South East2022-05-10T15:55:17+00:00

South East

Aylesbury Grammar School, Buckinghamshire  

Description of our character programme
Aylesbury Grammar School has a well-established Character Education strategy; The AGS Learner. This has evolved over a number of years and runs throughout all aspects of the school – subject lessons, tutor sessions, assemblies, extra-curricular activities, staff inductions, parent information evenings and staff CPD. Our character provision is designed to enable our students to flourish in both their learning and emotional development. You can learn more about our approach to developing character when we presented at ACE’s annual conference (insert link to video).

How we can help you

  • Host an experience day with the chance to speak with Character Lead Gurdeep Singh & Pastoral staff, a tour with students and visit lessons. 
  • Set up a virtual meeting so you can hear about how we develop character
  • Speak at your INSET days (dependant on dates and location)

Our main piece of guidance is

  • Ensure that the Headteacher and Governors are fully supportive of it.
  • Get feedback from all stakeholders (including ex-students), as part of the development phase.
  • Be clear about short, medium and long term plans and goals.

The main benefits of our character programme are

  1. Shifting the culture within the school from performance to development, with teaching more to do with impact on student character rather than solely the delivery of subject knowledge.
  2. Relationships (staff-student and student-student) are much improved.
  3. Greater cohesion between parents, students, staff, leaders and governors behind the vision and purpose of the school.

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Kings Langley School, Hertfordshire 

Description of our character programme
Our programme threads through our whole ethos and culture, consisting of caught, taught and practised elements. Our registration programme which is one of our taught elements spirals and develops students’ understanding of character education from an Aristotelian perspective and focuses not just on character traits but phronesis, flourishing and eudemonia. Our other elements are threaded together such as assemblies, PSHE, thought for the days, charity events etc, and therefore students see character virtues across multiple contexts. 

All stakeholders are involved in our character programme – students, staff, parents and Governors as we believe we all continue to grow and develop our character regardless of age and experience. We run training for staff, and evening sessions for parents.

How we can help you
We can host visits for other schools and give you time to talk about your plan and character journey. We are more than happy to visit your school as a follow up, and share our materials and ideas. We can host these on an enquiry and needs basis. 

We would also like to continue hosting INSET and further training around character.

We would like to set up a working group for interested schools to meet on a more regular basis to share good practise and ideas.

Our main piece of guidance is
Consider what you are already doing – connect it and thread it together. 

Use the evaluation ACE handbook and self-evaluation framework as a starting point. It provides a way to map out what to do next.

Introduce things steadily – do not try to do everything at once and whatever you do for the students, do the same for your staff.

Finally, do not just focus on character virtues, but look at the making reasoned choices/ practical wisdom as part of this process.

The main benefits of our character programme are

  1. Improved behaviour
  2. A warm and inviting environment
  3. Initially improved results

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Aylesford School and the Character Education Trust, Kent

Description of our character programme
Character education at Aylesford School is embedded throughout the life of the school. It defines our values and our ethos. Character education is a key element of our curriculum planning and delivery; through all areas of the curriculum, as well as through the pastoral programme and the opportunities that we offer students outside the classroom. 

We expect staff to recognise and reward students for demonstrating good character with a focus on our ten character strengths. Our character curriculum and its impact on the school has led to the word ‘character’ replacing the word ‘behaviour’. Moreover, our restorative approach to challenging poor character has seen a greater impact in improving character than a traditional sanctions based approach.

How we can help you

  • We can support through meeting with leaders who have been instrumental in the planning, implementation and development of character education. 
  • We can arrange meetings with students, to hear their experience of character. 
  • We can speak at INSET events. 

Our main piece of guidance is
Staff training is key. Be clear about why you want to focus on character education. The staff leading this work need to be the right staff. It takes time to embed.

The main benefits of our character programme are

  1. It has provided a common and accessible language that we can all use. 
  2. It has helped our students develop confidence – we believe this is key to them getting the most out of school. 
  3. It has given us a clear set of values that aid decision making, how we lead, and how we recruit staff.

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The Malling School, Kent  

Description of our character programme
Character education is at the heart of everything we do at The Malling School.  We believe that every student at our school, regardless of background or starting point, can achieve something great. By providing a rigorous, academic and carefully sequenced curriculum, our aim is to empower all students with the knowledge, skills & experiences they need for employment, lifelong learning & active global citizenship.  None of this would be possible if we did not put character development at the heart of what we do.  We encourage our students to demonstrate practical virtues on a daily basis ​in the form of being caring, determined and reflective so they can grow into the lifelong learners who and the active global citizens we want them to be.   Our character values are referred to as ‘The Malling School Way’ and are promoted every day in a positive and caring way.

How we can help you

  • We can support through sharing our planned character curriculum
  • We can demonstrate how a whole-school behaviour policy that is strict, consistent but most importantly, caring, can have a huge impact on developing the character values you want to embed
  • We can deliver behaviour management training focusing on the use of Positive Behaviour Strategies (PBS), showing how these are at the core of developing good character and practical wisdom. 

Our main piece of guidance is
Identify the character values that are bespoke to your school and are best suited to your setting.  Embed these through regular staff training so that a common shared language, set of principles and behaviour expectations are shared with students, staff, parents, governors and all external stakeholders and rebooted on a regular basis throughout the school year.

The main benefits of our character programme are

  1. Positive relationships in our school among staff and students. 
  2. Improved behaviour in lessons and around the school in non-structured periods of the day. 
  3. All staff demonstrate our core values in every decision that is made in our school – not because we are not good enough, but because we want to be even better than we are.

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Steyning Grammar School, West Sussex

Description of our character programme
Steyning has based all of its character provision on research using the work of Seligmaa and the Kipp schools in America. Through this research we have developed a character education programme which focuses on 8 key characteristics. At year 7-9 we solely assess these characteristics rather than academic results and report on them to parents. We have found this to be more effective in predicting GCSE results than scores from mock exams and SATs. We have developed a character based REMAP course for year 7+8 and use our characteristics in all lessons through all departments in all year groups. We have partnered with universities to give academic rigour to our whole-school approach to developing character.

How we can help you
We are able to support you on the start and development of your character journey and provide guidance on how to embed character in your school systems.
We have a strong system of assessing character strengths and can give feedback on how we have developed this system.
We can also offer experience on how we have used departments to drive and develop our character provision.

Our main piece of guidance is
Guidance on how to develop and assess character strengths and how we feed this back to parents.
The main benefits of our character programme are

  1. Parents fully support the development of the whole student and the manner in which we do this.
  2. Staff have stated that the character provision is one of the reasons they have applied to Steyning.
  3. It has provided a programme developed by Steyning for Steyning and therefore it complements and develops our culture and ethos.

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