Character Education

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

British values, character education and personal development sit at the heart of our curriculum. Our overarching aim is to promote social justice by empowering our students to be happy, healthy and safe citizens. We aspire to equip students to become self-sufficient, active and responsible members of their local and global communities.

Our Character Education curriculum is underpinned by the four virtues: moral virtues, intellectual virtues, civic virtues and performance virtues. These are fostered through critical reflection and ensure that students develop both a sense of curiosity and autonomy, which will prepare them well for life beyond school.

We discuss current affairs and topical issues, especially around identity, diversity and equality. Students are encouraged to question and explore interlinking themes across Art, Catering, Technology, PSHE and PE thus developing their own sense of character. Creative activities are designed as a journey for students to develop subject specific skills and celebrate their own individual virtues and successes.

Our Character Education provision is informed by the approach of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, part of the University of Birmingham.

You can read about how our strategy was developed here.

Character Education

At Springwest Academy we provide three main ways for students to develop their characters.

  • Character Taught
  • Character Sought
  • Character Caught

Character Taught

Our KS3 students learn about the virtues and our Springwest values through a carousel of lessons. PSHE lessons introduce them to Aristotle and the ‘Golden Mean’. Students have many opportunities to discuss and reflect on different virtues as well as undertaking various collaborative challenges to develop their virtues.

Character Sought

Our strong co-curricular offer invites students to develop their virtues through many different voluntary activities. For example, they may choose to develop their intellectual virtues through Springwest Scholars, Chess Club or Ancient Myths and Legends Club, their performance virtues through PE Prep or taking part in the school play, their civic virtues through Active Citizens Club or their moral virtues through Girls’ Voice or African Asian and Caribbean Club.

Character Caught

Our teachers consistently model our school values. For example, during our termly Gratitude Week staff and students extend gratitude to each other. Staff also help students to understand where students are demonstrating our school values by explicitly labelling examples.

Character Portfolio 

Our Key Stage 3 students are encouraged to reflect on their character development through the Character Portfolio. Students consider how their lessons, co-curricular activities, trips, events and actions outside of school contribute to their virtue development. They also set targets for the following term.

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Rewards at Springwest

This year, we have updated our rewards policy to reflect our Character Education framework. Students are awarded points for demonstrating the four virtue groups and then collect badges when they have reached a certain number of points.

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