At Lode Heath School, we have introduced character indicators to both curriculum time and wider school life under the banner of PRIDE and STARS.
PRIDE stands for: participation, respect, independence, determination, and energy. These attributes represent what we believe the best students demonstrate within the classroom and stand as our guiding principles across all lessons.
Within the wider curriculum, Learning PRIDE is integrated into teaching with the use of logos to represent each element during lesson time. Where appropriate, teachers signpost students to the character attribute they wish to see demonstrated whether it be as part of a respectful classroom discussion, a challenging task that requires determination or other scenarios between.
Since the introduction of Learning PRIDE, students have developed their understanding of our expectations of them and rise to the challenge of meeting those goals. Where deserved, they are rewarded with positive behaviour points. If they are lucky, a member of leadership or the pastoral team may be passing by with our school sweet trolley to offer specific treats for those who have demonstrated learning PRIDE within their lesson. Unsurprisingly, this has proved a popular addition to school life!
STARS stands for: sincere, thoughtful, aspirational, resilience and solidarity. These attributes represent the very heart of our school family. They are sought out and specifically targeted as they contribute to the overall ethos of our school and can be seen in every action, activity and interaction that takes place within the building.
Our approach to character is virtue-led with specific focus on celebrating those who have demonstrated strength of character in lessons and across wider school life.
We hold termly celebration assemblies during which rewards, badges and colours are given to those who have earnt them; whether it be through the accumulation of positive behaviour points or because they have been nominated for an award by staff. The rewards are displayed on the students' blazers as a visible reminder of a student’s success.
At the end of each term, we hold a ‘zero-heroes’ event for students who have managed to go the entire term without collecting a negative behaviour point. This event is held as a celebration in the main school hall with rewards such as hot chocolate, easter eggs and a free ice-cream van.
At the end of the academic year, we celebrate those who have embodied the ethos of our school having consistently high standards of positive behaviour with a rewards trip. Last year this culminated in 750 students being taken to a local theme park – our largest ever trip.
Wider School Life
At Lode Heath, we offer a broad range of extra-curricular trips, visits, clubs, and societies. Our trip programme offers a range of one day educational visits to support the curriculum as well as longer excursions to provide vital experiences outside of the classroom. Recent offerings include a trip to London, a three-day visit to the battlefields of France and a series of team building days at a local adventure centre, funded for all students to attend. There are also opportunities for students to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme from year 9 onwards.
Our offering of clubs and societies ranges from the sporting to the academic and all else between. With everything from boxing to netball, from debating to chess, students have access to a broad range of opportunities and are encouraged to attend through termly advertisement on their year group team pages.
Within each subject area, opportunities for the inclusion of cultural capital are exploited in full with classes being exposed to a wide range of materials and content. Specific focus is made during the form time programme with current affairs quizzes and a feature called ‘building cultural capital’ within which a famous person, their contribution to society and their unique character traits are celebrated. Examples include Malala Yousafzai, Akala, Greta Thunberg, and Johnson Beharry to name just a few.
Our recently re-formed student council has had an immediate impact on character development across school with students from all year groups represented within the team. Our democratic style of nomination, campaigning and voting has promoted excellence at every turn and has resulted in a strong cohort of senior students who participate in wider school life. Their influence ranges from the decisions made within school to involvement in the development of form time activities and even holding assemblies to support with the weekly CPD focus. Our current team recently visited the local mayor’s office and held their council meeting in his presence. They have also held conferences and given talks with other student teams from across our school trust. All charity appeals and fund-raising events are led by the student council.