Leadership and Character Education

“Effective character education is not adding a programme or set of programs to a school. Rather it is a transformation of the culture and life of the school.” – Dr. Marvin Berkowitz

Kingswood College is the first school in Africa, and only one of a handful in the world, to embark on formalising character education into its curriculum. Together with the newly formed Leadership Institute, a Kingswood College education is not only unique, but ground-breaking. 

What is character education (CE)

Simply put, it is everything you do that influences the character of the kids you teach. But to put it in a more focused light, we like Dr Thomas Lickona’s definition:

Character education is the deliberate effort to help people understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values.

(How to do Character Education by David H. Elkind and Freddy Sweet).

Why is it important to us at Kingswood? How will character education manifest in my child?

Character traits that we aim to instil and foster during the course of our pupils’ time at Kingswood College includes, but is not limited to:
cheerfulness, creativity and kindness in the Pre-Primary; emotional intelligence, gratitude and responsibility in the Foundation Phase; resilience, motivation, assertiveness and grit at the Intermediate Phase and growth of integrity, respect, confidence, compassion and resourcefulness at the Senior School level.

Character Building Curriculum

Grade Topics Activity Kingswood Pupils Are

Character Building Curriculum


Grade000 If you’re happy and you know it Draw my body – name the parts Happy being me Cheerful
Grade00 This little light of mine – I’m going to let it shine Draw my body – speak about finger prints – I am unique Celebrate being me Creative and innovative
Grade R I can be kind I can say thank you Draw my hands and feet, march to the drum 5 things I can do to be kind Kind and courageous


1 What are emotions? Happy, sad, worried, scared, angry Emotionally Intelligent
2 What I love about myself Make paper chains of positive attributes Able to show gratitude
3 Fruits of the Spirit Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfullness, self-control Responsible and honest
4 Well-being SMSPE Growth mindset activities Resilient Growth mindset thinkers
5 Motivation for success Goal setting Failing forward Lantern swinger Motivated and selfdisciplined
6 Conflict management Am I an owl, shark, tortoise, fox or bear? Assertive
7 Growing your grit Positive psychology 8 to be great Grity


8 The truth about substances Drugs, sex and alcohol Integrity filled
9 Valuing and embracing diversity Check my privilege, power, status Am I ‘woke’ Environmental focus Respectful (including to the environment) and adaptable
10 Who am I? Identity versus role confusion Word, emblem, mantra Confident
11 Leadership skills Communication, assertiveness, decision making/problem solving, conflict management, goal setting and team work, stress management Resourceful
12 Basic counselling skills Counselling toolkit Empathetic / compassionate


13 Self-actualisation Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Interdependent and self-regulating