Vision

At Ark Evelyn Grace Academy, our vision is to support the development of students so that they can be happy and successful in whatever their chosen career or area of further study. We believe that this means developing the student not just academically but also who they are as a person – their character.

The characteristics that students need to develop form their ‘Circle of character strengths’, which stands for: Curiosity, Integrity, Responsibility, Confidence, Leadership and Eloquence. We support the development of these strengths in a coherent, highly effective way: all staff and students have a shared language for character strengths; we explicitly teach students how to develop their character strengths through our character curriculum and the house system; the Circle of character strengths is applied across all areas of the academy.

We believe that every interaction is an opportunity to develop the good character of our students to help them be cleverer and kinder every day.

Strands within the character curriculum:

Circle of character strengths:

 

Intent

Personal development – our character curriculum is taught explicitly in tutor sessions: students learn how to develop their character strengths in character; they have social, mental, spiritual and cultural lessons; they develop their understanding of current affairs. Statutory sessions are planned for the development of students’ SMSC as per the government and Ofsted guidance. All of the above support students to develop who they are as a person – their character.

Student well-being – The character curriculum map ensures that across the students’ time at the school, students are supported to recognise online and offline risks to their well-being. Character and PSHE sessions cover the following: risks from criminal and sexual exploitation; domestic abuse; female genital mutilation; forced marriage; substance misuse; gang activity; radicalisation and extremism. We give clear details on how to seek support from a range of providers, including both in and out of school. Student well-being is also supported through the following topics, again detailed in the character curriculum map: the 

dangers of inappropriate use of mobile technology and social media; how to keep physically healthy, eat healthily and maintain an active lifestyle; maintaining healthy relationships through age-appropriate relationship and sex education.[1]

Backwards planned – we have planned backwards from what character strengths a happy and well-rounded student would have when they leave Evelyn Grace. From this, we have mapped the key units that they would need to cover in the character curriculum to support them to get there. We have also used government and Ofsted guidance to ensure that essential lessons are included to meet statutory guidance and the needs of our students within the context of our school.

Vocabulary-rich – we include key terminology in character sessions that are commonly used in sophisticated speech and writing, and terms that link to specific areas of a successful and professional lifestyle, such as financial and political terminology. We also ensure that key vocabulary around the law and essential understanding of key SMSC topics (such as FGM and Prevent) are explicitly taught in PSHE lessons. Students are supported to master these terms across units of work in the character curriculum so that they can engage successfully in these spheres of life outside of school.

Know It and Say It – within our character curriculum map, the school priorities of Know It and Say It are planned across the five-year course to support students to develop the skills that they need to be knowledge-rich and eloquent young people. In character sessions, students are taught explicitly how to revise successfully. They are also taught to take part in and lead discussions successfully. Every session also includes a moment where students are expected to stand up and read aloud in front of the group.

 

Implementation

Regular training – we train all staff on the language in our circle of character strengths at the start of the academic year and at regular intervals across the year. We support them to make every conversation an opportunity to develop the character of our students through this training. We also train staff on how to deliver key elements of SMSC to a highly effective standard, again through briefings and CPD. This ensures that vital sessions such as on FGM, Prevent and sex education are taught well and all students come away from these with a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities.

High-quality teaching – we expect all tutor sessions to be delivered at a highly effective standard so that our students make rapid progress in the development of their character. We support staff to do so through several strategies: weekly Friday morning briefings for all year group teams on how to deliver the following week’s sessions highly effectively; learning walks with feedback for tutors conducted by the senior team and directors of learning; tutor session delivery forms part of the performance appraisal process.

Aide-memoirs – we ensure that all classrooms have the circle of character strengths on the wall to support both students and teachers to use our shared language around character development. Symbols are included in schemes of work to also support teachers with this. Agendas for co-planning meetings contain a short section where staff can share where they have praised students for developing their character to ensure that staff are continuously reminded to look for ways to specifically praise character development.

        

[1] Taken from pages 58 and 59 of Ofsted School Inspection Handbook: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-inspection-handbook-eif

 

Character Curriculum map:

NB.

Highlighted sections are repeated across year groups, with alterations to ensure pitch is suitable. This will ensure planning capacity and allow us to build on each year group’s circle strengths and revision techniques more effectively.

Statutory sessions as guided by the Ofsted framework and SMSC guidance are highlighted.

Careers sessions that meet the Ofsted framework and Gatsby benchmarks are highlighted.

