Character Curriculum

Character Curriculum

The BISHOP Character

'In the image for God'
(Genesis 1:27)

Character is a set of personal traits that produce specific moral emotions, inform motivation and guide conduct. At BYA we are dedicated to ensuring our students receive character education; this includes all explicit and implicit educational activities that help young people develop positive personal strengths called virtues.

Character education is more than just a subject. It is about helping students grasp what is ethically important in situations and how to act for the right reasons, so that they become more autonomous, reflective and make positive choices.

Students need to decide the kind of person they wish to become and to learn to choose between alternatives. In this process, the ultimate aim of character education is the development of good sense or practical wisdom: the capacity to choose intelligently between alternatives. It is central to a Christian vision for education for ‘life in all its fullness’ and is concerned with developing virtues seeing them as ‘character in action’, grown through experience and demonstrated over time in word and deed.

Character education equips young people to grow in wisdom, hope, community and dignity and is shaped by an understanding of God at work in the world, present and active in shaping each individual’s developmental story. It is fundamental to the pursuit of academic excellence, and stands at the heart of all aspirational teaching, learning and pastoral care.

Character education at BYA is not an educational programme. It is an approach that, implicitly and explicitly, permeates all subjects as well as the general school ethos; it cultivates the virtues of character associated with common morality. Effective character education will have a legacy far beyond the school gates, impacting young people as friends, neighbours, parents, team members and employees, benefitting both the individuals themselves, their wider communities and broader society.

At BYA character development is both taught and caught through lessons, form times, assemblies, interventions and the constant modelling of our six Bishop Characteristics for Character Development. These are bound together through the constant use of our acronym BISHOP.

Benevolence : Integrity : Self-fulfilment : Health and Happiness : Oneness : Perseverance


Through the development of these character traits we want our students to develop the quality of being well meaning and kind. We want our students to show compassion, consideration and altruism, ensuring they make a positive contribution to wider society.


We help our students understand that integrity is not just about telling the truth. It is about being true to their beliefs and upholding them; it is about having pride in all that they do, always working to their true ability and behaving correctly to other people at all times.


By becoming more self-aware our students will gradually develop a greater understanding of themselves as a person as well as their strengths and, perhaps more importantly, the areas in which they need to develop. They will gain a sense of self-fulfilment as they achieve their goals.

Health and Happiness

In this complex world, it is critical to empower our young people to be happy, healthy and equipped with a powerful toolkit of resources to thrive. Our students need to understand the importance of physical, mental and social wellbeing if they are to become happy and successful citizens.


As a faith school, we can help foster tolerance, inclusivity and mutual respect. We develop a moral vision where students understand the importance of ethics in human life and communities, and the ability to share it with others. Our students must learn to live as one in order to create a tolerant society based on love and respect.


We want our students to work hard to achieve success; being focused on the task in hand; tackling it conscientiously and diligently; having the resilience, tenacity and grit to keep going when others start to give up.

Throughout their time at BYA, students will be set challenges to develop their BISHOP character. For example, in Year 7 students will be expected to complete a 1 mile run to help improve their health and happiness. In all year groups they will be expected to gain positives Classcharts points for each of the characteristics and achieve 95% attendance (Perseverance).

This will be monitored in students’ planners and by their form tutor. There is a celebration event at the end of the year to reward students who have completed all the challenges.

Our PSHE Programme mirrors our Bishop Character Education. We have 6 half terms a year, with each one focusing on a different aspect of the BISHOP model.

Students receive a PSHE timetabled lesson once every 2 weeks and also have a Bishop Character form time session once a week.