What is character education and why is it important for school students?

Character education and pastoral care at Blundell's School in Devon

Whilst good qualifications and intellectual prowess may determine where you begin in life after school, it is character that will determine how far you go. - Credit: Blundell's School

Taking a pupil’s individuality into account can help them make important decisions and prepare them for the world ahead.

This is why, according to Bart Wielenga, head of Blundell’s School in Tiverton, learning more about a child’s character is essential.

Located in the sprawling Devonshire countryside, in the heart of the West Country, Blundell’s School is dedicated to providing children between the ages of three and 18, with a tailored and dedicated curriculum. Below, Bart shares the benefits character education can offer your child.

Q: What is character education?

Character education at Blundells School in Tiverton, Devon

Bart Wielenga, head of Blundell's School, explains how helping pupils to reflect on themselves can enable them to make a meaningful difference in the community. - Credit: Blundell's School

A: Character education is about teaching pupils to make good choices. It is an iterative process, and we never complete the task, but it helps pupils to reflect on themselves, their character strengths, and how they might use those qualities to make a meaningful difference in the lives of people around them and in wider society. If education is about the acquisition of knowledge and understanding then character education helps pupils to know and understand themselves better and to help them to thrive as members of a community.

Q: Why is character education important to teach in schools?

A: Whilst good qualifications and intellectual prowess may determine where you begin in life after school, it is character that will determine how far you go.

Character traits alone are neither good nor bad; it is instead the actions we take that determine the outcome. Character education teaches children an important life lesson – that there is meaning and consequence behind every decision we make. It helps pupils develop a sense of responsibility, preparing them for higher education, the workplace and to become better friends, partners and parents in the future.

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Q: How can character education improve pupils’ academic performance?

Character education and curriculum at Blundell's School in Devon

Blundell's School is dedicated to ensuring every child that steps through their door feels welcome and receives the same outstanding education. - Credit: Blundell's School

A: Pupils need more than just intellect to succeed. They also need determination, resilience, motivation and resourcefulness. We believe in ensuring our pupils can learn in a warm, nurturing environment where they can discover these abilities. When pupils know how to motivate themselves and are enthusiastic about learning, they can push themselves further and achieve more.

Q: What qualities should parents look for when choosing their child’s next school?

A: Opt for a school where teachers and pupils share good bonds and trust one another. As a boarding community, we’re able to provide round-the-clock care and get to know each child individually, making them feel valued and supported.

It’s also important to choose a school with recognised achievements and high standards of excellence, as this will encourage your child to challenge themselves. At Blundell’s School, we offer a rich and diverse curriculum and wealth of opportunities, both in and outside of the classroom. We encourage pupils to take an active approach to their education and use the latest research to inform how we teach.

Blundell's School in Tiverton teaches children between three to 18

Blundell’s School provides children between the ages of three and 18, with a tailored and dedicated curriculum. - Credit: Blundell's School

Our varied co-curricular programme also ensures pupils try new things, discover something they love, and increase their sense of belonging and self-esteem.

Finally, pick a school where students are happy and are having fun. School should be an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone. Proactive pastoral care is fundamental to everything we do at Blundell’s because we recognise when a child is content and feels secure, then they can get the most from their education.

Q: How can parents find out more about Blundell’s School?

A: We host regular open days and guest mornings at the prep and senior school. You can also book an individual visit. A range of scholarships are available for academics, art, music, drama and sport. There’s also a generous bursary programme on offer to cover fees and support talented students who want to make the most of the opportunities on offer at Blundell’s.

We are dedicated to ensuring every child that steps through our door feels welcome, receives the same outstanding education, and the support they need throughout their school journey.

To arrange a visit, or find out more visit blundells.org.

Call 01884 232310 or email admissions@blundells.org.