Character Curriculum: Year 7

Content

Focus

AIP Priorities

Objective/s

Term 1: Education and health: Getting the most out of school.

 

 

Students understand the importance of education in helping them become cleverer and kinder every day. They are able to compare their opportunities to those in the UK and internationally.

Students learn about healthy eating, eating disorders and how to get help.

Key strengths: Eloquence, Integrity and Confidence

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

- presenting in front of others

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on the symbols and terminology of Circle strengths

 

To have a basic understanding of the importance of education – both academic and character education

 

Term 2: Identity: Who am I and how should I treat others?

Students consider the things that make them unique. They discuss how differences can be accepted within our community. They explore how preparing for assessments is important for developing their sense of self.

 

Key strengths: Responsibility, Curiosity, Leadership

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable

How to use past papers

Mind-maps

 

To be able to consider the importance of diversity and identify where they fit within the community.

 

To be able to revise independently for a short time.

Term 3: E-Safety: Society, the internet and me.

Students learn ways of staying safe online. They consider the benefits of the online world, as well as the risks. How it aids global communication is addressed, as well as how it might impact our personal relationships.

 

Students will complete a session on FGM and the law as part of this unit.

 

Key strengths: Responsibility, Integrity, Curiosity

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-bullet points

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on key knowledge about the internet

 

 

To be able to articulate some of the potential risks involved with the internet

 

Term 4: Expression: Expressing my views in a democratic society.

The importance of democracy, the role of government in Britain and how government is formed explored. They will discuss how they can best express themselves and get their voices heard. How preparing for academic success can support making your voice heard.

Key strengths: Eloquence, Confidence, Leadership

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-mind maps revisited

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable revisited

Flash cards

 

To have a basic understanding of how democracy works in the country.

 

To be able to choose an appropriate revision technique from mind-mapping or flashcards

Term 5: Expression: Radical views and the media.

Students will learn to recognise an extreme/ radical view. They will understand how extreme views can create divisions in community and could lead to violence. Students will understand how to report a view that they are concerned by.

Prevent sessions form part of this unit.

Key strengths: Integrity, Curiosity, Leadership

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Low-stakes quizzes on Democracy, Internet and Radicalism

 

 

 

To understand how to recognise and report extreme views.

 

Term 6: Puberty, Sex and Relationships.

Students learn the physical and emotional changes during puberty. They explore how these changes might make them feel. They discuss the potential sexual feelings that may occur.

 

Key strengths: Integrity, Eloquence, Responsibility

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetables – being more specific

Revising from feedback

 

 

 To have an introductory understanding of how their feelings may change.

 

They reflect on their revision over the year

Character Curriculum: Year 8

Content

Circle strengths focus

AIP Priorities

Objective/s

Term 1: Self-discipline, role modelling and intrinsic motivation

Students understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. They reflect on role modelling for the younger students and the responsibility that comes with this. Possible links to careers and other life choices.

Key Strengths: Responsibility, curiosity, integrity

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on the symbols and terminology of Circle strengths

 

To review expectations and importance of self – discipline.

 To be able to articulate, to a basic level, how self –discipline will support them.

 

Term 2: What does happiness mean?

Students will look at what it means to be happy. How happiness can be measured. The importance of feeling in control of our lives and our emotions. Students will look at mindfulness. Students consider the ways in which they look after themselves and the impact that has on their overall happiness.

 

Key Strengths: Curiosity, leadership, eloquence

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable

Mind-maps

 

To have an understanding of what students are able to do to impact on their own happiness.

 

To be able to revise independently for a short time.

Term 3: E-Safety: Society, the internet and me.

Students learn ways of staying safe online. They consider the benefits of the online world, as well as the risks. How it aids global communication is addressed, as well as how it might impact our personal relationships.

 

Students will complete a session on FGM and the law as part of this unit.

 

Key strengths: Responsibility, Integrity, Curiosity

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-bullet points

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on key knowledge about the internet

 

 

To be able to articulate some of the potential risks involved with the internet

 

Term 4: Expression: Expressing my views in a democratic society.

The importance of democracy, the role of government in Britain and how government is formed explored. They will discuss how they can best express themselves and get their voices heard. How preparing for academic success can support making your voice heard.

Key strengths: Eloquence, Confidence, Leadership

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-mind maps revisited

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable revisited

Flash cards

To have a basic understanding of how democracy works in the country.

