At Dove Bank Primary School we acknowledge that the experiences provided for children in their primary years has a major impact on their future wellbeing and success. It is for this reason that we have made a whole school commitment to the teaching and development of character traits, attributes and behaviours which underpin achievement and success; endeavouring to ensure that developing ‘character’ goes hand in hand with high educational aspirations and achievement.
Character through the Curriculum
Through our rich and exciting creative curriculum, we focus on teaching pupils to be their best selves, to take pride in their work, and to be positive members of the school, and greater global communities.
We want to create children who thrive on challenge, love learning, respect each other and have attributes that will ensure that they will be valued members of our society.
We also create a culture where staff are empowered to take risks and be inventive with the curriculum and learning, where mistakes are seen as a valuable part of the learning process, where all staff and governors support each other and the ethos of the school and most importantly where the relationships in the school between all stakeholders provides a secure foundation for skill development.
At Dove Bank we take ‘PRIDE’ in our school.
Positive – we aim to develop positive attitudes and motivation. Children are encouraged to meet challenges with confidence, determination and enthusiasm and to believe they can succeed; they are encouraged to persevere with challenging tasks and to value ‘effort’; self-confidence and high self-esteem are nurtured.
Respectful – children are encouraged to speak politely and to show tolerance towards the beliefs and values of others; to value friendship and kindness; to show honesty; and to develop the capacity to be empathetic and caring.
Independent – children are encouraged to be confident, to think for themselves, take risks, show initiative, ask questions, make decisions, solve problems, make connections and communicate their ideas. Pupils are also encouraged to be responsible members of the learning community and are supported in their ability to make good choices and decisions.
Diverse – we value and celebrate ‘difference’ and show tolerance and understanding towards the beliefs and ideas of others
Enthusiastic – we endeavour to develop children’s enthusiasm to do their best.
As well as these values, we have identified three additional key values that we aim to develop in our children.
Reflectivity – children are encouraged to: think about what they are being asked to do; what they already know; what they need to know; how they will achieve this; and to evaluate their ongoing progress.
Collaboration – children are encouraged to: communicate, listen, co-operate and work together as a team with equal responsibility and with clear roles. They are responsible for both their own learning and that of their team members.
Creativity –children are encouraged to question and challenge. They will make connections and see relationships, envisaging what might be, exploring ideas and keeping options open, reflecting critically on ideas, actions and outcomes.
Pupils throughout the school are offered opportunities to take responsibility, to show initiative and to extend their social and cultural experiences.
These roles include: Classroom Monitors; School Council Representatives; House Captains; Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (ABA); Librarians; Playground Pals/Play Coaches and Hall Monitors.
Character Education Project at Oakthorpe Primary School
Well done to the Year 4 pupils who took part in a ‘Character Education’ training session at Oakthorpe Primary School alongside Mrs Wallis and myself. It was a fantastic day, shared with 20 other schools from across Leicestershire spending time together to reflect on our values and beliefs about ‘successful learning’.
We came back to school buzzing with ideas, not least how to make a giant sausage machine and where to purchase some ‘pigs of happiness’!
Awesome Sporting Stars!
Swimming Coach Jill Stidever, who won the BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero award in 2014 for her work with special needs children, visited school to talk to pupils about her experience as a coach, and her achievements over the last half century in helping thousands of disabled children learn to swim.
From her 40 hours a week coaching role, to her fund raising, there was no doubting that the children were truly impressed … none more so than when she talked about how three of her swimmers had gone on to become Paralympians, notably Ellie Simmonds OBE who won gold medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games.
After talking to pupils, Jill visited classes to help pupils design a flag and gold medal for the 2016 Paraplympic Games due to be held in Rio this summer. They even got to hold a replica Olympic torch and Jill’s Sports Personality Trophy!
The visit really helped our pupils to appreciate the importance of hard-work, dedication and commitment.
