The Bath Rugby Foundation have said they are delighted to have been selected as a regional winner in the Department for Education Character Awards.
The DfE received a high volume of quality applications demonstrating how schools and organisations across the country are working to prepare young people for life in modern Britain.
The Foundation was able to demonstrate excellent practice in character education and was praised by the DfE judging panel for developing the character traits, attributes and behaviours that underpin success in school and work.
Bath Rugby Foundation’s flagship character development programme, ‘Stickability’ is delivered free of charge by Foundation teachers and coaches in primary schools across the Bath & North East Somerset and Wiltshire areas, to pupils aged 7-11.
The programme incorporates six weekly two-hour sessions for a whole class of pupils.
The first hour of each session uses a sporting theme to help pupils improve their literacy skills, and the second hour supports their physical development through Tag Rugby and multiskills activities.
The programme is supported financially by local education supplies company The Consortium, who also provide their staff as volunteers to support the delivery of the programme in schools.
Throughout each 2-hour session, five key character attributes are developed by using an individual sticker system and specific positive praise.
The praise focusses on the process the child uses rather than the outcome, with the aim of helping each child to develop a ‘Growth Mindset’.
Each ‘skill’ has a different sticker, which the pupils are given along with praise when they are identified to be using a particular skills.
One of the most successful aspects of the programme is that pupils are encouraged to reward each other with stickers at appropriate moments, which enables them to further develop their social skills and empathy.
Bath Rugby Foundation works with children and young people who are among the most vulnerable in our local area.
They may be socially isolated or living in an area of deprivation; they may have a physical or learning disability, be long-term unemployed, NEET, or at risk of social or school exclusion.
All of their programmes are united by one factor, they use the power of sport to build young people’s confidence and help them to live successful, happy and healthy lives.
All of the young people they work with are encouraged to respond positively to whatever challenges they may be facing, and they seek to give them to tools to overcome their future challenges too.
The foundation use the same approaches to develop their own staff, many of whom have come through their programmes as volunteers, participants and apprentices, to build their resilience and character alongside their practical skills.
Announcing the winners of the Character Awards, the Secretary of State for Education said that funding initiatives ensures pupils develop resilience and grit, helping them to stay on the right track once they leave school – improving their employment chances and increasing their participation in society.
Bath Rugby Foundation Education Manager Vicky Heslop will attend the awards ceremony in London on 16th March where she will receive the award from the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan.