Aristotle believed that education not only needed an intellectual focus, but also a focus on character. In Aristotle’s eyes, education ought to create an ethical and virtuous person.
Warwick School shares Aristotle’s views. We do not believe education should just be delivered through the confines of a school curriculum. We believe that a holistic approach to education is required and central to this is the development of our pupils’ character. Our aim is to ensure students develop a well-rounded set of character traits which will equip them for life beyond Warwick School.
We consider character to be a set of mental and moral qualities that makes individuals unique. Character is not something we are born with but is something one develops over time. We believe that a pupil’s character can be developed and enhanced in the following ways:
- Character caught – character is caught through a positive and virtuous school community, where all pupils aspire to be role models of good character for their peers. We believe that this is supported by the formational relationships created across the school (through its house structure) and through the school’s ethos;
- Character taught – character can be taught through the formal school curriculum and also through the school’s Floreat Programme, which is designed to foster and develop a positive, well-rounded character in our pupils, which is intended to equip them to flourish in life; and
- Character sought – character is sought through the experiences they chose to partake in within and outside the formal curriculum. The school ensures that pupils’ creativity, curiosity and ability to challenge themselves is facilitated through the extensive co-curricular activities on offer, which includes volunteering, sport, performing arts, intellectual enrichment (through its Encounters programme, Mulley programme and opportunity to enter various national competitions), and so on.
What is it?
A central tenet of the school’s Character Education programme is the Floreat Diploma, which the school has created to focus on four character ‘building blocks of character’ (otherwise known as ‘virtues’):
Intellectual virtues are those which are necessary for the pursuit of knowledge, truth and understanding. Examples of these are critical thinking, judgement, reasoning and reflection.
Moral virtues are traits which enable us to act well in situations that require an ethical response. Someone with moral virtues often is courageous, honest, just and fair.
Civic virtues ensure we are engaged in responsible citizenship. We contribute to the common good for the wider community and society around us. Essentially, we are culturally aware and benefit the wider world we inhabit.
Performance virtues are those which involve collaboration with others. They allow us to work positively in a group and include attributes such as confidence, leadership and teamwork.
The school’s Floreat Diploma is a multi-year, interdisciplinary initiative designed to incorporate the above four virtues. Throughout their time at Warwick School Sixth Form, pupils will be required to amass 80 hours of identified activities within each of the ‘virtues’ (42 hours in the Moral Virtue category). Pupils who successfully complete the Diploma will be awarded an EduQual accredited qualification.
Why are Sixth Form pupils required to do this?
- As stated above, character is a set of mental and moral qualities that make everyone unique. Character develops over time. Character qualities can be both positive and negative. If pupils actively practice them, they will develop and become part of their character. To develop a positive, well-rounded character which is equipped to flourish in life, pupils need to challenge themselves in a range of different ways which this diploma aims to do.
- To get into a top university, it’s often not enough just to get good A-Level grades. Universities want students who are passionate about their subject, who think for themselves and who are independent. ‘Extra-curricular’ activities are those which refer to an ‘extra’ activity you pursue outside normal lessons – these are the tasks included in the Diploma which will make pupils into interesting, well rounded people who are prepared for university or job interviews, admissions tests / assessments.
- The Floreat Diploma is an EduQual awarded and accredited qualification. This means it has status and recognition beyond Warwick School.
If you are interested in the Floreat Programme and would like to find out more, please contact Mr. C. Bennett, the Assistant Head of Sixth Form and Acting Head of Character Education.