Values Assemblies teach pupils about the personal qualities valued in society e.g. honesty, consideration, independence and self-respect. Assemblies also enable pupils to explore issues relating directly to rules, behaviour and bullying.
‘Character Building’ – Explorer Training Camp & Explorer Academy – March 2016
In preparation for a visit by a group of real-life explorers from ‘Explorer Academy’, we set the children in KS2 some training tasks just to make sure that they were fully prepared for their Arctic mission!
They had a great time building emergency shelters, ’sled’ pulling with tyres, having a sleeping bag ’relay’ and checking out the nutritional value of their key food supplies.
To celebrate the end of their ‘Expedition to Canada’ topic, pupils in Key Stage took part in a Polar Explorer workshop, delivered by a member of the ‘Explorer Academy’ team.
A real-life explorer himself, Simon kept the children utterly enthralled with his stories based on his real life expeditions. Blending personal development training, cross-curricular learning and enrichment, the full-day teambuilding programme took pupils on a journey to one of the remotest corners of the planet, all without leaving the school premises!
Pupils took part in hands-on team exercises and problem solving activities allowing groups to practise key life skills, whilst image-rich interactive presentations sought to develop in pupils a sense of fascination and curiosity about the natural world.
Various aspects of Geography, History, Science, English, Mathematics and Art were woven into the day, with additional emphasis placed on broader educational themes, such as the endless opportunities that can be realised through reading, the value of exercise and healthy eating, and the excitement that can be achieved through embracing diversity.
Simon said our pupils were, ‘An absolute pleasure to work with,’ which is always fantastic to hear, whilst one of our pupils commented that it had been ‘the best day ever’!
‘Character Building’ – Rock Climbing! April 2016
As part of our ‘Character Education Project’, pupils in Class 3 participated in a climbing wall activity at Ibstock Junior School. I couldn’t have been more proud of our wonderful children!
They were determined, enthusiastic and never did anything other than their very best.
They also proved themselves to be fantastic team members, encouraging friends who were initially a little nervous , and cheering for each other’s achievements.
Careers Day – May 2016
The pupils in Classes 3 and 4 had a fantastic day, grilling the adults about their jobs, and most importantly, learning about the skills and personal qualities that it takes to undertake a job effectively.
Achievement Celebration Assembly
We hold a weekly Achievement Celebration Assembly where we celebrate children’s classroom achievements. Each week teachers choose pupils to receive certificates for a range of attributes, both personal and academic e.g. ‘Star of the Week’, ‘Writer of the Week’, general ‘Well Done’ certificates, best class attendance etc.
The ‘Values Certificate’ is awarded once a week in an achievement assembly to a child chosen by their class teacher who has demonstrated one of the school’s five values (Positive; Respectful; Independent; (appreciation of ) Diversity; Enthusiastic).
The Always Children
Each class teacher will keep a record of the ‘always children.’ These are children who never need verbal reminders, never lose Golden Time, consistently work hard and are outstanding role models in terms of both behaviour and their learning attitude. At the end of each half-term, any child who is on the list will be given a special award in Assembly.
Super Learning Day
Pow! Wham! Super Learning Day was …well, super!
Dressed as superhero learners, pupils enthusiastically took part in a range of carousel activities to enable them to explore ‘character’ and the important qualities that make a ‘Super Learner!’
Pupils were involved in a variety of activities that were designed to enhance their confidence, sense of achievement and understanding of some of the values that underpin successful learning.
Pupils worked in their House Teams, which also supported teamwork, collaboration and consideration for others.
There was a magic sausage machine, an art activity to design our ‘best ‘superhero’ selves’ and of course, the Pig of Happiness (based on Ed Norton’s creation!)
Well done to those pupils who created 3d pigs which will be displayed in school – the entries were fantastic.
Whitemoor Lakes – 3 Day Residential
Class 4 pupils had a wonderful time at Whitemoor Lakes and returned to school absolutely buzzing about the amazing activities they had participated in.
