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.

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.

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

5th Grade – Transitions

    • 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

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

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

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

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.)

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.

Leadership


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.

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.

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.