There have always been close relationships between staff, parents and pupils at Broadoak School but it was a child’s comment made to an OFTED inspector about the pupils feeling that there is “a real sense of family in the school” that firmly ignited the Character Awards project.
We identified a range of personal traits that would develop specific emotional, moral, social and motivation attributes in our children as well as guide conduct. We looked at the idea of Character education as a way to support our young people and their development of positive, personal strengths so that they can effectively identify what is ethically important in situations and how to act as positive and supportive members of the school and wider community.
Our character programme acts as an umbrella, enveloping all subjects whilst acting as a tool to encourage and foster sound common morals in line with the school ethos.
We developed our Character award programme with partner schools in The Dean Trust around the word ‘respect’ where each of the letters stands for one of 7 categories.
We want our children to understand that respect is not simply about being polite and having manners but it is about working hard at all times, respecting the differences in others, valuing Britishness, and looking after both our school community and the wider world.
R = Respectful
E = Extra-Curricular
S = School Support
P = Peer Support
E = Environmental
C = Community
T = Trips
Each of the seven categories identifies a range of pledges that pupils have to develop / undertake in order to achieve a star. Once achieved, stars are added to pupils’ respect badges that are proudly worn on pupils’ blazers.
The Character Awards focus on developing character traits, attributes and positive behaviours in others by encouraging children to become involved in a range of curriculum and non-curriculum activities that are available to all pupils.
We have linked our Character Award to a number of redesigned and newly developed curricular and extra-curricular activities such as –
- Junior PCSO scheme,
- A Year 7 outward bound trip,
- star of the week and the pupil of the month award schemes,
- Year 6 celebration evening,
- Frequent praise postcards,
- High standards of behaviour,
- Regular attendance at extra-curricular clubs (and revision sessions) such as the school choir, the science STEM club, librarian scheme and a range of sporting clubs,
- Positions of responsibilities such as the School council, sports captain or careers representative,
- Literacy initiatives such as the reading buddy project,
- The Duke of Edinburgh award,
This year also saw the development of a British values week in which every faculty ran activities based around the British values of liberty, respect, law and democracy. The end of the week saw a traditional British street party take place with the focus on community and togetherness.
A new school shop has also been introduced intrinsically linked to character education. Pupils swap teacher stamps for a range of useful items such as stationary and sporting equipment. Stamps are rewarded for excellence, effort, progress and resilience in lessons. The shop encourages children to develop high standards in order to collect stamps – the collection of which are linked to the Character Awards.