Balmalloch Primary School
Description of our character programme
Our approach to character, values and culture is defined by the following:
• A clear focus on our vision which is achieved through our culture – words and actions.
• A clear focus on having a ‘growth mindset’ through our motto ‘Believe in Yourself, Achieve your Goals.’
• A clear focus on working together and appreciating how our words and actions impact on others.
At Balmalloch Primary School and Nursery Class, Character Education is integral to every lesson, every assembly and all interactions in the corridors, with other classes, in play experiences and in the wider community. All of our planners have now been updated to include the values, ensuring these permeate our curriculum. Our Mission Statement and our policies have been reviewed to ensure this is embedded across our school and nursery. We also take great pride in ensuring the language of character fills our classrooms/playrooms and communal spaces.
We explicitly reward pupils for demonstrating the school’s values. This enables outstanding positive behaviours and attitudes through a values-led approach, instead of being sanctions-driven. Our Positive Relationships and Behaviour procedures also link to our values and Rights of the Child. We have developed an approach which is underpinned by the principles of restorative action and which involve pupil representatives as well as key staff members, parents and carers. This process is also pro-actively supported through our buddy system which emphasises the importance of peer-to-peer role-modelling.
How we can help you
• Host a visit to our school with an opportunity to speak with the Head Teacher, Principal Teacher and Class teachers together with a selection of pupils to share experiences from different perspectives.
• Support with School of Character Kitemark applications.
• Visit your school (virtually if necessary) to share our journey and support staff development.
Our main piece of guidance is
It is difficult to condense what we have learned into just one piece of guidance but we would always recommend that:
• Pupils, staff and families have ownership of the programme and be immersed in self-evaluation which is the key to success and this is shared, for example, through information afternoons – transition.
• Use the ACE self-evaluation framework to reflect on your journey and continue to use this together with other self-evaluation routines.
• Look at the work of other schools across the United Kingdom, in your local area and listen to the voices of your school community.
• Character Education should be part of the recruitment process for selection of staff/staff induction as future role models.
The main benefits of our character programme are
1. Each value associated with a stage in the school is a piece of our school and nursery jigsaw, so there is a clear understanding that all of the parts need to work together to complete our success story.
2. Character Education contributes to early language development in the nursery and this is built upon as children progress into the primary school, where they gain a deeper understanding of each value and the virtues associated with these as they move to the senior stage in their journey, preparing them for high school, their community and beyond.
3. Children as young as Nursery are able to use the language and vocabulary of character. Most importantly pupils are choosing to make the right decisions, therefore having a positive impact on behaviour and attitudes.
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