We recognise that character matures over time and therefore, over a students’ 5 year journey at Ark Boulton, they will be able to draw on numerous experiences to critically reflect and act with good sense.
Building on the Lower School Character Development Curriculum, students in Upper School dedicate four and a half hours, through an intentionally planned programme, on developing the Future Skills (academic and personal) required for a successful transition into adult life. Students engage with the performance virtues and recognise how these affect their life decisions. Students learn how to work with others, build confidence, become resilient by overcoming barriers and hardship and have new independence to confidently access the wider world beyond Ark Boulton Academy. As a result, through perseverance and determination, students will flourish as individuals to be successful in pursuing a career or apprenticeship of their choice. Through these skills, students will be motivated to serve as future leaders and role models in both local and global communities.
The impact of our approach is measured through:
- Behaviour and attendance data
- Rewards System data
- Destinations data
- Student Outcomes
Our Future Skills Programme
In Upper School, the Virtues are delivered through the a meticulously planned Future Skills Programme which contributes to the Character Development Curriculum. This curriculum builds and consolidates students’ understanding of the explicit teaching of the four categories of Virtue in the Lower School.
In Year 10, the vehicle for this is Preparing for the future: Financial Literacy. Students are able to utilise their core Maths skills (intellectual virtue), taught by specialist maths teachers and then apply this to ‘real life’ maths situations, e.g: mortgages, hire purchase, savings. By addressing these key elements, which ensure that our students can make sound financial decisions for their futures, it provides the vehicle for unpicking and applying the language of Virtue, for example, the self-discipline of budgeting and the courage to say no to offers that are unsound (civic and moral virtue).
In Year 11, the vehicle is Critical thinking: Understanding others and building independence. Students are exposed to a range of non-fiction texts, to develop their interleaving of knowledge in creating their own non-fiction texts (intellectual virtue). These texts address issues with mental health, gambling, addiction to name but a few (moral virtue).
Again, the applying the language of Virtue here also brings the topic to life: being charitable to those less fortunate than ourselves; the humility to accept that all manner of people experience difficulties in their lives – and it could happen to anyone; the gratitude that for the majority of students, these issues have not affected them yet and the courage to take action if any of the issues affect them in the future (civic virtue). In addition, at the core of the literature texts, the writers’ concepts link directly to Virtues and are echoes of the way in which they are explored in the non-fiction texts.
Through Ark Boulton’s Character Development Curriculum students are exposed to and guided towards post 16 education, employment and training that aligns with their aspirations, personality and grade profile. Our students will have the confidence, resilience and determination to ensure that they are well prepared to succeed in their chosen pathway beyond year 11.
Thus, the Upper School model for Character Development underpins and hones student understanding of the virtues and what it means in their lives now, and how it will shape their lives in the future. This will enable students to enthusiastically contribute towards upskilling their community through supporting siblings at school and family at home.