Character Development

Character Development Curriculum Intent

Our OSCA values – opportunity, scholarship, compassion, aspiration – are at the heart of the Character Development curriculum. The aim is to prepare our students for life through OSCA and the wider world. At OSCA we are aware of the societal issues young people may face in Sandwell and have created a bespoke spiral curriculum which addresses these issues whilst encouraging our students to develop skills that enable them to critically weigh evidence and make informed choices.

Within our local community of Oldbury, there is an increase in the prevalence of diabetes. This is why we have collaborated with award winning expertise “Art at the Heart” on a creative project to raise awareness of Healthy Eating starting from Year 7.

In addition, Student Voice tells us that Internet Safety is a topic which students would like more information about. Therefore, we cover topics such as: cyberbullying, social media, sharing online, phishing and digital footprints at KS3; and streaming, cryptocurrencies, the impact of viewing harmful content at KS4. In particular, Year 9 students get involved with the #WeWill Cyber Safe Project and are awarded a certificate on completion.

Local police reports indicate anti-social behaviour is a local issue on the rise within the Sandwell area. Therefore, a targeted programme in collaboration with DECCA and West Midlands Police is being implemented borough wide. For example, our students are encouraged to get involved with the Body Worn Video (BWV) Scrutiny Panel and offer their views on police enforcement. We have a number of students signed up to this exciting programme!

The work we do to tackle anti-social behaviour in Sandwell feeds into the wider picture of shaping OSCA students to become active members of society and contribute in a positive way. Therefore, there is a strong element of British Values that runs throughout the Character Development curriculum from KS3-4. For example, we are very proud to say that we have two students from OSCA (Olivia Gall and Steve Nimo) who are Members of the UK Youth Parliament, and each year OSCA students partake in UK Parliament Week.

Additionally, starting from KS3, our students are involved with the FirstGive Project. Through this project, students engage with fundraising opportunities for local charities with the final group winning a £1000 donation to their chosen charity! Students develop the following skills along the way: leadership and research skills, confidence in tackling social issues, developing moral virtues, exploring careers in charity work and encounters with employers (Gatsby benchmark).

Furthermore, Sandwell JSNA Health Targets indicate that the number of young people with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) within Sandwell is below national average, but on the increase. Therefore, our students learn about the prevalence of some of the most common STIs, the impact they can have on those who contract them and key facts about treatment. This topic is linked to Healthy Relationships; students tackle the issue of abusive relationships by looking at the language of consent, sexual harassment and harmful sexual behaviours. This topic sits alongside the wider school approach to creating a safe and healthy environment for students to learn in.

All of our resources are created in collaboration with a number of approved sources including: PSHE Association, BROOK, DECCA, Stonewall, NSPCC, LGFL ‘UNDRESSED’, Internet Watch Foundation, Childline, Anti-bullying Alliance, UK Safer Internet, ThinkUKnow, SHAPE, West Midlands Police. This ensures that students receive a balanced and age appropriate curriculum which provides the most up-to-date accurate information and guidance.

What is Character Development?

  • Character Development encompasses the following content:
  • Physical, Social, Health and Economics Education (PSHEE)
  • Relationship and Sex Education (RSE)
  • Health Education
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social, Cultural development (SMSC)
  • British Values
  • Citizenship 
  • Character Education
  • During Character Development, students investigate a range of topics designed to be thought provoking, encourage debates and get students involved in voting. Students are encouraged to voice their opinions, whilst developing the ability to listen and respect other people’s views.
  • Safeguarding link: Character Development raises student awareness of safeguarding issues. Places and people to seek for support are signposted regularly through sessions.

Who delivers Character Development?  

  • Character Development is delivered by Form Tutors and taught within discrete year groups from Year 7 through to Year 11. This allows for a bespoke teaching and learning environment where students can access age-appropriate learning material and teaching from experienced staff.
  • Tutor training is given prior to the delivery of Sex and Relationship Education modules (Delivered by BROOK). Individual advice and support is also available.

How is Character Development delivered? 

  • Character Development is delivered 1 hour per week
  • Plus, additional opportunities across the curriculum and enrichment activities are provided to enhance students learning.
  • In addition, students attend house assemblies once a week.
  • Each session uses a variety of learning techniques which include videos, written tasks, class discussions and self-reflection.
  • Resources have been created in collaboration with a number of approved sources: PSHE Association, BROOK and DECCA, to name but a few. This ensures that students receive a balanced and age- appropriate curriculum which provides the most up-to-date accurate information and guidance.
  • In addition to this, consideration of content from different religious and non-religious perspectives have been taken into account to ensure a balanced point of view and a clear emphasis on respect and tolerance for all.