Character Education

Character Education Counts at Canterbury

At Canterbury School of Florida, we believe that education is about more than just academics; it is about developing students of the highest character. We strive to instill superior standards of behavior, empathy for others, self-advocacy and a strong sense of personal responsibility in each student. The results? Our students speak for themselves. The Center for Curriculum Redesign agrees that character plays an integral role in the elements of a 21st century education.


Leadership opportunities are an important part of each student’s Canterbury experience. Examples of leadership opportunities in middle and upper school include:

  • Class officer
  • Student Council representative or officer
  • Tutor working with younger students in Lower and Middle School
  • Community service project leader
  • Club officer
  • Yearbook editor
  • Athletic Team Captain
  • Athletic Team Manager
  • Student Ambassadors who work with the Admission Office to tour families and partner with visiting students
  • National Honor Society member, providing tutoring assistance to upper school students

Character in the Classroom and on the Field

Take a tour with one of our student ambassadors and you'll see why character counts at Canterbury. The entire school day is a lesson in character. As students learn to listen and discuss with one another in class, as they take responsibility for their school work and their hallway interactions, as coaches encourage them to give their best and bring out the best in others, they are learning to live the crucial aspects of character. The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) agrees, and has awarded Canterbury's athletic program with the Fred Rozell Sportsmanship Award four times in the last ten years.

Honor Code

The Honor Code is taught to all students beginning in PK3 in the form of a song, one that they never forget. It establishes the principles of honesty, respect, and consideration for others that continue to guide them in Upper School and beyond in their interactions and choices with peers and adults. It sets clear expectations and supports an atmosphere of integrity and respect for others that enables both academic learning and personal growth to flourish.

Canterbury School of Florida Honor Code
As a member of the Canterbury family,
I pledge to uphold my personal integrity,
promote equality and be respectful
and considerate.
I will be honest and sincere,
facing each day with a positive attitude.

The Canterbury Advisory Program (CAP)

You’re part of the family here.

As a family, we are committed to the success of each of our members: students, parents, alumni, faculty, and staff. This means that we look out for one another and support each other.

One of the most important elements of character education is the Canterbury Advisory Program (CAP), which gives students the opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with caring teachers. Our unique advisory program also serves as a channel of communication between school and home. A small group of students meets with their advisor each morning for announcements and activities. In prekindergarten through Grade 4, students participate in CAP with their homeroom teacher. In grades 5-12, advisors meet with their advisees every morning for attendance, and weekly during an activity period to discuss academic and personal goals, cover specific CAP topics, and to address social issues and college planning. Advisors support their students, help them interact with their peers, and build their confidence.

As an adviser to fifth grade girls, I have the distinct opportunity of helping them transition from elementary to middle school. Throughout this process we form a close bond through discussions regarding study habits, body image, and getting along with others. It is an honor for me to be an integral part of this crucial time in their lives.
-- Holly Wintrip (pictured above with her advisory group), Middle School Social Sciences teacher and advisor

  • Preschool - Grade 4: Classroom teachers serve as CAP advisers to their students.
  • Grades 5-8: Students are assigned an adviser based on grade and gender.
  • Grades 9-12: Co-ed groups remain with the same adviser from Grade 9 through graduation.

Elementary School Character Education

The elementary character education curriculum includes lessons on abstract concepts that result in being a genuinely good person. Concepts include many of the words used in our school honor code such as kindness, respect, encouragement, honesty, compassion, loyalty, and perseverance.

Middle School Character Education

The middle school CAP curriculum includes lessons that will help students through this time of physical, mental, and emotional transition. Topics covered include bullying (in-person and cyber, labeling, gossiping), surviving “embarrassing” moments, limits and courtesies, healthy and hygiene, organizational skills, study skills, communication skills and dealing with authority and conflict. Additionally, beginning in Grade 7, students cover topics that help with college and career readiness such as

  • Ownership of Learning
  • Transition Skills
  • Learning Techniques
  • Metacognitive Skills

Grades 9 and 10 Character Education

Grades 9 and 10 focus on academic skills as students’ schedules begin to involve more rigor as a result of our college prep curriculum. Academic skills include

  • Time management and scheduling
  • Studying and memory skills
  • Note taking and test taking
  • Improving concentration and listening
  • Building rapport with teachers
Additionally, students work on topics such as refuting labels and stereotypes, appreciating diversity, coping with stress, managing anger, and building true happiness.

Also discussed are topics about college and career readiness such as
  • College and Career Development
  • Ownership of Learning
  • Transition Skills
  • Learning Techniques
  • Metacognitive Skills
  • Academic Eligibility
  • Upper School and Beyond Plan

Grade 11 Character Education

Grade 11 CAP includes some of the lessons present in grades 9 and 10, but focuses primarily on the college counseling process via the College and Career Readiness curriculum. Learn More About Our College Counseling Program.

Also discussed are topics about college and career readiness such as

  • College and Career Development
  • Ownership of Learning
  • Transition Skills
  • Learning Techniques
  • Metacognitive Skills
  • Academic Eligibility
  • Upper School and Beyond Plan

Grade 12 Character Education

We realize that some of the more challenging aspects of life after graduation are not often addressed in school; this omission can result in some students having difficulty acclimating to life after upper school. Since Canterbury fosters development of the whole child, we want to ensure our students are ready for their post-Canterbury experiences. To ensure they are well prepared, we have created the Senior Skills Seminars, or S3 Program:

  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • College safety (drinking and drugs, sex, contraception, STIs, date rape and hazing )
  • Relationship communication (male/female, parent/young adult, and college professor/authority communication)
  • Life skills such as how to do laundry, basic etiquette, food safety and preparation, simple auto maintenance, dorm hygiene and etiquette, finances, and professional skills (resumés, interviews, etc.)