In its Centenary Year, Kingswood College pays tribute to 125 years of education informed by Methodism, by becoming the first school in Africa, and one of a small band of schools in the world, to formalise Character Education in its curriculum.
The school’s goal to produce principled young men and women skilled to be successful in a complex and fast-changing world, and equipped to contribute to a morally and ethically healthy society, culminated in the founding of the Kingswood College Leadership Institute. This institute will offer collaborative, academically rigorous and dynamic courses focussed on nurturing and developing a character that leads to success and a growth-mindset. As Kingswood is committed to “Educating for Life”, this Institute will not be restricted to pupils, but will accommodate parents, staff and members of society at large, in a collaborative effort to build a better society and a better world.
Informed by a definition by Dr Marvin Berkowitz, Kingswood does not see Character Education as an additional subject or programme, but regards it as an initiative that will permeate every single aspect of life at the school. In line with the views of Dr Thomas Lickona, Character Education at Kingswood will deliberately strive to assist pupils in understanding, caring about and acting upon core ethical values. Kingswood believes that traditional school subjects such as Mathematics, English, Physical Science and Biology should no longer be seen as stand-alone academic subjects, but rather as integrated parts of a larger character-building initiative that will produce principled, independent, confident, socially well-adjusted and passionate men and women adequately equipped to be successful in life after school.
The school aims to introduce Character Education in age-appropriate phases during a pupils’ journey through the school. In the Pre-Primary phase, kindness, cheerfulness and creativity are emphasised, while aspects such as emotional intelligence, gratitude and responsibility are stressed in the Foundation Phase. In the Intermediate Phase, resilience, motivation, assertiveness, and grit are focused on. In the Senior School, amongst others, growth of integrity, respect, confidence, compassion and resourcefulness receive special attention.
Dr Colleen Vassiliou, the newly appointed Head of Kingswood College, said: “We want to build character and grow leaders” and by doing so “be a transforming influence in society”. With regard to the Character building curriculum, she stated: “As a qualified psychologist I have been able to draft a curriculum that will be integrated into the academic curriculum and will form the cornerstone of our Leadership Institute….”