Character Education Counts at Canterbury

Humanitas cum Misericordia: “Enlightenment with Compassion"

The development of character and value of service is an integral part of the educational experience at CSF.

The Canterbury LEADS program is designed to teach and develop character and leadership skills and instill an understanding of the critical role that service must play in the life of a responsible global citizen. Students work to identify and develop their strengths, challenges, gifts, and passions. They also begin to zero in on the real-world topics to which they feel most connected and to understand how the lessons and skills developed in school can be applied practically to their lives beyond Canterbury.

Through LEADS, CSF has a direct and positive impact on the community that supports and sustains it, and students foster key relationships with people and organizations that encourage their independence and growth. At each grade level, LEADS advisors help students inventory developing skills and competencies, and use service and learning experiences within and outside the classroom to connect with the broader community to foster those skills and competencies.

Lower School LEADS

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.

Middle School LEADS

Middle School LEADS

Skills development takes place both in the classroom through everyday curricula and in a separate LEADS class that meets each week. In conjunction with learning and discussing the designated leadership skills, each grade serves local non-profit organization to promote an enduring understanding of lessons learned throughout the year.

5th Grade


    • Help students set realistic expectations for Middle School.
    • Develop study skills, including time management and task prioritization.
    • Examine what makes a good leader and how to function effectively within a group.

6th Grade

Sense of Self and Place

  • Focus on developing and maintaining a positive self-image in order to be a more productive member of any group, either as an active participant or leader.
  • Begin to engage in critical concepts such as personal responsibility, physical, and emotional self-awareness, and leadership potential.
  • Discuss relationships and sexual health.

7th Grade

Growth and Nourishment

  • Students gain an awareness of what is needed to “feed” and grow a healthy person, family, village, and world.
  • Students also spend time learning mindfulness and how to nourish and grow their brains though.
  • Students also learn how to express themselves through the spoken and written word.

8th Grade

Finding Your Voice

  • Exploration into finding individual identity and voice, and develop a sense of what it means to communicate authentically.
  • Examine how to create and maintain healthy friendships and romantic relationships, and discuss topics on sexual health.
  • Begin gearing up for the exciting transition to upper school.

Upper School LEADS

Upper School LEADS

As students move into grades 9-11, they continue to build leadership and stewardship skills in ways that further augment the students’ growing awareness of their place in the world.

In addition to service relationships, Upper School students use LEADS sessions for discussion and in-depth exploration of the ties between the self and the multiple communities to which they belong.

9th Grade

Transitioning to Upper School

  • Students develop the tools they need to navigate the Upper School, such as the opportunity to sharpen their time management, technology, and study techniques. Students explore their own learning style and discover how to use his/her voice in the classroom.
  • Covers life skills topics, including social and professional etiquette and stress management,
  • Emphasis on individual growth while giving each student the tools he/she needs to become a leader and an agent of change in a diverse group.

10th Grade

Finding Your Path

  • 10th grade students explore the myriad ways in which one can contribute to global communities by learning about foundations, nonprofit organizations, and grant-making to gain an understanding of philanthropy.
  • Discuss interpersonal challenges that present themselves in high school, including group dynamics, the differences between beneficial and toxic friendships, as well as safety and healthy decision making.
  • Learn practical skills relating to personal responsibility, including applying for jobs and saving and maintaining vehicles.

11th Grade

Preparing for the Future

  • The 11th grade year builds on the experiences of the 10th grade year, focusing heavily on preparation for the college admission process and personal financial literacy.
  • Introduction of practical life skills including developing a healthy lifestyle and the care and maintenance of home and property.
  • Students work to identify issues about which he/she is most passionate in preparation for the Senior Capstone Project.

12th Grade

Senior Capstone

  • Each senior will utilize skills, knowledge, and insights gained from his/her time of leadership and service at CSF to explore an area of intense interest, then share his/her voice and vision with the community through the presentation of a Senior Capstone Project.
  • Students will benefit from the experiences of guest speakers and small group discussion to examine issues of social responsibility, relationships, and sexuality in the post-graduation world.
  • Examine practical principles entrepreneurship, economics, and smart money practices that will instill sound, lifelong financial habits.

Service Learning

Canterbury has a long tradition of offering our students an array of hands-on opportunities to serve the community. Through LEADS, CSF has a direct and positive impact on the community that supports and sustains it, and students foster key relationships with people and organizations that encourage their independence and growth. Our students are problem solvers and helpers; they are empathetic advocates for fellow humans everywhere. These activities help our kids build skills that empower them to take a proactive role in creating the world in which they want to live.

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.