 

To be able to choose an appropriate revision technique from mind-mapping or flashcards

Term 5: Sex and Relationships

 

Students continue to look at healthy relationships. Covers contraception, local health services, sexting and consent.

 

Students will also do sessions on sexual exploitation, forced marriage and sexual abuse in this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Responsibility, Honest, Integrity

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Low-stakes quizzes on Democracy, Internet and Radicalism

 

 

 

To have a basic understanding of issues around sexual health and relationships.

 

Term 6: Education: Where will mine take me?

 

Students look at their future aspirations and how they might achieve them. They make the link between school and careers. They are made aware of their options in terms of the future.

 

Key Strengths: Leadership, Curiosity, Eloquence

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetables – being more specific

Revising from feedback

 

 

To have an understanding of their dreams and aspirations.

 

They reflect on their revision over the year

Character Curriculum: Year 9

Content

Circle strengths focus

AIP Priorities

Objective/s

Term 1: Self-discipline, role modelling and intrinsic motivation

Students understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. They reflect on role modelling for the younger students and the responsibility that comes with this. Possible links to careers and other life choices.

Key Strengths: Responsibility, curiosity, integrity

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on the symbols and terminology of Circle strengths

 

To review expectations and importance of self – discipline.

 To be able to articulate, to a basic level, how self –discipline will support them.

 

Term 2: Tackling Extreme views

Students review the definition of extreme views.

 

Key to this unit is what radicalisation looks like in our context: gangs is the predominant threat to our students’ well being.

 

Students look at case studies of extreme views around the world and draw out common characteristics. Students will reflect on our government’s role in tackling extreme views. Students will finish by looking at community responses to extreme views in domestic politics

 

Students will complete sessions on Prevent and radicalisation, and gangs as part of this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Curiosity, Responsibility, Eloquence

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable

Mind-maps

 

To have an understanding of what students are able to do to impact on their own happiness.

 

Term 3: Education: Where will mine take me?

 

Students look at their future aspirations and how they might achieve them. They make the link between school and careers. They are made aware of their options in terms of the future.

 

Students will complete a session on FGM and the law as part of this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Leadership, Curiosity, Eloquence

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetables – being more specific

Revising from feedback

 

 

Term 4: Money

Students are introduced to the idea of a monthly budget, with knowledge of what potential outgoings could be. They will connect income tax to government spending. They will begin to have hinge points for key items.

 

Students will complete a session on FGM and the law as part of this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Responsibility, Adaptability

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-mind maps revisited

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable revisited

Flash cards

To have a basic understanding of how democracy works in the country.

 

To be able to choose an appropriate revision technique from mind-mapping or flashcards

Term 5: Sex and Relationships

 

Students continue to look at healthy relationships. Covers contraception, local health services, sexting and consent.

 

Students will also do sessions on sexual exploitation, forced marriage and sexual abuse in this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Responsibility, Honest, Integrity

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Low-stakes quizzes on Democracy, Internet and Radicalism

 

 

 

To have a basic understanding of issues around sexual health and relationships.

 

 

 

Term 6: E-Safety: Society, the internet and me.

 

Students learn ways of staying safe online. They consider the benefits of the online world, as well as the risks. How it aids global communication is addressed, as well as how it might impact our personal relationships.

Key strengths: Responsibility, Integrity, Curiosity

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-bullet points

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on key knowledge about the internet

 

 

To be able to articulate some of the potential risks involved with the internet

 

Character Curriculum: Year 10

Content

Circle strengths focus

AIP Priorities

Objective/s

Term 1: Self-discipline, role modelling and intrinsic motivation

Students understand the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. They reflect on role modelling for the younger students and the responsibility that comes with this. Possible links to careers and other life choices.

Key Strengths: Responsibility, curiosity, integrity

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on the symbols and terminology of Circle strengths

 

 To review expectations and importance of self – discipline.

 To be able to articulate, to a basic level, how self –discipline will support them.

 

Term 2: Tackling Extreme views

Students review the definition of extreme views.

 

Key to this unit is what radicalisation looks like in our context: gangs is the predominant threat to our students’ well being.

 

Students look at case studies of extreme views around the world and draw out common characteristics. Students will reflect on our government’s role in tackling extreme views. Students will finish by looking at community responses to extreme views in domestic politics

 

Students will have drugs awareness session.

 

Students will complete sessions on Prevent and radicalisation, and gangs as part of this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Curiosity, Responsibility, Eloquence

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable

Mind-maps

 

Students understand some of the factors behind the development of extremism views and different attempts to tackle them.

