Underpinning our School ethos and provision is a focus on character education and enrichment. We want to equip pupils with the experience and skills to make wise choices that will enable them to enjoy a happy, fulfilled life, whatever routes they take after they leave our School.
"The transformative possibilities of going to a school that really puts a strong focus on character and character education can be immensely powerful, and I would argue, life-changing for many young people."
-- Dr Tom Harrison, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
Character Education is about acquiring and strengthening virtues – traits that sustain a well-rounded life and a thriving society; values such as compassion, humility, sensitivity, creativity, curiosity, determination and resilience. Supported by the University of Birmingham’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, we have developed a brand new curriculum and resources for timetabled lessons to support the development of character. This focus also runs through our form periods, college system, meal times, and all enrichment activities. In an educational system that can often focus on a 'life of tests', we want University of Birmingham School pupils to have the confidence to deal with the 'tests of life' outside of a school environment.
You can find out more about the virtues that our School ethos is based on from The Jubilee Centre's Framework for Character Education.
"Our approach continues to cut deeper than mere ‘study or employability skills’ or ‘knowledge about civics’, important as these are. We aspire to guide our students in becoming fully flourishing individuals, who live with increasing good sense, courage, fairness, gratitude and self-control. This will naturally lead you to becoming high performing, active and engaged citizens, amongst other things that will not only place you on firm footings when confronting the complex and varied challenges of adulthood, but will also furnish you with enduring traits and worthwhile habits of character."
-- Professor James Arthur, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
Our extended school day allows plenty of time for clubs, societies and trips, and all of our staff lead and support activities for our pupils. There is an interesting, wide-ranging programme of enrichment activities which runs throughout the school year, with on average around 70 different options each term for the students to choose from. This allows pupils to build character virtues and the experiences enrich their learning experience going beyond the core curriculum.
This includes additional sports clubs like yoga, karate and hockey, language activities such as Chinese culture and foreign film club, music and arts activities, visits to the University campus, trips to Birmingham’s museums and performances, or further afield.
Here's a taste of just some of the options being offered in enrichment:
On offer for Spring Term 2016/17 in Monday and Friday enrichment sessions:
A Beginners' Guide to the Stock Market
Arabic Conversation for Beginners
Biology Journal club
Bored Games?! (And cards)
British Military Fitness
Chinese Language & Culture
Classic Hindi Movie Film Club
Classic to Cinematic
Creative Writing and Cake
CREST Science Award
Cross Country Running
Design Technology Club
Die Hard Harry Potter Fan Club
Get Fit, Stay Fit: Fitness Suite
I came, I saw, I conquered: Latin
Keep Calm and Colour Unicorns
Korean Pop Dance (K-Pop) & Culture
Let's make a short horror film
Meditation & Yoga
'Need for Speed' Running club
Papier maché and paper art
Physics Olympiad & Society
Politics & Tea
Savoury Baking Club
School Henna Bar
Tea with Senior Citizens
Trip to a Children's Nursery
UKMT Team Maths Challenge
The University of Birmingham School is fortunate to have strong links with the University of Birmingham to enhance the delivery of our curriculum and our enrichment activities. We benefit from access to a wide range of both physical and intellectual resources through our relationship with the University, which includes guest lectures, student mentors, guidance on careers and University admissions, professional development for our teachers and use of facilities such as the new 360 Sports Centre with its 50m swimming pool, and the state of the art Bramall Music Building.