Ashley “I enjoyed the Leap of Faith because it was really high and I love jumping.”
Molly T ” I loved the abseiling because it was something that I’d never done before.”
The residential really helped to teach pupils about the importance of character traits such as resilience, determination and bravery. Every single pupil came back just that little bit more confident, independent and courageous!
Unity Character Education Celebration Day – June 2016
Tamsin, Ethan and Charlotte had an awesome day participating in a range of activities connected with developing ‘character’, including rock climbing, circus skills and archery. Mrs Wallis and Mrs Shields have returned to school full of new ideas, which involve bubbles, play dough and apples!!! Watch this space …
An Awesome Day of Learning – Character Discovery Day 12th September 2016
To remind pupils of the importance we place on developing ‘character’, the school ran a special Awesome Character Education Discovery Day during the 3rd week of the new term.
Working in their classes, pupils took part in a range of activities to develop their skills and personal attributes across four fantastic learning zones:
- The Hut of Happiness (Happiness & Positive Attitude)
- The Cabin of Creativity (Creativity, Imagination & Reflection)
- The Den of Determination (Determination, Perseverance & Grit)
- The Forest of Fun/Outdoor Learning activities (Teamwork; Collaboration)
The Hut of Happiness was a chance for pupils to develop a positive attitude, to laugh and have fun! There was disco dough, party bubbles, a props photo booth and apple bobbing to name but a few of the activities… pupils even had the chance to make a pop video and decorate their own ‘smarty-pants’!
The Cabin of Creativity enabled pupils to create a ‘Super Learner’ cut out character, labelled with key words connected to being ‘awesome’. They then had the challenge of turning a cardboard box into something ‘different’. Amongst some of the best transformations was a New York skyscraper, an ambulance and a robot.
The Den of Determination put the pupils’ circus skills to the test, as they mastered new tricks, and tackled a number of challenges involving juggling equipment, stilts, hula hoops and pedal-go boards.
The Forest of Fun proved to be the real winner though, with pupils transporting bricks via a pulley system before building a pig sty (for the Pig of Happiness of course). They also constructed a range of 3d forms using Toobeez, and created a water transport system.
What was totally brilliant to hear were pupils using the language of character; explaining to staff for example how they were going to persevere and stay positive! With such good character traits becoming embedded in our pupils, they are truly on the road to academic and personal success – well done kids!
SPACE Team launched!
To promote Character Education across the school, we have two new members of Class 4 who have joined Tamsin and Ethan … Harrison and Charlotte. Together, our ‘Fab Four’ will be known as ‘SPACE’ (short for Super Positive Awesome Character Educators!)
They have already run an assembly to introduce their team, and have discussed with pupils, some new ideas including new reward tokens.
Hot Chocolate Fridays have arrived!
Mrs Wallis has launched ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’!
The idea of Hot Chocolate Friday is for a member of staff to nominate a child from their class who has gone ‘over and above’ during the week to share a hot drink and a chat together, with Mrs Wallis—our ’Character Education’ Champion.
It’s an opportunity to say ‘Well Done’ to members of the school who get on quietly but might not always get the recognition they deserve. What better way to end the working week than with your hands around a mug of warm, comforting chocolate, especially on a cool Autumn day – Mrs Wallis is certainly enjoying it!
The competition is on to see which class has the best values with the launch of our shooting stars reward scheme.
Putting the new piggy banks to good use, pupils are rewarded with a plastic silver star token for showing any of the following characteristics: kindness, determination, respect, grit, consideration etc.
Each week, the winners are announced in assembly; the class with the highest total at the end of each term will be rewarded with a Golden Afternoon.
Mindfulness Day – June 2017
Pupils had great fun taking part in a special ‘Mindfulness Day’ in their House Teams, to help them learn how to become more focused and attentive in their daily lives. The yoga sessions were particularly well received!