 

         

Term 3: Relationships

Students review prior knowledge on happy and healthy relationships. Students will then go on to look at how identity can be shaped by relationships and vice versa. Students will look at examples. Students will review e-safety around relationships.

Students will return to sex education and discuss how sexual activity can become part of your identity.

 

Students will complete a session on FGM and the law as part of this unit.

 

Students will also do sessions on sexual exploitation, forced marriage and sexual abuse in this unit.

 

Key characteristics: Responsibility, Confidence, Integrity

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-bullet points

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on key knowledge about the internet

 

 

Students reflect on how characteristic of a happy, healthy relationship have changed.

 Students reflect on relationships as a component of their identities.

 

Term 4: Next steps in education

Students discuss and identify the differences between KS3 and KS4 education. Students backwards map their journey to KS4. Students will then look at post 16 options and present back on their findings.

Key Strengths: Leadership, integrity, curiosity

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-mind maps revisited

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable revisited

Flash cards

 

Students reflect on differences in KS3 and KS4 study.

 Students understand options available to them post 16.

 

To be able to choose an appropriate revision technique from mind-mapping or flashcards

Term 5: Health and Happiness

Students review CBT. Students will then analyse and discuss current mental health issues. Students will look at who is/who should take responsibility for mental health and how we can best support our communities to prioritise mental wellbeing. Students will finish with an analysis of what physical wellbeing is.

Key strengths: Integrity, Confidence, Responsibility.

 

 

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Low-stakes quizzes on Democracy, Internet and Radicalism

 

 

 

Students understand some basic mindfulness practice that they can apply to

 

Term 6: Money

Students are introduced to the idea of a monthly budget, with knowledge of what potential outgoings could be. They will connect income tax to government spending. They will begin to have hinge points for key items.

 

 

Key Strengths: Responsibility, Adaptability

Know it: Summarising -

-Highlighting key information

- -Using own words

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetables – being more specific

Revising from feedback

 

 

Understand common characteristic of leaders.

 

Character curriculum: Year 11

Content

Circle strengths focus

AIP priorities

Objectives

Term 1: Raising Aspirations

College and Sixth Form Applications

Students have high aspirations for their next steps.

Students understand the entry requirements and have aspirational targets for what they can achieve and how to do it clearly communicated and reflected on.

Students apply for the courses that are suitable for them.

 

Pupils look at the following case studies for future pathways and careers: Doctor; Lawyer; apprenticeships level 2 and 3 (banking example); btec level 3 pathway.

 

Key strengths: Confidence, Curiosity,

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on the symbols and terminology of Circle strengths

 

Students are clear on what their post-16 options are and are able to apply to their chosen destinations.

Term 2: Drugs and Alcohol Awareness.

Students develop their understanding of the current, prevalent risks around drugs and alcohol use. Students review debates around criminalisation vs legalisation of drugs. Students review economic aspect of alcohol policy. Students consider how they can make responsible choices around drugs and alcohol.

 

Students will complete sessions on Prevent and radicalisation, and gangs as part of this unit.

 

Key strengths: Responsibility, Confidence, Integrity.

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-bullet points

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable

Mind-maps

 

Students understand implications of drug and alcohol use.

 Students are able to debate national approaches to drug use.

 Students can articulate how to make responsible choices around drugs and alcohol.

 

Term 3: Money

Students are introduced to the idea of a monthly budget, with knowledge of what potential outgoings could be. They will connect income tax to government spending. They will begin to have hinge points for key items.

 

Students will complete a session on FGM and the law as part of this unit.

 

Key Strengths: Responsibility, Adaptability

Say it: Discussion –

-Clear Contribution

-Chairing a discussion

- responding to other’s views

 

Know it: Revision –

Low stakes quizzes on key knowledge about the internet

 

 

Students understand why it is important to speak with confidence.

 Students have a range of techniques to support them to speak confidently.

 

Term 4: What does it mean to be great?

 

Students have an understanding of different ideas about greatness. Students track a story of a great individual and identify key moments. Students come up with their own idea of what greatness will look like in their lives, and how they will get there.

Key strengths: Leadership, Confidence, Curiosity.

Know it: Note taking –

-Picking out key information from a text

-mind maps revisited

 

Know it: Revision –

Revision timetable revisited

Flash cards

 

Students understand what it means to be great and access this at different levels.

 Students understand that greatness can be relative to your context.