Character cash win

Gordano School, Portishead students celebrating receiving character award

Gordano School, Portishead students celebrating receiving character award - Credit: Archant

THE work a North Somerset school carries out to improve pupils’ character has resulted in it winning £15,000 from the Department for Education.

Gordano School in Portishead has been named as one of only 27 schools and groups in Britain to win a 2015 Character Award.

Created by the Government to recognise the efforts of schools and organisations toward preparing young people for adult life and improving their future prospects, this is the first year the awards have been given out.

As part of its award application, Gordano School sought to highlight some of the schemes it runs to improve pupils’ attitudes and skills.

This included its extra-curricular programme which was launched last year and is open to all pupils in years seven to 11. It is considered a great way to introduce pupils to new activities through sessions including afterschool master classes, photography workshops, a chess club, garden club and a range of music lessons.

The school has also worked on creating an outstanding effort culture by developing the Effort Profile, which defines governors’, teachers’ and pupils’ expectations of effort and supports youngsters to improve their independence and self-management.

From September, students will also have access to an online portal where they will be able to reflect on the skills they develop at school.

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Another aspect of its work highlighted in Gordano School’s application was its Gordano Partners scheme. This brings local business representatives into the school to encourage greater knowledge of the workplace and business practices.

As part of this, students take part in mock interviews, business breakfasts and career workshops.

Commenting on the award, headteacher Gary Lewis said: “It is very encouraging to know the work that we are doing here with our young people meets this national gold standard.”

Announcing the winners of the Character Awards, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said that funding such initiatives ensures pupils develop resilience and grit, helping them to stay on the right track once they leave school.

This year’s winners were chosen by a panel of experts. An overall winner will be chosen from the 27 schools and groups to get an award on March 16 and they will receive an additional £20,000.