At Bleak Hill we work consciously and conscientiously to make it a place where children acquire the character virtues that lead to success in school and university, in work and life beyond. Essential to this is our understanding of what constitutes 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.
We realise that at Bleak Hill we need to directly teach our children these character virtues and then allow them the opportunity to utilise them within school and out in the community. By teaching the children we are allowing our pupils to learn directly about character strengths and virtues, and to be given opportunities to practise them. We expose our children to the concepts and language of character throughout their experience of school. We feel 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 providing a range of enrichment activities and experiences that emphasises character development.
There are four core dimensions to character: intellectual, performance, moral and civic. These are demonstrated in the diagram below. 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. We have defined these Character traits further in our Character Virtue Booklet attached to the files below.
As such, our curriculum is infused with opportunities for children to develop their character strengths and virtues. These are complimented by weekly collective worships and our curriculum. Together, discrete and embedded learning gives the children the knowledge, language and moral exemplars to help them continue strengthening the virtues in their own lives.