The last three years have seen the school have an underlying focus on Developing Intellectual Character. We see this as supporting our main aims of allowing our young people to be the best that they can be in whatever activity they choose. Much of our work in this area is rooted in ‘Growth Mindset’ theory where we believe that children are not bound by any predetermined limit in any particular discipline. Instead, we believe that hard work will be rewarded by improvement and eventual success. Hard work is much more significant than any innate ability (which many believe is not fixed in any case).
King Henry VIII School has always advocated the approach that effective learning results as a three way partnership between the child, the school, and parents. The development of Intellectual Character is an essential part of this process in giving the children the skills to become increasingly independent as they enter adulthood, with a decreased reliance on others for success with more skilful thinking and a deeper understanding of themselves.
Research into these areas have revealed:
Pupils who take personal responsibility for life events such as learning have been labelled ‘internals’ and the typical research finding is that internals are associated with greater academic achievement when compared to ‘externals’ who consider learning to be out of their hands. This greater sense of control also promotes greater ‘mental toughness’ among pupils. Sadly, research has also shown that over the last two generations there has been an increase in children claiming learning is more external than internal.
Parents are most likely to have a positive influence on educational outcomes when they promote strong aspirations and expectations, and when they take a more active approach in learning. Negative effects have been shown to come from parents who take a ‘surveillance approach’ and early intervention (as opposed to giving children an opportunity to resolve their own problems first).
Schools are at their most effective in gaining strong educational outcomes when they promote a positive climate in the classroom and positive peer influences. Powerful effects have been shown to include an appropriate curriculum that is challenging to the students. Of particular importance is the nature of the teacher-student relationship and positive, formative feedback.
Developing Intellectual Character 2018 – 2019
The aspects on which the School will focus this year are: