‘Everyone matters, everyone succeeds, every moment counts’ is the vision that drives education at St Dennis Primary Academy. This is further developed through our core values of aspiration, courage, achievement, teamwork, responsibility and friendship along with our curriculum drivers of real-life experiences, oracy, environment & community and wellbeing.
These values and drivers intend to ensure that every child, irrespective of their starting point, achieves at the very highest standards, develops life-long skills such as independence, confidence, resilience along with the virtues of empathy, kindness and respect.
We seek to adhere to these values and drivers in all aspects of school life, and the intent of our curriculum was developed with all stakeholders to represent what we value: that we are passionate about ensuring our curriculum is designed to broaden horizons by providing a wealth of opportunities to engage and motivate our children, so that by the time they leave, they have the greatest number of choices and options open to them.
St Dennis Primary Academy is a place where children acquire the character virtues that lead to success in school and life beyond. Essential to this is our understanding of what constitutes Character Education.
Character Education can be defined as the active development of character strengths or virtues. The practice of Character Education is based on the view that these strengths are not merely given but can be developed through instruction and practice.
There are four core dimensions to character and a complete Character Education seeks to develop pupils along all four dimensions.
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 and habituation 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.
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.
At St Dennis Primary Academy, children are directly taught about character strengths and virtues and are given opportunities to practise them. They are also exposed to the concepts and language of character throughout their experience of school. This is delivered through the ethos of the school, by adults in school acting as role models, by empowering children to be role models and recognising them publicly and by engineering activities that emphasise character development.
The Six Benchmarks of Character Education set out by the Department for Education has been used to identify what opportunities St Dennis Primary Academy provides for Character Education and to help identify ways to develop this further.
This year, we have introduced Enrichment Passports for every year group.
These include a range of activities designed to enable children to explore and express their character and build the skills they need for resilience and empathy. Also to enable children to develop virtues such as courage and honesty and develop social confidence.
We believe children with self-confidence are more persistent and achieve well. Also that learning skills associated with resilience helps to develop coping skills and the ability to bounce back which supports wellbeing.
Each year group has an opportunity planned to experience a range of subjects and areas of expertise including the arts, technological, sports, music and performing.
Each child has their own Enrichment Passport with activities being signed off during the year.