Character First Introduction
The growing importance of learning outside the classroom, extra-curricular activities, expeditions and well-being programmes as part of the school curriculum cannot be underestimated.
Our programmes and activities are carefully designed to encourage the development of character. These are underpinned by a set of strong values that promote resilience, kindness and tolerance, and this can have a profound effect on children’s levels of achievement and confidence. In turn, this allows them to achieve greater success in their academic work while expecting excellence from themselves and those around them.
There is clearly a growing need for schools to recognise and engage with the need to nurture non- cognitive skills alongside academic achievement and, what is collectively termed, ‘strength of character’, but could include self-control, persistence, conscientiousness, grit and self confidence to name but a few. Studies have shown that possessing these traits, among others, are consistent indicators of success in adult life in terms of income, happiness and family stability. ‘Strength of Character’, of course, is a rather imprecise term. We have a good idea of what is meant went someone is described as possessing a strong character, but what does it actually signify in terms of character traits and how it can be measured? Taking children out of the classroom for non–curricular activities has long been thought to be beneficial to their wellbeing, but how is this then translated into tangible results that are measurable for both the learner and the school? Character-First’s approach is to design specific programmes to suit the needs of the individual school, its children and the community it serves with measurable benefits.
Value for money
We recognise the increasing pressures on school budgets; the reducing general annual grants along with an overall reduction in education funding; there are significant pressures on budgets and how they are spent. Assuring monies are spent appropriately on services and supply contracts that offer real value is therefore paramount for the school, its board and trustees and of course the parents. Through our supply chain and Head Office procurement teams, we help guarantee real savings for MATs and schools across the alternative and Character learning activities. We provide robust and disciplined financial plans – identifying real cost savings – and reporting as an integrated element of the overall service delivery. Reporting will be provided on a monthly and quarterly basis and will include trend analysis comparing budget forecast vs actual and planned spend.