Special character award delight for first school

It was celebration time for Morpeth First School just before the end of term as it became the first, first school in the world to be awarded the ‘School of Character’ Kitemark.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 11:00 am
Sadie Rodway, blonde hair, and Nadine Fielding with a group of Morpeth First School pupils.

In November 2020, following Nadine Fielding’s appointment as headteacher, staff and governors met to discuss and create a new vision and to decide on the character values they wanted to instil in pupils.

The Association for Character Education’s Kitemark is awarded to schools which can demonstrate that they take an explicit, planned and reflective approach to the cultivation of positive character qualities in their pupils in the interests of human flourishing.

Alongside the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum pupils receive a weekly lesson on character – the taught element of Character Education – with staff modelling the character values and recognising when pupils demonstrate those values themselves.

Nadine said: “I am bursting with pride at what the staff and children have achieved in such a short space of time.

“It was extremely important for us to create a vision based on our character values and to take a journey that made Character Education visible as taught, caught and sought across the school.

“Our children are extremely good at identifying opportunities to develop characters, often by helping others, and this forms the sought part of our education program.

“I would also like to give special thanks to Sadie Rodway, our character champion, who has worked tirelessly over the last year to ensure Character Education is truly embedded throughout the school.

“She has done an amazing job and we as a school couldn't be more thankful.”

The school is only one of four primary aged education settings in the country to receive this award following an extensive application process.

Guy Renner-Thompson, Northumberland County Council cabinet member with responsibility for children’s services, said: “This is a brilliant achievement for Morpeth First School.

“It is great to see that they have instilled Character Education throughout their school, giving their children the best start in life.”