A ground-breaking award scheme for six primary schools in South Oxfordshire area has been launched by Vale Academy Trust.

Supported by their class teachers, the aim is to provide every one of the trust’s 1,800 primary aged pupils with the opportunity to develop the skills and attitudes needed to become active learners and model citizens of the future.

Pupils from Year 1 through to Year 6 will be encouraged to take on a series of challenges to help develop their personal values and attitude to learning.

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Hazel Pittard, the trust’s director of learning, said: ”It’s all part of enabling children to develop their courageous side, and learn how they can be more responsible for themselves and others around them.

“It is of particular importance to us that we support all pupils to achieve through these awards and we are committed to helping those for whom the challenge may be greater due to personal circumstances.”

“That’s why, within the four levels of the Award – Bronze for KS1, then Silver, Gold and Platinum for KS2 – we have included a choice of challenges under four different headings: 'Essential Me, Enthusiastic Me, Courageous Me and Responsible Me'.

"On completion of each level, pupils will be presented with a bespoke special certificate to mark their success. "

The ambition is that the Vale Academy Trust Character and Citizenship Award will become valued as a prestigious achievement for young people in the community and the trust is delighted that several local organisations have stepped forward as Award Scheme partners.

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In addition to the patronage of Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, other supporters of the project include the Community of St Mary the Virgin, Ray Collins Charitable Trust, Schools Chaplaincy Partnership, Thames Valley Police, Wantage Town Council and Williams Racing.

Ray Collins, founder of the Ray Collins Charitable Trust, said: “I felt immensely proud when we were asked to support this project.

"These awards are a great way to encourage children to step out of their comfort zones and discover what they are truly capable of.”

“We’ve always encouraged youngsters to get involved in activities that support elderly and vulnerable people in our community and they grow to understand how much their help means to those we support.”

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Katie Light, early careers programme coordinator at Williams Racing, said: “Here at Williams Racing we value the importance of team spirit and encourage extended learning to all our employees.”

After the initial pilot stage, the Vale Academy Trust hopes that other schools might like to consider adopting the scheme.