The Goal of Character focuses on affirming the uniqueness and worth of each individual member of the school community. It aims to provide opportunities for self development, personal formation and self knowledge and to encourage the sharing of gifts and talents. Sophie said:
‘Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.’
Therefore our challenge in working on this goal is to aim that:
- Every member of the school community feels valued and respected in a welcoming, secure environment
- Our work on the goal of community has helped our pupils on the journey towards becoming integrated and autonomous human beings. It has encouraged a spirit of service to others and fostered leadership potential.
How can we achieve these objectives?
Heritage and Horizon recommends:
1. Devising and promoting programmes which provide the pupils with opportunities to learn about leadership and to engage in active service to others through:
- Focused units of work
- Outreach work
- Use of role models/motivational speakers
- Fundraising/charity events
- Involvement with NGOS and other ‘not for profit’ organisations
2. Establishing and reviewing school policies and practices which focus on ensuring that the school provides the following for all members of its community:
- Awareness of individual needs
- Welcome, secure environment
3. Ensuring that an atmosphere of praise/acknowledgement/encouragement pervades the school and is evident from the emphasis put on:
- Rewards for achievement in all fields
- Notice boards
4. Teaching particular skills which promote:
- Self knowledge
- Self determination
- Self growth
- Self discipline
- Self Esteem
- Discuss the concept of leadership.
- Ask pupils to identify a leader and to describe why they feel that person is a leader. Ask them to describe what they expect from a leader.
- Ask pupils to nominate a role model leader and to suggest how they might invite that person to visit the school and address them.
- Carry out the Key Word Exercise.
- Introduce a regular Improver Award where the class nominates the winner.
- Set goals that incrementally stretch abilities.
- Utilise group learning techniques and rotate roles such as Group Leader, Time Keeper, Resource Finder.
- Put measures in place to identify those who do not seem to be integrating well. Nominate minders for these pupils.
Ask pupils to describe why they choose to partake in particular activities. Encourage the confidence to express personal preferences.
- Organise a student task force to organise an event as a learning exercise around teamwork and collaboration.
Ask pupils to reflect on their personal abilities and preferences and then discuss with the group in an open and accepting mode.
- Ensure that pupils have access to confidential counselling services.
How Can We Evaluate Outcomes?
- Monitor all tests for evidence of personal development.
- Carry out a survey, asking questions such as ‘Do you feel that there is any part of your life that you are not coping with to your satisfaction?’
- Observe daily behaviour as an informal measure of participation and collaboration.
- Assess the level of pupil committee membership.
- Monitor how well past pupils develop as they mature through the various educational levels and, where possible, in post-school life.