Hidden Curriculum

Character Traits and Outcomes:


Children at United Learning schools are interested and curious to try a range of activities and pursue different areas of enquiry. Their school supports them to do this, and they bring a positive attitude to all new experiences. Children want to learn more about the world around them and seek answers about how things work within and beyond their studies.

  • Students are curious about the world around them including: how things work; the natural environment; historical events; and people and cultures. 
  • Students participate in a broad range of activities within and beyond school, including sports, expressive arts and design, music, expeditionary experiences and intellectual development opportunities. They have a positive attitude when trying new activities.
  • Students pursue and refine certain interests and refine specialist skills and knowledge, targeting their development areas.

Children at United Learning have well-considered views which they share on a wide range of topics. They advocate for themselves, feeling pride in recognising and celebrating their own achievements.

  • Students have the language and specialist vocabulary to give well-structured and engaging descriptions, explanations, and narratives.
  • Students openly share their thoughts, ideas and work to different audiences in a range of situations.
  • Students are self-assured and present in an engaging way, making use of rhetorical and linguistic techniques such as metaphor, humour, and irony.
  • Students clarify and justify their points with a variety of evidence. They can use these to influence others.
  • Students confidently talk about their strengths, areas for development, and future aspirations.

Children at United Learning schools embrace challenges and demonstrate persistence and courage to achieve their goals. In the face of adversity they persevere and remain level-headed. They can honestly evaluate their own performance and are reflective about their strengths and areas of improvement. They seek and learn from others’ feedback.

  • Students persevere when faced with a challenge or a problem. They seek resolve issues independently but know when and who to ask for help.
  • Students respond constructively to failure. They reflect on their experience and identify what could be done differently in the future.
  • Students honestly evaluate their personal strengths and areas of improvement.
  • Students can set and achieve ambitious short-, medium- and long-term goals and can identify what they need to do to achieve these.

Children at United Learning schools take pride in all that they do and consistently perform tasks to the best of their abilities – they set high expectations for themselves and others. Through their leadership they bring out the best in others, valuing the contributions made by all. They demonstrate self-belief across a range of group contexts and situations with the confidence and skills to take a lead and influence others.

  • Students lead by example through showing care and precision in their work, and demonstrating a strong set of values
  • Students behave graciously in victory and defeat.
  • Students take on formal positions of responsibility. They put themselves forward for roles across the school and fulfil responsibilities to the best of their ability, winning the trust of others.
  • Students are confident making decisions in complex situations and/or where there will be long term consequences. They are confident doing this on behalf of others based on their own judgement.

Children at United Learning schools are active members of their communities – at school, in their local community and beyond. They work collaboratively with others in the pursuit of shared goals and listen to and value a range of ideas and opinions. They demonstrate humility by taking a fair share of any workload and deferring to others where expertise and knowledge can be gained. 

  • When working and playing with others, students contribute their own ideas but are comfortable to have these challenged.
  • Students can self-organise. They recognise when they can have a bigger impact working in a team.
  • Students can identify and make the best of use of their own strengths and their strengths of others.

Children at United Learning schools have strong moral principles and a strong sense of what the right action is in different situations. They strive to do the right thing, even when this is difficult and requires courage. They take responsibility for their actions and when they make a commitment to others, they follow through on this.

  • Students behave within the rules and expectations of the school community without expecting rewards. They use their own judgement and maintain their behaviour and expect others to do the same.
  • Students have a set of values that help them to make good decisions every day, even when these are difficult or there are easier options available to them – they trust their judgement and are not influenced negatively by others.
  • Students honour their commitments, even if these are stretching and fall at the same time.

Children at United Learning schools show care and kindness towards others and are concerned about the happiness and welfare of those around them. They are supportive in others’ times of need. They are polite and demonstrate manners in all areas of life. In a range of situations they ensure that everyone is included and are respectful of the differences between themselves and others. They form positive relationships with others, regardless of whether they would consider them to be close friends.

  • Students have formed supportive bonds with a group of close friends.
  • Students take part in a range of activities, exposing them to friendships with people of different ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
  • Students are empathetic and inclusive. They understand others’ feelings and know how to support in times of need.
  • Students know how to speak respectfully and act politely towards all others.
  • Students show and expect mutual respect in all their relationships. They respect the boundaries and wishes of others and have these respected themselves.

Children at United Learning schools show compassion and empathy towards others. They are active members in their communities and understand that they can contribute and make a difference to a range of causes. They are motivated to do this.

  • Students care about the natural world and understand what they can do to reduce their impact on the environment
  • Students speak out when they see injustices within their communities and seek to address them.
  • Students have causes within and beyond the school and local community which they are passionate about. They are proactive and find ways to support these causes through volunteering and other activities.
  • Students appreciate what they have and understand that others have experiences and challenges that are different to their own. Students understand their collective responsibility to look after all members of their community.

United Learning comprises: United Learning Ltd (Registered in England No: 00018582. Charity No. 313999) UCST (Registered in England No: 2780748. Charity No. 1016538) and ULT (Registered in England No. 4439859. An Exempt Charity). Companies limited by guarantee.
Registered address: United Learning, Worldwide House, Thorpe Wood, Peterborough, PE3 6SB.

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