Character Education


Taught, Caught, Sought

At CGS our vision is for everyone to enjoy, achieve and belong and for our students to be exceptionally well prepared for life. Our core values are aspiration, kindness and respect. Developing character, the positive and mental attributes which make us distinctive, makes a significant contribution to this, helping ensure that students are exceptionally well prepared for life. We develop learner characteristics and positive moral and mental attributes holistically across all aspects of school life.

Character is taught explicitly in lessons at CGS. All students in Year 7 undertake a course in Critical Thinking where the CGS Learner characteristics are first embedded. These habits are further developed in lessons throughout the school.


CGS Learner1


Character is also developed through our bespoke Life Skills curriculum from Year 7 to Year 13 as students explore the themes of relationships, health and wellbeing and living in the wider world. Beyond Life Skills and Critical Thinking there are myriad ways that students develop their character across the wider taught curriculum, whether it is developing empathy when studying about the Holocaust in Year 9, or developing resilience when solving equations in Maths, students develop positive mental and moral attributes alongside their subject specific knowledge and skills.

Character is also taught explicitly through our assembly programme, which celebrates diversity, highlights the importance of character, celebrates success and fosters a sense of identity. These themes are developed further in the fortnightly tutor time character session.

Character is caught implicitly through our culture as a school, our expectations and values. All members of the school community are expected to treat themselves and others with kindness and respect and have high aspirations in relation to all that they do during their time at CGS and beyond. Character is caught in our vertical tutoring system where students in KS4 and KS5 model the values of the school to students in KS3 and share their experiences, challenges and successes throughout their time at CGS.

Finally, character education is sought by students who engage in a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities and educational visits. Our House Competition fosters a strong sense of identity and provides opportunities for students to develop their character by competing in a range of competitions including sporting events, performing arts and debating. Our educational visits programme is designed to enable students to develop their character throughout their time at CGS. Students in Year 7 attend a team building day in the first half term and an outward bound residential in the summer term where they are pushed outside of their comfort zone and take part in activities which develop resilience, communication and the ability to work effectively in a team. Students in Year 8 are offered the chance to develop reflective and empathetic traits on a visit to the Battlefields of WW1 and students in Year 9 finish the Key Stage three curriculum with an exciting and challenging Military School Day. In Key Stage 4 students are offered the opportunity to take part in the renowned Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and a range of residentials in subjects across the curriculum, including languages, history, geography and art.

Students also seek opportunities to take on leadership roles at CGS. We have over 170 students who actively participate in a diverse range of leadership opportunities. Our Student Senior Leadership Team makes an integral contribution to school life by delivering assemblies, acting as ambassadors for the school, helping to organise the House system and by taking responsibility for important aspects of school life including diversity and communication, the environment, careers and safe space. They are outstanding role models for younger students. The Student Senior Leadership Team is supported by over 100 prefects in Year 12 who embody the values of our school, act as ambassadors and volunteer across departments throughout the school.

Our Sports Leader programme gives students the opportunity to contribute to delivering our extra-curricular sports provision and our Peer Educators deliver lessons to students in Year 7 from the Life Skills curriculum.

The Building Blocks of Character

Intellectual Virtues Moral Virtues Civic Virtues Performance Virtues

Character traits that help us to make judgements.


Automomy; critical thinking; curiosity; judgement; reasoning; reflection; resourcesfulness

Character traits that enable us to treat each other with kindness and respect.


Compassion; courage; gratitude: honesty: humility: integrity; justice; respect

Character traits that help us to be responsible citizens.


Citizenship; civility; community awareness; neighbourliness; service; volunteering.

Character traits that help us to utilise the other virtues.


Confidence;determination; motivation; perseverance; resilience; collaboration

Practical Wisdom: developed through experience and reflection which enables us to perceive, know, desire and act with good sense. 

‘Good character is not formed in a week or month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character”. - Heraclitus