The Jesuit Pupil Profile at St Joseph's
In June 2018 St Joseph’s introduced a new, whole school initiative- to enhance the Catholicity and Character Education within our school. The initiative was based upon the Jesuits’ teaching principles, which proposes a simple but challenging statement of the qualities they seek to develop in pupils, using key words which unfold Ignatius' own stated aim of "improvement in living and learning for the greater glory of God and the common good." This provides a practical model for forming and educating the whole child.
The Pupil Profile comprises of 8 pairs of virtues which were developed by British Jesuit schools when answering the question –
‘What kind of people do we hope our pupils are growing to be?’
All stakeholders were invited to celebrate the launch of St Joseph’s Pupil Profile during whole school collective worship. Every half term, a new pair of virtues is introduced to the school community- via- newsletters, assemblies, curriculum evenings, the school website and social media accounts. This use of effective communication aims to reinforce and share with the wider community, the importance of recognising and demonstrating these virtues consistently throughout each day.
The understanding of these virtues is then further developed by each class through the use of scripture and recognisable stories to enable pupils to relate this to their everyday lives. For example, Year 5/6 pupils studied and retold the story Rehoboam (1 Kings 12:1-24) during the virtues topic of ‘Learned and Wise’. From reading this scripture and unpicking the message within – the importance of listening and respecting other people’s opinions, pupils could demonstrate their understanding, giving examples of how they do this in given situations as part of their everyday lives.
Each class celebrate their learning outcomes by sharing their work and understanding with the school community at the end of each half term, as part of a virtues celebration assembly.
To further develop the pupils’ understanding of these virtues, the school celebrates acts of virtuous behaviour by publically rewarding the pupil with value beads and explaining why they have earned this. Each week the House with the most value beads is recognised and rewarded. This has had a significant impact on positive behaviour throughout the school. Although the pupils maybe focusing on one pair of virtues per half term, all of the other virtues are also recognised, referred to and promoted.
Pupils from as young as Nursery are able to articulate the meaning of ‘generous’ and ‘grateful’ and can explain how they can be generous to others through sharing their toys. The implementation of the Pupil Profile has had a significant impact on pupils’ personal, social and emotional development and their understanding of the world. With staff continuously modelling these virtues, as part of everyday school life, it further enhances the principle that
‘there is no separation between time for learning and time for formation’.
From assessing pupil outcomes, observing learning behaviour and interaction between pupils, as well as gathering feedback from pupils, staff, parents and governors it is clearly evident that the implementation of the Pupil Profile has had a positive impact on the whole school community. It has fully enhanced character education within the school, which in turn supports the development of learning to live a good life.
Celebrating our virtues