The MFG and Sixth Form was selected by the Department for Education (DfE) Character Awards judging panel as a regional winner. We were invited to celebrate our success and receive the award from the Secretary of State, Nicky Morgan, at an Award Ceremony on Monday 16th March, in London. The £15,000 prize will help us to further develop the ‘Everyone, Exceptional, Every Day’ character development programme at The MFG.
Our vision at The MFG is ‘Everyone, Exceptional, Every Day,’ and a ‘can do’ attitude is at the heart of everything we do. Students have a genuine desire to learn; they can lead their own learning in lessons and strive to achieve in an environment of mutual trust and respect. Our culture celebrates achievement, leadership and excellence which encourages students to sustain the personal drive required to achieve their full potential and to become confident, capable and powerful learners for the rest of their lives. So that students can access challenging pathways with confidence and have the skills to be inspiring future leaders we have established a wide variety of character development programmes and activities both in and outside lessons in collaboration with staff, students, parents, businesses, universities, charities and the Think Futures Team.
Some of the examples of programmes and/or extra-curricular activities introduced at The MFG to develop character traits, attributes and behaviours include:
- ‘Be The Best You Can Be’ and ‘Habits of Mind’ Programmes which foster the development of perseverance, resilience, drive, confidence and ambition.
- ‘High 5’ and ‘Values’ Tutorial Programmes which promote the development of honesty, tolerance and integrity and reiterate the importance of having an outstanding attitude to ultimately impact on future opportunities and pathways.
- Reward Programmes which celebrate the development of exemplary attitude, behaviour and progress.
- ‘True Colors’ © workshops for students and staff which promote the development of tolerance and respect for others.
- Leadership and Volunteering Pathways which develop community spirit and ambition. Examples include assisting with the organisation and delivery of: Year 9 Careers Fair, successful sports festivals and primary events, charity fundraising, peer and reading mentoring.
- Extensive enrichment programmes e.g. sport, drama, music, Duke of Edinburgh Award, work experience, Career Spotlight sessions.
- ‘Be A Star’ Programme; raising students’ self-awareness, drive and ambition to help better equip them to secure places at leading universities.
- Business Mentoring and Assertive Mentoring initiatives, which support raising confidence and aspirations.
The DfE Character Awards explained that our application demonstrated “excellent practice in character education” and was praised by the judging panel for “developing the character traits, attributes and behaviours that underpin success in school and work.” (February 2015). Speaking about all the winners, education secretary Nicky Morgan also said: “Teaching character not only benefits children at school - it also plays a vital role in ensuring young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Investing in the character of young people will not only help them succeed academically, but also improve their job prospects and help them bounce back from setbacks”.