Learning Through the Lens of Character

Character is a set of personal traits that produce specific moral emotions, inform motivation and guide conduct. Character education includes all explicit and implicit educational activities that help students to develop positive personal strengths called virtues. Character education is a place in the culture and functions of families, classrooms, schools and other institutions. It is about helping students grasp what is ethically important in situations and how to act for the right reasons. Students need to decide wisely the kind of person they wish to become and to learn to choose between already existing alternatives or to find new ones. In this process, the ultimate aim of character education is the development of good sense, or practical wisdom; the capacity to choose intelligently between alternatives. This capacity involves knowing how to choose the right course of action in difficult situations and it arises gradually out of the experience of making choices and the growth of ethical insight (Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues 2017).

At The Garibaldi School, learning through Character is our golden thread. Students encounter Character through their curriculum lessons, their development time, personal development lessons, around the school environment, through the enrichment provision and through all the conversations that are held between students and adults.

Our Vision is that all students will leave school able to flourish in all areas of their lives. by supporting their development into well-rounded, empathetic beings who are able to contribute and shape society and the wider world, whilst respecting and supporting those who live in it, though the teaching and modelling of good character.

This journey will look different for every person; however, students will leave with a comprehensive and deep understanding of the language of characterful virtues as well as an understanding of what they look and feel like. This will empower our students to have an ability to demonstrate phronesis-the practical wisdom to know which virtue to utilise in any given circumstance.

Character Education Building Blocks At Garibaldi School

Taken from https://uobschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Framework-for-Character-Education-2017-Jubilee-Centre.pdf. More information available from The Jubilee Centre Framework for Character Education in Schools.


Character at Garibaldi school is delivered in utilising three methods:

Character is Taught:

Students will encounter explicit and implicit references to Character in all curriculum areas. In addition, students will encounter the language of character through weekly recorded Culture assemblies, development time provision and also through Personal Development lessons. Here our teachers will explicitly teach about characterful virtues, explore the language in depth and consider the impact of our choices and actions towards others.

Character is Caught:

Students will see the references to character around school. Character is references in our school values Pride, Respect and Achieve. Additionally, Character is evident through the language of character infographics displayed around school. All students have a Character Card in which our culture is reinforces and students are able to reflect and celebrate their successes. Students can also expect all staff to role model Character around school. Staff have received explicit training on Character and will regularly share their own journey of character with the students around them.

Character is Sought:

Students have access to a comprehensive enrichment programme, this includes the ‘Leadership Academy’ in which leadership skills are explicitly taught to students in order to empower them to successful lead agendas within school. There is also access to The Duke of Edinburgh Award in KS4, a vast array of leadership activities spanning all interests and drama productions to name but a few. In addition, our students in year 7 are able to demonstrate character learning through the Garibaldi School Pledge Award in which all students independently complete activates to demonstrate their own character.

Collaboration with Parents

The development of the character of a young person involves teamwork and collaboration between both school and home. With that in mind, it is important that we support parents on our journey of Character. We will regularly communicate with parents about the events and celebrations around school through our half termly newsletters, as well as offering parental engagement evenings to discuss our character agenda with our parents where we will use a mixture of discussion, research and virtue-based dilemmas to demonstrate the key principles we are sharing with their children.

June 2024


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