'The aim of our studies is not just to know what virtue is, but to become good.’ – Aristotle

Character Education Is…

Character Education is the study of virtuous behaviour with the ultimate aim being the development of practical wisdom; the capacity to choose intelligently between different moral alternatives. We use the Jubilee Centre framework which focuses on four virtue groups: Civic Virtues, Moral Virtues, Intellectual Virtues and Performance Virtues. Our curriculum ensures that students have good knowledge and understanding of these four virtue groups and gives them opportunities to develop virtue motivation,  use their virtue reasoning (to work through dilemmas and situations where virtues collide) and put their virtues into action.

In Year 7, students learn about the different virtue groups and Springwest virtues, originally chosen by our school community, which belong to each group. The curriculum includes school based moral dilemmas, learning from role models, time for reflection and an introduction to the work of Aristotle. In Year 8, the curriculum is based on the Trivium of classical education; grammar (knowledge and facts), dialectic (questioning) and rhetoric (communicating). Students are introduced to the philosophy of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. They also have the opportunity to learn about and discuss different ethical theories, from Kant to the Utilitarians. In Year 9, students put their virtues into action and work with First Give, an initiative in which they research and connect with a local charity.

Sequence of Learning






Virtue Perception, Virtue Knowledge and Understanding, Virtue Motivation

What sort of person would I like to become?

In Year 7 - The Character Curriculum introduces students to the four virtue groups (Moral Virtues, Civic Virtues, Performance Virtues and Intellectual Virtues) and the virtues that fit within them.  Students learn about Aristotle and the Golden Mean. They also discuss role models and what we can learn from them before creating a piece of work with the title ‘What sort of person would I like to become?


Virtue Reasoning, The Trivium

How can I develop my grammar, dialectic and rhetoric?

In Year 8 - The Character Curriculum is based on the Trivium of classical education and therefore students learn about important philosophical and ethical approaches, exploring Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Kant and Jeremy Bentham. They have many opportunities to develop their communication and questioning skills.


Virtue Action and Practice

How can I make a difference?

In Year 9 - Students undertake a First Give project in which they develop their Civic Virtues, as well as their communication and presentation skills. They identify issues which affect our local and global community and connect with charities who aim to combat these issues. They raise awareness or fundraise for the charity. Students work in groups and present their projects to their class. At the end of the year, there is a grand final where selected groups present in front of a panel of judges, including local councillors. The winning group receive £1000 for their charity.