Grades 5-9
The Experience

Character Education

At Fessenden, our program is centered on character education: a deliberate focus on honesty, compassion, and respect in an inclusive community.

Character is as vital to our culture and curriculum as are science labs and soccer practice--and has been since our founding. It’s woven into music lessons, meal times, and basketball drills. It’s evident in our interactions with one another and in the choices we make when no one is looking.
Community creates character, and Fessenden is uniquely suited to help boys develop strong character. We’re a “24-hour school” with more than 100 boarders and 40 families living on campus. Through 24/7 immersion in a respectful, compassionate, and selfless culture, our residential community sets a high standard for the rest of the school.

Character education is intentional and all-encompassing to the student’s experience and is based on the following Community Principles:
    • Treat others with honesty and respect
    • Practice compassion; make an effort to understand and care for others
    • Honor diversity; promote a healthy respect for individual differences and affirm commonalities
    • Celebrate individual potential; nurture the many ways boys learn
    • Reject prejudice, bullying, and elitism; renounce behavior that excludes others
    • Engage in open, trusting dialogue; seek to learn from those who have differing opinions
    • Serve to strengthen our inclusive community
Self-reflecting, embracing kindness, developing and demonstrating empathy--and doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. That’s character education at Fessenden. Our hope is that when a boy leaves Fessenden to go onto secondary school he leaves as:

A Culturally Competent Individual
A Fessenden boy will acquire the ability to understand, communicate, and interact with people from various cultural backgrounds. He will become aware and proud of his cultural perspective, as well as develop a respectful attitude toward differing perspectives and life experiences.

A Global Citizen
At every turn, a Fessenden boy will consider the world around him, and his rights and civic responsibilities within it. He will become a good steward of the planet. He will recognize his connection to and will advocate for others—and their wellbeing—around the world.

An Effective Communicator
A Fessenden boy will communicate effectively and respectfully with others, both verbally and in writing. He will use technology, social media, and the internet safely, ethically, and responsibly. He will become aware that his words, whether formal or informal, have the power to uplift or demean others.

An Empathetic Peer
A Fessenden boy will flourish in a safe and supportive learning environment, and he will learn to understand and respect the feelings of others. He will be unwilling to engage in behavior which threatens the safety or well-being of another person or group. He will be empowered to speak up and speak out when those around him are verbally or physically mistreated.

A Balanced Individual (Wellness)
A Fessenden boy will come to make sound decisions for himself regarding his mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing. He will learn about healthy choices for caring for his mind, spirit, and body including diet and exercise. He will acquire techniques to cultivate mindfulness and resilience, and maintain a lifelong practice of self-care.

A Servant to Others (Service Learning)
A Fessenden boy will appreciate the experiences and opportunities afforded to him and seeks ways to serve and give to others. Within the Fessenden community and beyond—locally, nationally, and internationally—he will act, participate, and give service or resources to enhance the lives of other human beings and living things, as well as the environment.
© 2015 The Fessenden School. All Rights Reserved.
The Fessenden School
250 Waltham Street
West Newton, MA 02465
(617) 964-5350

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