Character Education Statement

Why do we value Character Education?
At Orchard Primary School we acknowledge that the experiences provided for children in their primary years has a major impact on their future wellbeing and success. It is for this reason, we have made a whole school commitment to the teaching and development of character traits, attributes and behaviours which underpin achievement and success; endeavouring to ensure that developing ‘character’ goes hand in hand with high educational aspirations and achievement.


Character through the Curriculum
Through our rich and exciting creative curriculum, we focus on teaching pupils to be their best selves, to take pride in their work, and to be positive members of the school, and greater global communities.

We want to create children who thrive on challenge, love learning, respect each other and have attributes that will ensure that they will be valued members of our society.

We also create a culture where staff are empowered to take risks and be inventive with the curriculum and learning, where mistakes are seen as a valuable part of the learning process, where all staff and governors support each other and the ethos of the school and most importantly where the relationships in the school between all stakeholders provides a secure foundation for skill development.


Our Values
Inspire - Create - Achieve

At Orchard Primary School, we have the highest aspirations for our children.

Deeply committed to providing the best possible education for all pupils, we place a child’s happiness and excellent standards of teaching, learning and leadership at the heart of all we do.

We believe that time in school should be rewarding and fulfilling. We, therefore, pride ourselves on creating an exciting and inspirational learning environment, through the implementation of a wide-ranging and challenging curriculum that meets the needs of the whole child and enables each individual to develop high self-esteem and experience success in both education and in their personal growth. 

Through our caring and inclusive learning environment, we aim to nurture and develop mutual respect, tolerance and teamwork - encouraging pupils to embrace diversity and value one another equally.

We are dedicated to promoting in pupils: resilience, a positive learning attitude and independence. We place a huge emphasis on the importance of kindness, consideration and good manners.

Determined that our pupils leave Orchard, as confident, responsible, life-long learners able to make a positive contribution to society, we strive to create a learning community, rich in opportunity, where everyone is valued, empowered and challenged to achieve their potential and excel in their achievements.


Areas of Responsibility
Pupils throughout the school are offered opportunities to take responsibility, to show initiative and to extend their social and cultural experiences.

These roles include: Classroom Monitors; School Council Representatives; House Captains; Anti-Bullying Ambassadors (ABA); Librarians; Playground Pals/Play Coaches and Hall Monitors.


Values Assemblies
Values Assemblies teach pupils about the personal qualities valued in society e.g. honesty, consideration, independence and self-respect. Assemblies also enable pupils to explore issues relating directly to rules, behaviour and bullying.


Achievement Celebration Assembly
We hold a weekly Achievement Celebration Assembly where we celebrate children’s classroom achievements. Each week teachers choose pupils to receive certificates for a range of attributes, both personal and academic e.g. ‘Star of the Week’, ‘Writer of the Week’, general ‘Well Done’ certificates, best class attendance etc.

The ‘Values Certificate’ is awarded once a week in an achievement assembly to a child chosen by their class teacher who has demonstrated one of the school’s five values (Positive; Respectful; Independent; (appreciation of ) Diversity; Enthusiastic).


The Always Children
Each class teacher will keep a record of the ‘always children.’ These are children who never need verbal reminders, never lose Golden Time, consistently work hard and are outstanding role models in terms of both behaviour and their learning attitude. At the end of each half-term, any child who is on the list will be given a special award in Assembly.


Hot Chocolate Fridays Have Arrived!
Mrs Shields has launched ‘Hot Chocolate Friday’!

The idea of Hot Chocolate Friday is for a member of staff to nominate a child from their class who has gone ‘over and above’ during the week to share a hot drink and a chat together, with Mrs Shields.

It’s an opportunity to say ‘Well Done’ to members of the school who get on quietly but might not always get the recognition they deserve. What better way to end the working week than with your hands around a mug of warm, comforting chocolate, especially on a cool Autumn day – Mrs Shields is certainly enjoying it!


DFE Character Education Benchmarks
A new set of “benchmarks” for schools to rate their character education against has been published by the Department for Education

As a school, we evaluated our provision in February. To view our evaluation, click on the link below.
 Character Education Benchmark Report 2020.pdf


Character Education Highlights 2021-22

Leadership Councils & Sports Ambassadors
Our Sports Ambassadors have done a superb job and have really impressed staff with their responsible attitudes over the last year. The job of a Sports ‘Leader’ requires pupils to act as a ‘Playground Pal’ to play a leadership role at break and lunch times; organising play activities for our younger pupils and ensuring that all children are being kind and considerate towards one another.

Learning how to Learn
We pumped up our Character Muscles big time in the Autumn Term, focusing on the following:

Enthusiasm: Ready and keen to learn all there is to know, and to contribute and enjoy.
Concentration: The act of focusing your attention.  The art of not being distracted.
Curiosity: A strong desire to know or learn something.  Asking questions to learn more.
Self-Control:  Restraining yourself from doing something that may not be appropriate at the time.  Involves self-control.
Creativity: Forming new ideas, images, or concepts.
Co-operation: The ability to work together. May involve compromise or self-sacrifice.
Teamwork/Inclusiveness:  Allowing others to join in and not limiting yourself to certain people.
Friendship: Involves trust, generosity, sharing, empathy and more.  Shouldn’t be treated lightly or traded away.
Kindness: Being generous, thoughtful, and friendly.
Resilience: The ability to recover from difficulties.
Listening: Listening politely and respecting other people’s ideas.   

Leadership Councils & Sports Ambassadors
Our Sports Ambassadors have done a superb job and have really impressed staff with their responsible attitudes over the last year. The job of a Sports ‘Leader’ requires pupils to act as a ‘Playground Pal’ to play a leadership role at break and lunch times; organising play activities for our younger pupils and ensuring that all children are being kind and considerate towards one another.

