Our character education programme is about teaching students the core virtues we all need to co-operate and keep our society running smoothly. Character education focuses on developing students to have a strong moral compass– like respect, perseverance, integrity, and tolerance, all the virtues that a society needs for people to live and work together peacefully. We teach these virtues through everything we do from student conversations to assemblies and our rewards system is based on the virtues.

The Bedford SPIRIT

S We STRIVE for excellence. We choose to be the best versions of ourselves, to be better than we were yesterday. We get better by taking small simple steps and always asking ourselves ‘what can I do to get better?’ We strive to concentrate and stay focused in lessons because we know we are all capable of doing so.

We want the best for ourselves and our futures and work hard to get it. We learn well, dream big and have ambition. We play the long game and aspire to do well. Our horizons are wide, and we are excited to explore.

P We PERSEVERE, when the going gets difficult. We value being mentally tough and resilient and can draw upon inner strength when we are being challenged. We recognise that hard work helps us to improve. Growth only comes from moving outside one’s comfort zone. We solve problems and have a ‘can do’ attitude. We focus and reflect on ourselves as learners to make progress. We manage our workloads at home and complete home work to a good standard.

I INTEGRITY is important to us. Simply do the right thing, because it’s right! Often the strong choice is the right thing to do and the weak choice is the easy option. Forming our own ideas and being honest about ourselves and having the confidence to do what is right. We see our school as democratic and trust the rule of law. We listen carefully to other opinions and decide for ourselves.

R We show RESPECT to others. Students should have a sense of duty towards the school, their classmates and their teachers. We are part of a team.

We show respect for the opportunities that we have been given. We are grateful for what we have (however little this might be). We are grateful to have adult role models, good parents, good teachers, great friends and everyone who helps us be a better person. We value gratitude over a sense of entitlement. Gratitude is an essential component in living a happy, satisfying life.

We respect the authority of adults, who have spent years building up the knowledge that they have. Adult authority, when coupled with high aspirations and respect for the student in one’s care, is essential to allow students to flourish. Students accept the rules because they know the adults want the best for them. The teachers enforce the rules because they really care about the students. Teacher authority is essential if students are to grow up safe, happy and able to flourish.

I We are INDEPENDENT, influenced by the good and have the strength of character to resist the bad. Successful people are self-disciplined and are less reliant on imposed discipline i.e. needing to be told what to do. We respect individual liberty and others’ freedom. When we achieve, we have made that happen ourselves.

T We show TOLERANCE and kindness towards others. We are strict on ourselves and tolerant of others. When we encounter others, who are different from us, or hold different views, we are curious, and we are not judgemental. We tolerate those of different faiths and beliefs. Understanding difference and celebrating diversity is important to us and what makes our school unique. We empathise with others and have a positive influence on those around us.

By following the Bedford SPIRIT we make ourselves better, and we also help to make our community better.