Character Education

Character Education is the wider personal development of a child beyond the academic education they receive in school. It aims to instill in pupils a number of key characteristics and values such as resilience, honesty, motivation and humility, all of which will help them in their adult lives.

Character Education across the Aspire Academy Trust is supported by the Aspire PSHE network and is part of the trust's core purpose.  It is embedded in the curriculum for all schools so we may enable children to thrive and live their future lives well.

For more information on Character Education, please click the link below:


Both Behaviour and Personal Development was rated 'Good' in our recent Ofsted report. As a school, our behaviour, attitudes and ethos was a key strength.  On arrival, it was clear to inspectors that, even on our EYFS’s first full day of starting school, our children were content, relaxed, engaged and calm in their classrooms, ready for new opportunities. This was indicative of a strong transition process:


“Children in the Reception Year get off to a strong start. They settle quickly into routines, as a result of a well-thought-out transition programme.” Ofsted, September 2022


Visitors often remark on our calm, polite and well-behaved children both in school and on trips. This wasn’t always the case, but there are two main reasons that this has improved dramatically:

  • Children respect us because they know that we know them, we understand them and most of all we care for them
  • By implementing clear and concise school rules using infant-friendly vocabulary and being consistent as a whole staff, behaviour improved rapidly. The 'be safe, be kind, be ready' rules are introduced from day 1


Children know that in our school there are clear boundaries and fair consequences for negative behaviour, and that restorative conversations will follow.


Children also know that school is “a safe place to make mistakes” and once something has happened, the slate is wiped clean and crucially, we still like them!  Good relationships are based on trust, and Head of School, Mrs Holt knowing every child and involved in this process daily.  Rules are therefore easily enforced and respected by all.  Mrs Holt also sees the children for lots of positive reasons, as well as welcoming them (and their families) at the beginning and end of the day with a smile on the gate.


We believe that carefully selected key texts help illustrate and demonstrate many aspects of personal development, alongside role play in class. The text “Have you filled a bucket today?” has given the whole school a shared language which has helped children to understand and articulate their own feelings and emotions, as well as those of others. Children are awarded “Bucket Filler” certificates in our Celebration Assembly for doing kind and helpful things around school. Children can also award each other.


“Pupils behave well. Classrooms are calm. Pupils say that bullying rarely happens. Staff use a consistent approach to help pupils understand and improve their behaviour. This starts as soon as children join Reception. Pupils view the staff team as kind and caring. They know that they can share any worries with them. This helps pupils to feel safe. Pupils say that the ‘above and beyond’ points help them to understand that only their best effort is good enough.”

Ofsted, September 2022

A recent focus on Character Education has encouraged staff to adapt our mission statement to reflect the values we believe are paramount:


Confidence, resilience, motivation, independence, teamwork, curiosity


We are currently developing stories with animals who show these traits, so that they are demonstrated in an infant friendly way. These will be regularly illustrated through assemblies with carefully chosen texts from our Personal Development library which reflect these values well. During Celebration Assemblies, we make reference to these words in achievements within and beyond school.


We are also looking at developing a shared language alongside these using more specific vocabulary e.g. respect, honesty, trustful, integrity.


We encourage children to play a pro-active role in the school and to support behaviour around the school, like corridor monitors, playground helpers, school councillors and buddies.


“Leaders encourage pupils to take responsibility for promoting positive behaviour. Pupils act as behaviour monitors. They confidently advise other pupils how they should conduct themselves around the school building.”

Ofsted, September 2022


For over a year, our Character Education Lead has been doing Paddington Assemblies. Paddington sends postcards from different countries and shares aspects of their country from culture, to geographical features, challenging stereotypes and giving a balanced view of what it might be like to live there. This, alongside linking with a school in Nigeria, has been key to providing children with experiences and understanding beyond the UK. 

"Character Sought” is now a big focus of development for Bude Infants: 

  • Parent survey of children’s attended clubs, interests and talents in order to review provision and target children
  • Beyond school awards for Community Champions, Kindness/Helpfulness at home, Beyond School Achievements – which focus on key school values – awarded in Celebration Assemblies with a parental audience
  • Aspiration Assemblies – guest speakers from different vocations, challenging gender stereotypes, showing bravery through adversity etc.
  • More community links for field trips

Bude Primary Academy - Infants
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