“Character education and the formation of all aspects of the human person through the pursuit of the virtues not only enhances the education of the individual and respects their dignity, it promotes the common good and the flourishing of human society in the world” (Bishop Marcus Stock)
Virtue is not a word in common use in society at large, but it is common to hear parents, teachers and children talk about being loving, respectful, honest, thankful, brave, fair, compassionate, forgiving, etc. At Our Lady Immaculate, we believe that virtues build ethos and are ways that help us to live a good life and to follow the right path. A virtue is a quality of good character, character which is shaped by the performance of virtues: one honest act does not make a person honest, but a determination to be honest performed in a series of honest acts throughout one’s life makes one an honest person – we are what we repeatedly do! Virtues encourage a habitual way of behaving, a disposition, that forms good character and, at the same time, constitute a particular kind of community. Our community!
At Our Lady Immaculate we have chosen eight Virtues, which we follow in school to improve the school community’s virtue literacy. This helps to deepen our understanding and appreciation of the essential role virtues play in the education of the whole person towards human flourishing:
Every three weeks we have a new Virtue which we all try to live by, and the chosen Virtue is linked to the academic year.
To ensure children and young people are given opportunities to:
- Experience a positive and purposeful ethos providing a sense of belonging to their school community.
- Grow in their knowledge and understanding of the virtues.
- Practise the virtues to further the call to live life to the full.
- Appreciate the connection between biblical and practical wisdom and living.
- Hear the Christian story and encounter it in practice.
- Understand their uniqueness and dignity as made in the image and likeness of God.
- Know that our limitations are also opportunities for growth.
- To notice, to reflect, to pray and to play
- To exercise the cognitive, affective and behavioural components of character: know it in your head, feel it in your heart and show it with your hands.
We incorporate the virtues into our school life by:
- displaying the current ‘Virtue to live by’ in the hall, the corridor and all classrooms
- awarding Merit Badges each week in the Celebration Assembly, celebrating those who have shown by their words and actions the ‘Virtue’ we are focusing on
- displaying the Signs of living the virtue for each monthly ‘Virtue to live by’ in the hall and all classrooms
- enjoying Circle Times and Meditation linked to the ‘Virtue to live by’
- taking part in a whole school collective worship based on the focused ‘Virtue to live by’
- integrating the virtues into weekly RE planning where possible
A full report entitled Catholic Character Education: Growing in the virtues and celebrating human flourishing in Catholic schools can be read here.
Classifications of the different virtues can be read here
Please click on the icons below to find out more about these virtues and how we live by them.
|Respect / Courtesy||Faith||Resilience/ Perseverance|
|Hope||Love / Charity||Honesty|
With thanks to the Diocese of Leeds and the financial and creative support of the Diocesan Primary Headteachers’ Association, who created these resources