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Five Acres High School

Character Education Newsletter May 2019

Character Education was launched in January this year and students have been very proactive in taking part in a variety of events to help them secure badges and certificates which develop their character and skills across the schools five values of Ambition, Confidence, Creativity, Respect and Determination.

Developing these values in young people is where all of society benefits, as we are enabling them to be the very best they can be. Students have been able to attend a ski trip, visit foreign countries, participate in choir performances and regular clubs, go on residential visits, take part in the Ten Tors challenge and Duke of Edinburgh.

Our school has also taken part in a variety of sporting fixtures ranging from football and rugby to netball and boccia tournaments.  Across these sports our students have been able to demonstrate their determination to be the best sports teams and individual players.  Some of our students have also achieved excellence or outstanding performance in individual sports including karate, fishing and kick boxing.  Neo Gardiner in 7Y has successfully gained his 2nd black belt in kick boxing.

Reading plays a central role in developing character and we have worked with Greenshaw Literacy leaders to develop a reading Canon of 150 books that everyone should read during their lifetime, they include classic novels like David Copperfield by Charles Dickens and more contemporary authors like Judy Blume. We also have a wide variety of genres including poetry, thrillers and autobiographies all available in the school library.  Students who read 10 books from the Canon can gain their bronze determination badge for literacy. 

Savannah James in Year 7Y has really risen to the challenge of developing her Character Education. Savannah has achieved 17 badges across a vast variety of values to show her skills.  She has also achieved two gold badges in the same value category so has been the first student to receive her Creativity shield.  In order to receive her certificate and shield badge Savannah was interviewed by Mrs Rainbow and Ms Rimell, Savannah explained that ‘When character education was launched I was extremely enthusiastic to begin collecting badges and certificates. It has been great to be the first student at Five Acres High School to be awarded a shield. Character education makes you want to try new things so that you get involved in school life and develop new skills.’ 

Many students have received Service badges for the work they have completed as volunteers, some students have already raised over £1000 for charity and has received their Gold Respect service badge.  The Kenyan Team has been particularly enterprising at raising money to help Kenyan students come to visit the Forest of Dean.  The Kenyan team are now making final plans to go to Kenya later this term.

A big well done to those students who have attended a variety of clubs over the past academic year, attendance at extracurricular clubs like Hands on Humanities, Art club, choir and sports clubs have seen students achieving bronze and silver badges for determination commitment.

Our Head Boy and Head Girl Jack Harris and Rosalie Griffiths were thrilled when they received an invitation to attend the Mayor's Charity Ball recently.  This was then made even more memorable as they were invited to sit at the Mayor's table with Jack asked to say Grace at the start of the evening and Rosalie to propose the Loyal toast 'The Queen' after dinner. Assistant Headteacher Miss Rainbow attended the event and was proud to be accompanied by the Deputy Head Boy and Girl, Luke Thomas and Izzy SykesJoe Griffiths and Lucy Hopkins in Year 10 have also achieved their confidence silver oracy badge as they attended the District Council offices to discuss with other schools and local councillors what they thought the needs of their community were for people their age. They were fantastic at representing the views of our students and for their public speaking abilities.

Building new businesses and showing enterprise is part of our ambition value.  This was our first ever year of partaking in the Tenner Challenge. Students could bid for a £10 start-up fee to run a business, they had to make sure they had a business plan and talk their ideas over with a member of staff to look at how viable it would be to make a clear profit. Aspiring entrepreneurs set up businesses in selling smoothies, beauty products, dog treats and car wash services.  Students sold their products or services at Parents Evenings and in school in order to raise a profit from their £10 funding.

Last weekend 6 students attending the annual Ten Tors event held at Okehampton Camp in the Dartmoor National Park. Their aim to complete 35 miles across the moors, navigating to Ten Tors along the way and carrying all their own kit and equipment to make them self-sufficient for the whole duration. The students experienced challenges along the way, including injuries and tricky navigation, but showed incredible determination, ambition and confidence to become the first Forest of Dean team to complete the challenge. The students will now receive their Gold confidence adventure badge which has certainly been well earned. The students involved in this gruelling event were Isla Corbjin, Billie-Mae Deakin, Joseph Griffiths, Lucy Hopkins, Jake Thomas and Alex Jones.  The students were presented with their medals by Andy Lewis MBE, European, World & Paralympic Champion during a school assembly.

We are also pleased to announce that we are now part of a pilot for the University of Birmingham working to develop character education values across Year 7.  The pilot allows our school to have access to resources to help students develop their skills through examining moral situations and events. This will allow students to think, listen and develop their own moral compass whilst embedding the values of Five Acres High School.

We now have portfolios available from reception at a cost of £3.50 so that you can store your Character Education certificates. This will be presented to you at the end of Year 11 so that you can take it to show employers and educational establishments what you have achieved over your 5 years at Five Acres High School. Payment to be made on Parent pay.