EPS School Statement on Character
Education for character is already integral to the work of Eastlands Primary School. In our school a rigorous and stretching academic education and outstanding wider personal development on the other go hand in hand. Indeed, these and other aspects of the school’s work all contribute to forming well-educated and rounded young adults ready to take their place in the world.
- Schools have a statutory duty, as part of a broad and balanced curriculum, to promote the spiritual, moral, social, and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils and prepare them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life2. Character education contributes to this duty to promote SMSC. The duty applies to academies and free schools through the Independent School Standards.
- The Relationships, Sex and Health Education Statutory Guidance makes clear that this is most effective when schools also actively promote good behaviour and positive character traits, including for example courtesy, respect, truthfulness, courage and generosity.
- Schools have an important role in the fostering of good mental wellbeing among young people so that they can fulfil their potential at school and are well prepared for adult life. Schools with clear expectations on behaviour and with well-planned provision for character and personal development can help promote good mental wellbeing.
Character is a complex concept with a number of overlapping facets. We identified four important aspects, which can inform the way schools shape their wider provision for children and young people:
- the ability to remain motivated by long-term goals, to see a link between effort in the present and pay-off in the longer-term, overcoming and persevering through, and learning from, setbacks when encountered;
- the learning of positive moral attributes, sometimes known as ‘virtues’, and including, for example, courage, honesty, generosity, integrity, humility and a sense of justice, alongside others;
- the acquisition of social confidence and the ability to make points or arguments clearly and constructively, listen attentively to the views of others, behave with courtesy and good manners and speak persuasively to an audience; and
- an appreciation of the importance of long-term commitments which frame the successful and fulfilled life, for example to spouse, partner, role or vocation, the local community, to faith or world view. This helps individuals to put down deep roots and gives stability and longevity to lifetime endeavours.
Studies show there are enabling traits which can improve educational attainment:-
- High self-belief, is associated with better performance, more persistence and greater interest in work;
- Highly motivated children (linked to resilience) driven internally and not by extrinsic rewards show greater levels of persistence and achievement;
- Good self-control (or self-regulation) is associated with greater attainment levels; and
- Having good coping skills (part of being able to bounce back) is associated with greater well-being.
(Source Literature review for the Education Endowment Foundation and Cabinet Office)