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A Deeper Dive Into Moral Focus

One of the things that makes the National Heritage Academies (NHA) approach to education unique is the way our curriculum has been shaped to focus on developing the “whole” student. Our programs emphasize academic learning, as well as relational, social, and moral development.
We believe by focusing on a special list of moral virtues we can help students grow in empathy, self-awareness, and kindness. During each month of the school year, our classrooms dive into discussion and practice of a particular “moral focus.” These nine virtues include:
  1. Wisdom
  2. Respect
  3. Gratitude
  4. Self-Control
  5. Perseverance
  6. Courage
  7. Encouragement
  8. Compassion
  9. Integrity 
Over the years we’ve seen how our moral focus emphasis in the classroom makes our schools safer, more caring places. We trust these important personal skills spill out into our students’ homes, communities, and futures. Here are a few benefits that come from developing a strong moral backbone and why NHA takes them to heart. Moral development helps us:

Experience greater peace of mind. Untrustworthy people who do shady things hurt others and self-sabotage. They create negative consequences for themselves – which leads to fear and anxiety. But children who learn morality at a young age typically grow up to be people of integrity. When we know who we are and what we stand for, we live more confidently and above board.
Make better choices. The greater our self-confidence and empathy, the better our chances for making well-rounded, informed, and wise decisions. Students who grow up with a strong ethical foundation and self-esteem are less likely to get tangled up with negative influences or peer pressure.
Find purpose. Moral focus virtues ultimately help us to think about how our actions impact other people, and to consider our lives as part of a larger picture. Focusing on others helps us grow more caring and considerate – and can help us notice the deeper things in life.

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About Phoenix Academy
Phoenix Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in High Point, North Carolina, serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes 99 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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