Our school vision is to enable our pupils and students to achieve their aspirations and become well-rounded, confident and compassionate individuals who go on to live fulfilled lives and make a positive contribution to society.

At Beechen Cliff our Core Values are key to aiding our pupils realise this vision:

  • Aspiration (be your best)
  • Compassion (be kind)
  • Independence (be ready)
  • Respect (show respect)

Our values underpin our approach to character development and possibilities are interwoven into every aspect of school life to ensure that boys have the opportunity to enhance and develop their character.


All staff are aware of the value of these opportunities and are fully committed to ensuring our students leave us at the end of Year 13 as well-rounded individuals by delivering a detailed tutor programme that encompasses our Character Award as well as countless extracurricular, sport, enrichment, support and leadership challenges that ensure a broad and diverse range to suit all pupils.  Please click here for more information on our Tutor Programme.

In constructing this programme we have considered ‘A Framework for Character Education in Schools’ (2017) which is a publication from the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, a world renowned institution at the cutting edge of Character Education of theory and research.

Based on the Jubilee Centre’s Framework, and centred around both our school Core Values and British Values, our Character Education Programme aims for all our pupils and students to develop a broad set of values, giving them tools they need to go on to live  fulfilled lives and to make a positive contribution to society. The programme consists of 3 key elements:

Character Taught Pupils receive fortnightly, year group specific character sessions during tutor time, each focussed on a particular virtue. Over the course of the 5-year programme, pupils develop the 7 “Components of Virtue”, starting by developing knowledge and understanding of particular values and moving towards being able to be able to deliberate about which values should be enacted in different situations.
Character Caught We have four Core Values at Beechen Cliff: aspiration, compassion, independence and respect, one from each of the 4 virtue groups in the Jubilee Centre’s Framework. These values are introduced to pupils at the start of their secondary school journey and are imbued in our pupils and students through the school culture and ethos. Role modelling by staff and older pupils plays a particularly key part in this process. They are also frequently and positively reinforced and underpin our rewards system.
Character Sought Pupils and students are offered a broad range of extra-curricular activities at Beechen Cliff, giving them the opportunity to seek and develop their own personal habit and character commitments. They are also encouraged to take part in volunteering opportunities, cross-school forums and to take on leadership responsibilities such as the Year 11 Prefect positions.


At Beechen Cliff we believe that our students embark on a journey which will provide regular openings for them to develop their character and those that embrace the full range will develop the skills and attributes that enable them to excel in their learning journey.  Our Character Award is designed to reward pupils for positive behaviours and choices.  It measures eight key areas including attendance and punctuality, commitment to the community, ability to reflect upon personal development and commitment to reading amongst others.  Pupil planners are key to this award as we encourage all boys to be organised and record their efforts weekly in areas such as reading, extra curricular activities and the number of positive acknowledgments and points from staff.  Please click here for more information on our Character Award.

Our Rewards system is based upon students gaining ‘positives’ for effort, attitude and application both in and outside of lessons.  These rewards are collated and students gain individual accolades as well as the accumulative total resulting in rewards for their whole house.  

We are rightly proud of our extra curricular provision with a breadth and depth of activities which allows choice and access for all students.  Clubs, societies and activities run before, at lunchtime and after school are popular and do not require sign up, boys are encouraged to explore and engage prior to committing.  More information on available activities and opportunities can be found here.

Trips and visits play an important role in widening the world and developing character as students are able to experience different cultures and challenges.  Beechen Cliff has a fine tradition of commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh Award as well as other outdoor and adventurous challenges including our famed Centurion Walk and our Coast to Coast bike ride.  More detailed information upon our Trips and Visits can be accessed here.

We encourage pupils to take on leadership and volunteering opportunities to enable developing their character as these experiences, and in particular stepping out of their comfort zone, helps develop confidence, resilience, independence and compassion. More information on volunteering can be accessed here.

Intended Impact

The intention is that all pupils benefit from all aspects of the programme including high participation levels in extra-curricular activities and all pupils successfully achieving the Character Award.

The outcome from our Character Programme is then that we expect that our pupils and students to have built up positive character traits. In addition, they will be able to articulate the School Core Values, British Values and and their own personal values. They will be able to apply these in real world situations and understand how to deliberate effectively when different values come into conflict with each other.

An example of one of our character sessions can be found here.

An example of our pupil’s character reflections completed as part of the Character Award can be found here.