from Head of House congratulating you on performance

●        Postcard from subject teacher congratulating you on performance

●        Videos of performances

Integrity

 

 

●        Volunteering – Helping in both the school community and the wider community

●        Mentoring/Tutoring – helping a younger student with their studies/problems

●        Debate/Ethics club – attend debate club to discuss different ethical issues.

●        SLT – helping to improve the school community

●        Diary of your experiences whilst volunteering

●        Letter from your mentee to say thank you

●        Evaluation of what you have learnt from sessions

●        Postcard from SLT coordinator explaining your impact

 

 

About The Author

Liz Kelly

Director of Learning: Visual Arts

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