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Nottingham Academy

Your Character Counts

Nottingham Academy provides a range of support and guidance to help develop our young people beyond the classroom, ensuring the develop their character and become aspirational, motivated young people, this is supported by the Greenwood Academies Trust, Your Character Counts Strategy. Click the link below to read more on the strategy. 

Greenwood Academies Trust - Your Character 

‘Good character is the foundation for improved attainment, better behaviour and increased employability, but most importantly, flourishing societies’

The GAT ‘Your Character Counts’ Vision:

In June 2017, GAT launched: ‘Your Character Counts’, a strategic approach to the development of the essential personal capabilities and positive characteristics of pupils in order that they can fully realise their potential and make a positive contribution to society. The vision recognised the importance of personal capabilities alongside the need for academic progress.

Vision Statement

All our pupils have the potential to acquire the essential personal capabilities and positive characteristics to be successful so that they develop, independently, a range of attitudes and characteristics that will define them as positive individuals willing to contribute constructively to society.

The “Your Character Counts” (YCC) strategy focuses on both developing personal capabilities and broadening horizons by enriching the curriculum and connecting with the wider community.

If all our children and young people, including those pupils with disability or disadvantage, are to succeed at the highest level, we require a strategic approach to developing character and broadening horizons - both across the Trust and within individual academies. Commitment to this work provides challenges and opportunities to academies both in reviewing the curriculum and in day-to-day classroom practice as well as connecting with outside providers.

GAT support

GAT is supporting academies by providing strong leadership and advice through its senior management to promote the value of YCC in terms of both academy and pupil development. A number of initiatives are already in place to support YCC such as the Student Awards, professional development opportunities for staff and growing links to careers and employability, extended opportunities, sports and the arts.

Academy support

Senior leaders will be asked to prioritise this work within their development plans and appoint a lead within each school. It is expected that each school will develop its own personalised approach building on existing work and good practice. A key outcome will be a strong academy ethos and a clear vision and plan of how this will relate to pupils in their academies. Beyond this it will be important to engage both parents/carers and partners in the overall approach and vision.

Teaching and Learning

To have real impact, best practice tells us that a ‘whole school approach’ is the most effective method of delivering the full benefits we desire. This will require elements of YCC to be integrated into both the curriculum and wider life of the academy. Implementing classroom practice that will enable the development of personal characteristics within day-to-day learning, including the learning environment in its widest sense will be a key requirement.

The approach will also require academies to plan for challenge, independence and application, including research and problem solving, which will develop the agreed characteristics and allow all pupils to own their learning. It is through challenge, independence and application that outstanding progress will be demonstrated.

An outline of the range of support available is given below:

  1. Support for each Academy to help undertake a ‘Your Character Counts’ audit. This will provide an opportunity to review the current state of personal development/character education within an Academy and look at ways to further develop an ‘offer’ for pupils.
  2. Support with staff CPD and INSET relating to individual approaches taken by Academies to the development of ‘Your Character Counts’.
  3. Learning Alliance CPD programme to support schools with Learning Outside the Classroom and Real World Learning.
  4. Building a bank of Resources to support schools in developing their own approach to ‘Your Character Counts’.
  5. Working with schools to develop a Pupil Record of achievement.
  6. Explore a framework for progress, monitoring and evaluation of personal development and character in schools.
  7. Explore the possibilities of accrediting approaches.

Please contact Martin Smith for further information and support:

Nottingham Academy work with many external organisations to develop programmes, workshops and activities to support and develop character in our young people. 


We have worked with Humanutopia for many years, running the ‘Who AmI I’ course with all year 7 as well asthe additional ‘Heroes’ course.

The ‘Who Am I’ experience is a highly motivational day designed to enable young people to discover their authentic self.  It is a dynamic and high impact day that creates a safe space for young people to stop and reflect on their life to date. The course looks at how the choices students make can affect their futures. It inspires and motivates them to take the right path, starting with changes they can make right now.

The first part of the day looks at peer pressure, conformity and bullying before focusing on choices, teamwork and aspirations, many young people lease feeling uplifted with a clear idea of the changes they need to make and how to go about making them.

We also provide ‘The Heroes Journey’ course, students are selected to learning how to mentor younger year groups, becoming a hero within our Academy, someone who is a good role model and support younger students within our Academy community. This additional course is designed to help young people develop essential life skills to break negative cycles in school, with other students, teachers and at home with family members.