Character Development

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“The aim of our studies is not just to know what virtue is, but to become good.”


Character development involves caring for and respecting others as well as caring for and respecting oneself.

At Mossley Hollins High School, we aim to educate our young people by providing them with a wealth of opportunities, both inside the classroom and beyond the classroom. Our ultimate goal is to enable all of our students to develop a strong moral code so that they are able to take their place in society as active citizens, ready to contribute positively to their communities and the wider world around them.

We aim to ensure that our students develop into confident and compassionate young adults, who are effective contributors to society, successful learners, and responsible citizens. We encourage our students to develop a commitment to serving others, to participate in a wide range of activities (both in and outside school), to develop the ability to lead others and of course, the skills to effectively learn.

Our Four Character Pillars

The four Character Pillars are fundamental to our school. We believe all our students should develop the ability to Learn, Lead, Serve and Participate. Therefore we encourage and teach our students to demonstrate strong:

  • Learning – “the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught”
  • Leadership – “the action of leading a group of people or an organisation, or the ability to do this”
  • Service – “an act of helpful activity”
  • Participation – “the action of taking part in something”

Students are rewarded throughout their time at Mossley Hollins High School for demonstrating strong character development. For instance, a student may show service by helping others in an organised community event or they may participate in a school production or sporting fixture. Likewise, a student may demonstrate great learning by making strong academic progress in a range of subjects, or they may show leadership by organising and leading other students in an activity.

Recording and Rewarding


Students in year groups 7 to 10 are given a portfolio in which there is an overview of the ways that students can develop their character. Under each of the Four Character Pillars there is a menu of suggested activities that students can complete to develop a particular character trait. The range of activities are designed to allow student personalisation so that each and every student can be successful in meeting the criteria to show strong character development.

Firstly, and most importantly, it is each student’s responsibility to record and evidence successful completion of tasks and activities related to each of the Four Character Pillars. Completion of activities and tasks will be verified by members of staff, usually a subject teacher, the Form Tutor or Head of Year. This will encourage student independence and provide each student with ownership of their achievements. Students have a section in the back of their planners and in their portfolio to evidence completion of various tasks and activities

Activities and tasks can be completed independently, through lessons or extra-curricular activities, or beyond the classroom at home or in the holidays. Although the options are broad, they are not exclusive. There are likely to be activities that students may consider successfully demonstrate strong character development in one of the Four Pillars that are not shown in the suggested activities or tasks;  in this instance each will be considered on its merit.


Successful completion of activities related to any of the Four Character Pillars will earn students an enamel badge to wear on their uniform. There are three levels of achievement for each of the Character Pillars, with each one having gradually more challenging completion criteria:

  • Level 1 = Apprentice (beginner)
  • Level 2 = Graduate (developed)
  • Level 3 = Master (advanced)

Many of the suggested activities are not just task-orientated challenges that students are able to complete easily or in a single act. They are challenges that are only achieved through continued hard work, commitment and effort. These are the personal qualities that make students stand out and that demonstrate great attitude to learning and strong character.

In summary, students are encouraged to evidence and review their character development throughout the year in their student planner. Enamel badges will be awarded to successful students throughout the school year in formal assemblies and at regular celebration evenings which parents and carers will be invited to attend.

Huddersfield Road, Mossley,
Ashton-Under-Lyne OL5 9DP
T: 01457 832491