Character Education and Children's University
All at Blue School work consciously and conscientiously to make it a place where children acquire the character virtues that lead to success in school, university, in work and life beyond. Essential to this is our understanding of what constitutes Character Education.
What is Character Education?
Character Education can be defined as the active development of character strengths or virtues in young people. The practice of character education is based on the view that these strengths are not merely given but can be developed through instruction and practice.
How Do We Approach Character Education?
Our work in this area is based upon two ideas. First, that character is both ‘taught’ and ‘caught’.
Taught because pupils need to learn directly about character strengths and virtues, and to be given opportunities to practise them.
Caught because pupils need to be exposed to the concepts and language of character throughout their experience of school.
This is best delivered through the ethos of the school, by teachers and other adults in school acting as role models, by empowering children to be role models and recognising them publicly as such, and by engineering enrichment activities so that it emphasises character development.
The second idea is that there are four core dimensions to character:
These are demonstrated in the diagram above. A complete character education seeks to develop pupils along all four dimensions, and in this broad conception character encompasses academic achievement as a route to the development of intellectual character strength.
As such, our curriculum is infused with opportunities for children to develop their character strengths and virtues. These are complimented by the weekly feather assembly and weekly class virtue assemblies, which constitute discrete weekly character education lessons teaching the children explicitly about the character virtues.
Discrete and embedded learning that is intertwined with the PSHE curriculum and our Blue School ethos, giving the children the knowledge, language and moral exemplars to help them continue strengthening the virtues in their own lives.
We work closely with Primary Futures and The Children’s University to provide inspirational speakers and opportunities to develop their aspirations goals in and out of school. Further to this, we are identifying an activity passport – a set of enriched experiences defined by children, parents and staff that we believe to be character building in the truest sense, that also link with our outdoor learning.
Once every half term we have an enrichment day, where every child has the chance to access enriching experiences, through a variety of ways. We plan for all lessons and extra-curricular activities to be broad and enriching. In addition to this, we organise special events, visitors, off-curriculum days, and family events to enrich our pupils’ lives and challenge them to aspire to be people who leave a mark on the world.
We want all of our children to leave Blue School, ready to succeed in life!
What is Children's University?
By the time a child turns 18, they will have spent just 9% of their waking life in a classroom. Children’s University is about making the most of the remaining 91%. It is about creating opportunities for children to engage in meaningful activity (any activity outside of school that is run by an organisation – dance classes, sports teams, choirs, volunteering, scouting, holiday clubs with a specific focus, going to museums/ art galleries) that broadens their experiences and their horizons. This can be interest led, aspiration led or achievement led.
CHILDRENS UNIVERSITY FAQ
I have got my passport and my password but I don’t know how to log my hours?
Using their username and password children are able to log in and log hours by searching for the clubs and activities that they have attended. If the club hasn’t yet registered there is a temporary code blue 8359 which will log the hours.
I haven’t got time to go on and log all my child’s hours for the clubs they are involved in.
All children will have their very own dashboard which will help them see how they’re progressing towards the next award level; reflect on the skills they’re building and help them find new activities.
Each child will be given time in class to log their own hours.
How do I get a stamp on my passport?
Children should take their passports to their clubs and they will stamp their passport. Some clubs are still in the process of arranging their stamps.
What happens if the club I attend is not registered with Children’s university?
If the club has not yet registered with the university, children should log their attendance hours by using the temporary code blue 8359. Please ask your clubs to visit the main Children’s University website and become a learning provider.
What happens as my child logs all their hours and stamps?
As the child logs their hours, bronze, silver and gold certificates and badges will be received and skills and achievements will be recognised and more activities will be recommended.