Magnus Church of England Academy in Newark received a special visit from Nicky Morgan MP, who talked to students about the value of character education.
The former education secretary has recently launched a book exploring the topic called ‘Taught Not Caught: Educating for 21st Century Character’, and Magnus students were able to hear first hand the culmination of her work in education.
She said: “Your education is going to shape your future. Everything that you learn here at Magnus, or in further studies at college, university or in an apprenticeship, will shape the person you become.
“It’s all very well when things are going well, but developing a good character will stand you in good stead to deal with life’s disappointments as well.
“It’s how a person deals with those setbacks that sets them apart. There are attributes and traits that help you to stay strong, resilient and able to keep going when life isn’t so easy.”
Principal at Magnus Church of England Academy Anna Martin said she welcomed the ideas and experiences covered in the talk as students face challenges throughout their school years that can be overcome with perseverance.
“It has been refreshing to hear an honest account of the obstacles and difficulties Nicky has faced to become the successful person we now see,” she said.
“This is a valuable insight for students that life can be tough at times for anyone and that by showing resilience they can overcome those situations.
“I want every student at my school to succeed, and to have the best opportunities available to them. I want for my students the very same things I want for my own children.
“Exams are extremely important, but we want to create an environment at Magnus where the whole person can flourish too. It’s only when you have a well-rounded character that you can make the most of your chances.”
Seventeen-year-old student, Monika Zon, said: “I want to do either Philosophy and Politics or Philosophy, Politics and Law at Kings, so I asked how I can write a good personal statement and she was willing to do that.
“I was really surprised by the talk to be honest, I wasn’t particularly excited before the talk because I don’t feel her party speak to me as a person.
“But she didn’t dodge any questions and addressed us personally when we asked questions. Its nice to see that no matter who you are or what your politics are that we can all try to help each other. I really got a lot out of the visit.”
Nicky Morgan added: “I was really impressed with how engaged the students were, showing concentration when I was talking and demonstrating their clear commitment to character development.
“It obviously comes from the leadership downwards and it sounds like the school is on a real positive journey. In the book I talk about developing character and making the definitions of values explicit; that is clearly happening here at Magnus.
“Just looking at the walls, and hearing that those values are talked about in class too. They were clearly a bright and engaged set of students and that speaks volumes about the school.”