What does Character Education look like at Barnsley Academy
Our Character Curriculum works seamlessly in partnership with our existing ambitious academic offer to ensure that Barnsley Academy students can participate in a broad and enriching range of experiences throughout their academic journey, giving them endless opportunities to develop and embed our shared values of ambition, determination, and respect in all aspects of school life.
Our Character Curriculum allows students to embark on new endeavours and deepen their existing interests – whether artistic, performance, sporting, or any other skills they may have. Through our curriculum, students can flourish in their chosen activities and work in a variety of new environments as part of a team or individually. Whether through representing the academy in sports fixtures, participating in expeditions, contributing to local heritage, volunteering in the community, performing in musical or theatrical ventures, or taking on team challenges, all students develop the skills needed to succeed in society and build their cultural capital to accomplish their goals in the working world.
Our Character Curriculum comprises core and voluntary activities, which are open to students of all ages. For example, we offer the chance to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, as well as music, theatre, and performing arts clubs, sporting opportunities, and academic societies through our dynamic enrichment programme. We also offer targeted intervention sessions to selected groups of students, including timetabled rehearsal and tutoring sessions for our talented Year 7 MiSST musicians. Students can also overcome any barriers they may have to academic success by registering for our popular Champions’ Hour sessions to complete homework in school with expert support, and our Year 11 cohort can access the Success Lounge four days a week from 3pm to 6pm for silent independent study to achieve success in their GCSE examinations. Our library is available for all year groups during social times and before and after the school day for students who would like a quiet space to work and read. Success in academic and creative pursuits is rewarded with prizes and badges which contributes to a culture of aspiration and motivates our students to continually make progress.
For our entire school community, we offer a programme of core activities which all students can experience during their time at Barnsley Academy. We organise talks and workshops with a range of guest speakers, including renowned authors, emergency services, and careers talks. We also offer a wealth of trips to theatre performances, art exhibitions, ambassador training events, residential activity weekends, and visits to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. These allow our students to experience life outside Barnsley Academy and raise aspirations, so our students have the drive to succeed.
Finally, we have a very active team of Student Ambassadors and an elected Student Leadership Team, who represent the student body and can feed back to staff to improve the student experience. They are also incredibly proactive at contributing to the cultural and academic life of the school and support staff and students to create an open and welcoming environment. Students feel like they are represented and are encouraged to feed back to staff so we can work together to develop a culture of ambition, determination, and respect.