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Character Development

Everyone at The Stoke Poges School works consciously and conscientiously to make it a place where children acquire the character virtue that lead to success in school and university, in work and life beyond. Essential to this is our understanding of what constitutes Character Development. 

Character Development can be defined as the active development of character strengths or virtues in young people. The practice of Character Development is based on the view that these strengths are not merely given but can be developed through instruction and practice.

Our work in this area is built upon two ideas. The character is both taught and caught. Taught because pupils need to learn directly about character strengths and virtues, and to be given opportunities to practise them. Caught because pupils need to be exposed to the concepts and language of character throughout their experience of school. This is best delivered through the ethos of the school, by teachers and other adults in school acting as role models, by empowering children to be role models and recognising them publicly as such by providing enrichment activity so that is emphasises character development.

The second idea is that there are four core dimensions to character; intellectual, performance, moral and civic. These are demonstrated in the table below. Successful Character Development seeks to develop pupils along all four dimensions.





Character traits that enable us to act well in situations that require an ethical response.

Courage, independence, gratitude, justice, honesty, humility, modesty, self-discipline, tolerance, integrity, friendliness, respect


Character traits that are necessary for engaged responsible citizenship, contributing to the common good.

Responsibility, service, neighbourliness, citizenship, community, awareness, volunteering, social justice


Character traits necessary for discernment, right action and pursuit of knowledge, truth and understanding.

Curiosity, reflection, focus, critical thinking, reason and judgement, resourcefulness, open-mindedness, wisdom, creativity, autonomy


Character traits that have an instrumental value in enabling intellectual, moral and civic virtues.

Resilience determination aspiration, ambition, perseverance, leadership, teamwork, confidence, motivation, problem-solving, communication

Our chosen values guide the culture and ethos of our school and ensure that we are able to succeed in our mission ‘To nurture and support our children, to love learning and understand the value of reaching their full potential.  We are passionately committed to developing well-rounded, happy children who think ‘big’ and progress to the next chapter of their lives, with the skills, knowledge and experiences to achieve their dreams.’  It is a central part of the life at The Stoke Poges School and should be evident in every aspect of school life.

Our values are:

Kindness, Equality, Respect, Honesty, Positivity, Responsibility, Friendship, Resilience, Patience, Individuality and Courtesy.

Our Curriculum is infused with opportunities for children to develop their character strengths and virtues. These are complimented by our assemblies linked to our Jigsaw PSHE scheme, our values, British Values and SMSC. Together, discrete and embedded learning gives the children the knowledge, language and more exemplars to help them continue strengthening the virtues in their own lives.

Further to this, we have the SPS Passport, a set enriched experiences that we believe to be character building in the truest sense. These experiences are embedded in our curriculum as authentic outcomes to learning.