At Grange Park Primary School, we believe that personal development is a key building block for success and a fundamental part in a child’s learning and development. We want children that are responsible, respectful and above all else are active citizens in the diverse communities that they live in. Through a growth mindset and character education, our aim is that children are able to recognise, understand and develop the character traits that are needed to be able to live meaningful lives, reach their full potential and live alongside others in harmony. We acknowledge that the experiences provided for children in their primary years has a major impact on their future wellbeing and success. It is for this reason that this year we are making a whole school commitment to the teaching and development of character traits, attributes and behaviour.
What is Character Education? Put simply it is recognising, understanding and developing the character traits that make us unique and then using these character traits to allow us to be the best version of ourselves. At the heart of character education is creating a culture in and out of school where pupils are given every opportunity to rehearse and strengthen their sense of themselves.
Why is it important for my child? Children starting school in 2022 will not reach retirement age until 2086 at the earliest! Just think how much the world has changed since 1972, children starting school that year are only just reaching retirement age now. We need to equip children with life skills that will prepare them for the changing world of employment and support them to become happy and healthy adults.
As well as this, character education has been shown to have an impact on attainment, behaviour in and out of the classroom, attitudes and relationships, developing a safe and secure learning environment, student wellbeing and attendance and a students’ sense of meaning and purpose.
What are we doing to improve children's knowledge and understanding of character traits? As well as working together to uphold our school values, the 3Rs - Respect, Resilience and Responsibility, we introduce a half termly character focus throughout the school. This is done through an assembly programme, where the character traits are introduced through a story and followed up in subsequent assemblies by exploring moral dilemmas and real life experiences. Additionally, teachers refer to the character traits needed to be successful in lessons and celebrate when children show specific behaviours and character traits through praise and recognition - ‘If they display it, say it’.
Across the school, we also provide various opportunities for children to develop their character through the Acts of Kindness programme, leadership opportunities (School Parliament, Eco Ambassadors, Playground PALs (playground activity leaders) and Anti Bullying Ambassadors, extra-curricular activities (after school enrichments, performances etc) and our PSHE programme ‘Jigsaw’.