Character Toolkit for Teachers: 100+ Classroom and Whole School Character Education Activities for 5- to 11-Year-Olds

We’re delighted to have partnered up with our friends at Jessica Kingsley Publishers to run a fantastic competition to celebrate National Reading Month! Each week, we’ll feature a blog on three topical education books on our website (provided by Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

At the end of the month, we’ll be entering one lucky person the chance to win ALL of the books we feature. The winner will be announced on Day 2 of The Schools & Academies Show, ExCeL, London 3-4 April.

Tickets are free of charge – register for yours here

By Frederika Roberts and Elizabeth Wright

You know that boy who can’t sit still for one minute and focus on school work? How amazing would it be to see him sitting and quietly meditating for three minutes? How priceless would the look on his face be at the end, as he lights up with pride at his achievement? Or what about that girl whose grandad is ill and who as a result of a character workshop is now able to identify hope as her strongest character trait? Or the girl who tells you she now suffers fewer panic attacks as a result of her work on gratitude? Character and positive psychology work with children can be transformative. That’s why we do the work we do. Until we launched our character and positive education programme in 2015, we didn’t realise just how powerful this work could be, but the examples above are real; we experienced these with pupils who had gone through our programme.

Our experience of working in schools highlighted to us that there is a big gap between what teachers want to achieve for their pupils, and what the traditional curriculum allows them time for. Equipping children with essential skills to look after their mental health is increasingly important, because we have a collective responsibility to look after the wellbeing of the whole child, and because studies have linked the subjective wellbeing of students with many factors including academic achievements, social engagement and health.

Introducing, or extending the range of, character and positive education activities in the classroom and school-wide should not feel like a bolt-on or chore.  We hope that once you start exploring this area, you will have fun with it and realise it helps your pupils learn better and creates a better atmosphere in school.

Adapted from the Introduction to Character Toolkit for Teachers: 100+ Classroom and Whole School Character Education Activities for 5- to 11-Year-Old published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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