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Character Education at Oakthorpe

Positive Emotions at Oakthorpe Primary School


In conjunction with schools from Oval Learning Trust, we have been focusing on embedding positive emotions across the school. With funding from Leicestershire County Council through a £10,000 Shires grant, we have been able to work together with staff, pupils and parents to explore how a focus on positive emotions and emotional wellbeing strategies can support a whole school approach to embedding the theory of Positive Psychology. This project culminated in a celebration of what each school has achieved at an event which helped pupils to explore what positive emotions meant to them. Children and parents were able to build up their stores of positive emotions through work in the forest, playing Frisbee golf and making their own giant structures using large cardboard boxes.

The ten positive emotions are defined as; hope, awe, pride, gratitude, interest, inspiration, serenity, love, joy, amusement. These have been embedded across all aspects of the school including use within assemblies, across Twitter and within each classroom. They feature widely within whole school themed weeks such as the recent Enterprise Week where pupils created products to sell that would support children's emotional wellbeing such as a stress ball and positive emotion bookmarks. Children also nominate their friends who have shown these positive emotions across the school.


As a result of embedding these across the school, children and families appear to show a greater resilience towards solving problems and there is some great evidence of families engaging with these on Twitter. It is not always possible to see how a focus on positive emotions will impact on the emotional wellbeing of pupils as this will be seen as they grow older.

Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP addresses Awesome Leicestershire Learners Conference - 4th July 2016

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On Monday 4th July, 20 schools from around Leicestershire attended a Celebration conference to show the impact they have had in their school to develop character education. We had lots of opportunity to improve our confidence and resilience through a number of different activities including a climbing wall, archery and circus skills. Shonette Bason-Wood also helped us to #spreadthehappiness and remind us about the need to be positive and confident in ourselves.

In March 2015, Oakthorpe Primary School won a DfE Character Award for it's work that it has done over the last few years to encourage children to think about how they learn and how they approach different situations in their learning. We have focused on the work of Guy Claxton's Building Learning Power, the coaching model from Richard Boyatzis and, more recently, the work around virtues from the Jubilee Centre of Character and Virtues. For more information on these approaches, please see the attached documents below or use the contact form for any specific questions.


We are so proud of our fantastic learners at Oakthorpe and it is really attracting the attention of so many people. We have had a number of visitors to the school to lead assemblies and to find out more about our character education work and all of them comment in some way about the ethos of our school. Comments such as how calm the children are, how resilient they are and the vocabulary that they use to describe learning, are always so fantastic to hear.


Mr Ellis recently asked a group of children from across the school, known as the Leadership Council, what Oakthorpe Primary School means to them and their comments speak for themselves:

Further information about Character Education in the school

Contact us

For more information or specific questions, please use this contact form. Please include where you are based and how we might reply to your questions or queries