Education with Character

The John Roan School is delighted to have been awarded the “School of Character Kitemark Award” by the Association for Character Education.

As well as academic success, The John Roan School aims to develop character, compassion and service. We believe that students flourish when they have the opportunity to participate in a broad range of activities and experiences outside of their lessons.

Our PRIDE ethos is the embodiment of Education With Character, and embedded in everything we do here at The John Roan School.

This award clearly recognises the high quality of learning, mutually respectful relationships and values-driven personal development programme which are prevalent in your school’s provision.

A truly integrated and whole-school approach to character education can be transformational for a school, if led and implemented through a wise and visionary leadership. This is very much the case for the John Roan School. The assessment found that character education has been a central pillar to enable the school to transition from a place of exceptional challenge, to one that is defined by high quality relationships, and a child-centred ethos. The PRIDE values have always been a part of the school but are now front and centre, and clearly orientate all character-based activity. The decision to build on the school’s existing values when leading it through its necessary transformation, and not completely redefine the school’s ethos is to be congratulated. It demonstrates a leadership that recognises and celebrates the values that existed, but has allowed them to be ‘lived,’ enabling the John Roan School to flourish as a School of Character. "

Key Principles For Character Education

Although there is no universally accepted definition, character education can be broadly described as an approach to developing a set of values, attitudes, skills and behaviours that are thought to support young people’s development and contribute to their success in school and in adult life. These qualities include respect, leadership, motivation, resilience, self-control, self-confidence, social and emotional skills, and communication skills (Education Endowment Foundation, 2016). 

  • Character is educable and its progress can be assessed holistically 
  • Character is important: it contributes to human and societal flourishing 
  • Good education is good character education
  • Character is largely caught through rolemodelling and emotional contagion: school culture and ethos are therefore central
  • A school culture that enables students to satisfy their needs for positive relationships, competence, and self-determination facilitates the acquisition of good character
  • Character should also be taught: direct teaching of character provides the rationale, language and tools to use in developing character elsewhere in and out of school
  • Character should be developed in partnership with parents, employers and other community organisations
  • Character education is about fairness and each child has a right to character development
  • Positive character development empowers students and is liberating
  • Good character demonstrates a readiness to learn from others
  • Good character promotes democratic citizenship and autonomous decision making
The teaching of British values at The John Roan School

The teaching of British values at The John Roan School

We promote the fundamental British values of: 

  • Democracy
  • The rule of law
  • Individual liberty
  • Mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs

We apply principles that:

  • enable pupils to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence
  • enable pupils to distinguish right from wrong and to respect the civil and criminal law of England
  • encourage pupils to accept responsibility for their behaviour, show initiative and understand how they can contribute positively to the lives of those living and working in the locality in which the school is situated and to society more widely
  • enable pupils to acquire a broad general knowledge of and respect for public institutions and services in England
  • further tolerance and harmony between different cultural traditions by enabling pupils to acquire an appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures
  • encourage respect for other people, paying particular regard to the protected characteristics set out in the 2010 Act
  • encourage respect for democracy and support for participation in the democratic process, including respect for the basis on which the law is made and applied in England


How are British values promoted?

We promote British values through the curriculum to ensure the requirement to promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of pupils is met. 

Student voice and school council:

We ensure that pupils have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils. The school council represents the wider view of the school community and they meet with senior leaders and the head teacher to share and communicate these views. 

Specific examples of the teaching of British values in our school community

We include in suitable parts of the curriculum, as appropriate for the age of pupils, material on the strengths, advantages and disadvantages of democracy, and how democracy and the law works in Britain, in contrast to other forms of government in other countries.

We ensure that all pupils within the school have a voice that is listened to, and demonstrate how democracy works by actively promoting democratic processes such as a school council whose members are voted for by the pupils.

We use opportunities such as general or local elections to hold mock elections to promote fundamental British values and provide pupils with the opportunity to learn how to argue and defend points of view.

We use teaching resources from a wide variety of sources to help pupils understand a range of faiths.

We consider and review the role of extra-curricular activities, including any run directly by pupils, in promoting fundamental British values examples include the schools ‘debate mate’ and sporting, drama and musical activities that operate.

We communicate weekly value statements for the whole-school community to consider and practice. In weekly assemblies these are explored and presented in a stimulating way by specialists often from our senior leadership team, these keynote speeches are designed to explore these themes in depth.

We follow the SMSC guidance as identified by the DFE.

How is Character Education included in our school life?

PRIDE logo 2020


Across the school each department will include bespoke PRIDE Character lessons into their Schemes of Work. This ensures that students will be visiting different values across all subject areas. Character is prominent in every department curriculum intent and the whole school curriculum intent. 

Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education

We have a planned tutorial programme encompassing all aspects of our chosen values. Included in this programme are PSHE sessions. PSHE teaches students the knowledge, skills and character values needed to equip them to deal with the challenges in life. The learning opportunities cover the  core themes of;

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Relationships
  • Living in the Wider World

PSHE lessons are delivered once a week within the PRIDE character education programme.  

The whole school weekly assembly programme focuses on our PRIDE Character values.

Topics and themes are consistent across all year groups with opportunities for student leadership and teamwork.


•Pride points​ are awarded for positive contributions to school life, performance, punctuality, attendance and attitude to learning.

•Pride passport​ for years 7, 8 and 9.



•Reward visits

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Excellence in Reading

Across the year, we set aside time dedicated to reading for pleasure, including: 

  • Tutor Group Reading 
  • Year 7 and 8 Library Lessons.
  • Sixth Form Reading Group
  • Staff Reading Group
  • DEAR (Drop Everything And Read
Wider community responsibilities & civic values

Within the school curriculum, one of the key areas is active participation.  The curriculum requires that young people are provided with opportunities to participate in school and society. The school is forging international, national and local connections with external organisations and establishments in business, industry and educational establishments and recognise the opportunities these present for students to develop their character. School councils are an excellent way in which to increase participation, teaching young people about democracy, local and global citizenship and accountability.

Mycenae House Reach Out Project

An intergenerational project developed with local community hub Mycenae House has been so successful that it has been nominated for a Goldsmith's Community Award.  Mycenae Reach Out is a project run from Mycenae House Community Centre which helps those who maybe isolated and lonely to get together to make new friends and to undertake activities or attend events. Achievements include:

  • Pupils trained to become dementia friends and visiting care homes for craft sessions with residents
  • organised a Christmas Community Celebration for the local community with over 80 community members enjoying the fun. 
  • Community Tales – short stories from pupils and parents sent to residents
  • Weekly ‘Let’s Beat Loneliness Lunch Club’
  • John Roan students supported a Cabaret Clubs for seniors - over 100 people attended with student volunteers serving tea and cake and acting as stewards.

The Don McMath Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to provide free education to some of the most disadvantaged children in The Gambia. As part of our PRIDE character education programme our school community  raises money every year to support the foundation.

Student Leadership

It is important that students  learn to become excellent role models as community leaders and to respect the views of their peers. We have numerous leadership opportunities for students across all key stages which range from ambassadorial roles and sports and performance leaders to becoming school councillors or taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Students are expected to fulfil at least one whole school leadership role.

Outdoor education & enrichment

Throughout the year we offer a range of educational opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom. Examples include clubs and trips and visits which have a focus on developing the character of students. These range from a debating club which will see students focus on being respectful of each other’s opinions to joining the football team and displaying resilience and teamwork. We ensure that barriers to participation are minimised and all students have equal access. 

  • Students also have access to elite sports coaching through our absketball and football programmes.
  • Every student has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument in years 7-9 for free.

Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme

The internationally-recognised Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme has been successfully running in The John Roan since 2009 and is designed to help students learn new skills, help others, have fun, make new friends and gain a great sense of achievement. The school offers students the opportunity to undertake the Bronze Award in Year 10 and the Silver award in year 12. The award has four distinct sections, Skill Sport, Volunteering and Expedition.  In 3 of the sections students must find and undertake a skill, sport and volunteer their time for between 3 and 6 months. The final section of the award is the Expedition where students will learn the skills necessary to independently plan and take part in 2 overnight expeditions.

The school takes students to The North Downs in Kent and the New Forest for this section due to their location and outstanding natural beauty. At The John Roan we aim to run an inclusive programme providing all the equipment and training the students need to successfully complete each award which takes between 9 months to a year depending on the level.

Employers, colleges and universities really value Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards and know what it says about someone who’s an Award holder.

School PROUD Magazine

PROUD Magazine is The John Roan School magazine written and edited by our students.

Click here to read our magazine.

Jack Petchey Achievement Awards

The Jack Petchey Achievement Award Scheme recognises outstanding young people aged 11-25 across London and Essex. Award winners are young people who have gone above and beyond to achieve – perhaps when others thought they might fail.

The Achievement Awards are not solely for academic achievement – they may be used to recognise a personal triumph for someone who has faced a challenge, a young person who has pushed themselves outside of their comfort zone or it may be an opportunity to recognise the outstanding efforts of a team player.

A young person is nominated by their peers for the awards for their hard work and efforts. 

Braithwaite Centre

Set within 40 acres of land, the centre acts as the perfect base for our students to access a wide variety of pursuits they may otherwise never experience, embrace the beauty of our spectacular countryside and be challenged and inspired by the bountiful nature of outdoor life. Activities that students can enjoy include:

  • Rock climbing

  • Hill walking
  • Orienteering
  • Nature rambles
  • Canoeing
  • Swimming
  • Ghyll scrambling

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Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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