Character Education at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
The character traits we wish to develop in our children and live out across our community:
- Perseverance and motivation to make progress and to accept there are setbacks but there are ways to overcome them.
- The development of positive moral attributes, sometimes known as ‘virtues’: courage, honesty, generosity, integrity, humility and a sense of justice, alongside others;
- social confidence and the ability to make points or arguments clearly and constructively, listen attentively to the views of others, behave with courtesy and good manners and speak persuasively to an audience
- an appreciation of long-term commitments developing a sense of vocation to their families, the local community, to their faith and values.
The benefits to the child:
Research suggests that there are enabling character traits which can improve educational attainment, engagement with school and attendance.
- High self-belief, is associated with better performance, more persistence and greater interest in work;
- Highly motivated children (linked to tenacity) driven internally and not by extrinsic rewards show greater levels of persistence and achievement;
- Good self-control is associated with greater attainment levels; and
- Having good coping skills (part of being able to bounce back) is associated with greater well-being
How we achieve it
As a school we believe that education goes beyond the pursuit of academic attainment in subjects.
We have a duty and a vocation to prepare our pupils for opportunities, responsibilities and the experiences of later life. We believe that we form lives ready to face the future. It is important that our children develop a good mental well-being so they can fulfil their potential at school and in adult life.
Providing a stretching, challenging academic curriculum with excellent personal development is central to our aims.
We achieve this by providing opportunities within a well sequenced curriculum to academically challenge our pupils. We design the curriculum so they have experiences and opportunities in all aspects of their learning to develop into the people we aspire them to be.
We achieve this in several ways:
The type of school we are
We are proud to profess our values and aspirations for our pupils. We are clear that we want to provide a challenging, stretching curriculum but also opportunities to develop our children with values and ethics. This is shared and known by all. This is why pupils and parents are proud to belong to St. Patrick’s community – they share our values. Our values are rooted in the Gospel and are lived out and modelled by staff and governors so they are role models to our community.
We are clear to all as to our expectations for behaviour for both staff and pupils. We have clear policies and these are lived out daily in our school.
Staff model courtesy, pride and mutual respect in their daily actions. We work in partnership with parents so these are developed in our children.
Resilience and Confidence
Our curriculum is challenging and requires determination and resilience from pupils if they are to achieve all they are capable of.
We have a curriculum which is clearly sequenced to challenge and to build upon key knowledge so children can achieve. We have clear approaches to teaching to enable teachers to teach well and pupils to learn.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced so pupils develop in a variety of ways: artistic, creative, ethical, sporting, to listen to others, to share their views, to work alongside others.
We link our curriculum to our local area so the children gain a sense of community. We work with partner schools in other countries so they see that they are citizens of the wider world.
We provide opportunities for our children to be active within the local, national and global community. We are an accredited International School through the British Council as a result of our thoughtfully designed curriculum and because of the opportunities it provides. Our curriculum also creates the next generation of innovative, inspirational environmentalists who are encouraged to actively engage in protecting our planet. We have achieved Eco-School Green Flag accreditation for a sustained period of time.
Our pupils experience residential visits structured in a way to broaden their experiences and character: We begin locally, then nationally and by the time our pupils leave, they have experienced international visits. All of these develop resilience, broaden experiences and develop self confidence in our pupils ready for secondary school education.
Our PSHE and Relationships Education provide a structured sequence to their character development so our children are prepared and skilled with good mental well-being. Our planned approach is also supported by our responsive approach where our pupils discuss, debate and engage in topical issues so they develop as responsible, informed citizens with good values and ethics.
Service to Others
At St. Patrick’s, we instil a sense of belonging to our local community. We are clear to our pupils that we are part of a community, the possibilities of living in our community and we provide opportunities for them to serve and support their communities. This is enhanced with acts of service throughout the year in our community, visitors to the school such as Cafod, Globalteach and our Local MP.
We pride ourselves on responding as a school to where there is need, such as gathering food for our local food bank and our commitment to and support to charities. Locally and internationally. Again, we use our responsive approach to PSHE to reflect on how we can serve others and learn from events across the world.
All pupils benefit from our wide-ranging approach. We closely monitor pupil participation and inclusion and identify any barriers eg cost so all can be included.
We are an inclusive community and because of our approach to our curriculum and to our co-curriculum a strength of the school is inclusion. Our children value all and they clearly live out inclusive values. Pupils leave our school with a sense of justice, fairness and have a strong sense of what is right and wrong. We encourage all pupils to be “Kingdom Builders” – building a Kingdom where they try to bring joy, justice and peace to the local community. We have strong links with local disability groups, nursing homes, the dementia hub and other faith groups.
It is important that all children gain an understanding of the world they are growing up in, and learn how to live alongside, and show respect for, a diverse range of people. We achieve this through living out these values and modelling them, but also by incorporating them into our curriculum plans.
We comply with the Equality Act and ensure that we develop character education and co-curricular provision so that pupils are not unfairly inhibited from benefiting from this aspect of education on the basis of the protected characteristics.