Their in-school training allows them to think about and prepare for their leadership role, helps to boost their confidence in working with others, and enables them to understand how to be an effective leader of others through the development of skills relating to organisation and communication.

The younger children benefit too by having older pupils lead their games, and help to solve problems if any should arise.

Members of our other Leadership Councils have also been a huge help. We’re very proud of our young leaders - well done!

Character Ed Fridays
We made sure that in the Autumn Term, we really focused on helping pupils to have a happy and positive end to the week through our Friday afternoon Character Education sessions.

Children use play to connect, to process and to make sense of their world so activities undertaken every Friday afternoon were, as much as possible, hands on, sensory, creative and fun, to support pupils in settling back into school and talking about their feelings.

Well-being and ‘Values’ Assemblies
All of our assemblies this year have had a ‘message’ – values, character, morals. We have loved learning about how to be a brilliant citizen through stories, such as The squirrels Who Squabbled and You Be You, and have also explored films that raise philosophical questions, such as Pixar’s The Birds.

Happy Lunchtimes
We’ve made sure that pupils in KS1 have a chance to take part in mindfulness activities, meditation and creative projects linked to character education qualities such as teamwork and creativity.

Y3 Residential to Beaumanor Hall– Determination, Perseverance and Teamwork
Year 3 pupils had a wonderful time at Beaumanor. The children proved themselves to be great outdoor learners and fabulous teammates!  They gave every activity a really good go to strengthen the muscles needed to tackle extra challenges!

World Religion Day – Respect for different cultures and faiths
We are very big on tolerance, harmony and respect at Orchard and so wanted to celebrate World Religion Day by having a special themed afternoon in January.

Through a variety of activities, pupils were encouraged to acknowledge the similarities that different beliefs have, and to explore some of the key beliefs and practices associated with either Judaism, Hinduism or Islam. 

Remembrance Day – Gratitude & Courage
Pupils took part in a special day of gratitude and remembrance to mark Armistice Day.

Kindness & Anti-Bullying Day
Pupils across the school joined in the ‘Big Anti-Bullying Assembly’, sponsored by The Diana Award and Nationwide Building Society.

Via a virtual assembly, pupils were reminded about the need for mutual respect in our school and communities. Together, we pledged to put an end to bullying, to celebrate diversity and to create communities of kindness. We then took part in a range of activities to help us learn more about friendship.

Curiosity – British Science Week
Pupils participated in a carousel of activities for a whole day where they explored this year’s theme. We certainly strengthened our curiosity muscle!


Children's Mental Health Week

To acknowledge Children’s Mental Health Week 2023 (6-12 Feb) pupils took part in a variety of activities to fit in with this year’s theme of ‘Let’s Connect’.

Pupils were helped to understand that when we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. When our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health.

The week ended with a fun ‘Dress to Express’ non-uniform theme.

Respect for the Environment
As well as doing lots of outdoor learning and taking part in ECO Club, all of our classes braved a very cold and windy February week to undertake the 2023 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Pupils had a great time completing the survey.

Thanks also to our ECO Club for litter picking and looking after our wildlife areas. Under the watchful eye of Mr Owen, they are working really hard to ensure that our school grounds look good.

To demonstrate kindness, compassion and empathy, we like to take part in fundraising activities to help support a range of charities. This year we’ve helped support Macmillan, Children in Need, Save the Children, the WWF and Atoll Nature Reserve.

We’ve also continued to run our Food Bank.

Our Christmas activities once again had a Character Education focus, with pupils exploring a range of activities designed to help them improve teamwork, problem-solving and creativity. The UKS2 enterprise scheme was yet again a huge success – great use of teamwork and creativity.

Gardening Club Pop-Up Stall

We were so proud of the Gardening Club for running their very own plant sale after school. Having grown everything from seed, they created labels and a poster for their very own ‘pop-up stall’. Thanks to Mr Owen for supporting the children. 

Anti-Bullying Ambassadors 2023

We are so proud of our Anti-Bullying Team this year. They had completed their final ‘Diana Award’ training session, and are now ready to apply for their ‘Respect’ badge. As part of this, they will be running a campaign over the next couple of weeks, and making a video for the website.

WOW Week 2023

What an amazing week Wow Week for Y5/6. Taskmaster, food tech, archery, martial arts, team building, den building, multi-sports, games throughout the ages, Rebound, Escape Room…the trip to Alton Towers was a big hit!

Y5/6 Enterprise Scheme 2023

Congratulations to Year 5 & 6 pupils for running a fantastic Enterprise morning. They raised £650 by ‘growing’ their £1 loans. We were blown away by their high levels of creativity, teamwork and entrepreneurial skills. Thank you so much to parents for sending children in with money to spend. They had a great time! All of the money raised will go towards enrichment activities for all classes.

Turtle Fundraiser

As well as hearing all about ocean life and the impact of plastic pollution, pupils learnt about two very special Sea Turtles, Hope and Donatello - through the story.

They even found time to raise funds for Atoll Marine Conservation based in the Maldives through their special ‘wear blue’ non-uniform event!

Cake Fundraiser January 2023

Well done to pupils in Classes 8,9 & 10 who brought in cakes for a whole school fundraising initiative, led and organised by a group of Year 6 pupils. After hearing about the plight of some endangered species, notably ‘The Big 5’, pupils were keen to raise money for the WWF. They devised the event,  advertised it, got their friends involved and raised £535! Absolutely brilliant!

Wombles in Litter Assembly

Thank you to Geoff and Keith from ‘Wombles in Litter Education’ for a super assembly which raised awareness of the harm litter causes for our environment and wildlife.