Students take part in special leadership and enrichment programme ‘Character at Home’ during distance learning period. New at-home initiative is inspired by successful Education with Character programme already in place at the Academy.
This term, students at Northampton Academy are taking part in a new leadership and enrichment programme – ‘Character at Home’ – designed specially by staff to support students’ character development during the current home learning period.
As one of the first schools in the country to be awarded the prestigious ‘School of Character’ kitemark, Northampton Academy is committed to delivering an Education with Character to all its students. This means encouraging students to embrace new challenges head on, show respect for the people and places around them, and aspire to achieve the highest outcomes for themselves. ‘Character at Home’ builds on this commitment and ensures that, as well as having access to a full curriculum of academic subjects, students continue to develop other necessary skills and attributes at this unprecedented time.
As part of the innovative at-home programme, the Academy has put together a series of high-quality online resources, hosted on the school website. These include twelve ‘Character Lessons’, where students can explore values like curiosity, integrity and resilience through a number of interactive, online presentations. Each week, students are also given access to a new set of TED Talks and an online assembly, with this week’s one on Performance Values delivered by the Academy’s Principal, Nat Parnell.
Alongside these online resources, staff have designed an impressive programme of weekly enrichment activities for students to enjoy from home after a day of lessons. For example, in Wednesday’s Debate Club students are asked to debate a specific topic with members of their household and write a short synopsis of their views, developing their rhetoric and analytical skills. Likewise, in Friday’s Photography Club, students are set a new photography challenge each week that helps to develop their curiosity and creativity.
Finally, the initiative encourages students to develop their leadership skills, communication and confidence by completing activities that are part of the Distance Leadership Programme. This could mean anything from creating and hosting a special quiz for members of their household, to learning a new skill and teaching it to someone else.
To help students monitor their progress, the Academy has created a special ‘Character Passport’ where they can log the activities they’ve taken part in and reflect on what they’ve learnt. At the end of the programme students will get the chance to celebrate their efforts, receiving a gold, silver or bronze certificate based on their level of participation.
Nat Parnell, Principal of Northampton Academy, said:
“As a School of Character, we strive to give all our students access to opportunities where they can develop all the wider skills and attributes that they need to be successful - both now and for the future. During these challenging times, it is important that we continue to provide a rich array of experiences, alongside a rigorous academic education, so that students can carry on making strong progress in their learning and as individuals.
“It has been fantastic to see so many of our students engage with our ‘Character at Home’ programme so far and, in doing so, work to become the best versions of themselves. I look forward to seeing what our young people continue to achieve during this distance learning period and to celebrating all of their efforts in due course.”