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Five Acres High School and Yate Academy receive Character Kitemark

Five Acres High School and Yate Academy have just received a prestigious award in recognition of the quality of character education for students at the schools.

Five Acres High School and Yate Academy have just received a prestigious award in recognition of the quality of character education for students at the schools; this is in addition to their deep focus on achieving academic excellence. The Character Kitemark, awarded by the Schools of Character Association, acknowledges schools and academies whose extra-curricular programme is as impressive as their strong curriculum offer. The core values they each promote – Yate: Ambition, Excellence and Pride; and Five Acres: Ambition, Confidence, Creativity, Respect and Determination – were chosen by leaders, teachers and students.  They permeate everything they do; in the classroom, at break and lunchtime, in connection with the local community, and in wider pursuits of activities.  These include the arts, sports teams, academic clubs, expert workshops, and volunteer initiatives, and these all contribute to the success of the programmes that are run. A healthy balance between true scholarship, a real investment in developing identities and a powerful contribution to the local community has clearly been struck in these schools.
 
On entry, students are issued with their own individual booklet, which is used to record achievements throughout their education journey from Year 7 to Year 11. There are a wide variety of character-building activities on offer in every year group, with 45 badges of recognition to be achieved in total – all of these are centred around the core values each school has chosen. Activities this year alone have included; a daily commitment to their wonderful tutor time reading programme; an uptake in the quality musical groups on offer (led by subject specialists and visiting professional musicians); attendance at Ivy League lectures delivered by guest speakers from top universities and local organisations; engagement in excellent school performances; attendance at outdoor pursuit residentials to encourage effective peer relationships to stretch them beyond their comfort zones; ongoing partnerships with local primary schools; contributions to major concerts e.g. the recent Year 7 Christmas carol service at Gloucester Cathedral and many more.
 
On hearing the news of being awarded the Character Kitemark, Izzy Ambrose, Headteacher at Yate Academy, said: "I am delighted that Yate Academy has been recognised as a school of character. Although examination results are important, our school is about much more than that. Our aim is to make every child in our care the very best version of themselves through nurturing talent, channelling creativity, exposing ambition and competing for excellence. As such, we are committed to providing excellence in sport and the arts. We are also very proud of the number of opportunities our students get through trips and experiences, to develop their confidence and wider understanding of the world.”
 
Ian Frost, Headteacher at Five Acres High School, said: “In being awarded the School of Character kitemark, Five Acres High School has been rightly recognised as a school valuing not only exceptional academic standards, but also for its thoughtful and caring approach to building character amongst its children and young people. We believe that all of our pupils aspire to make a real and genuine contribution in every aspect of school life and to their local community. Our pupils are proud of their achievements, and wear their badges celebrating their commitment to our values with pride.”