Character Initiative

WJ Mouat Secondary School has been formally developing a School of Character initiative since June of 2010. Following a Think Tank on June 3, 2010, a Character Committee was established which began meeting monthly, conducting research across North America, and developing a strategic plan to increase the intentionality of the character development of our students.

On June 30, 2011, a charter document was signed by staff and students indicating Mouat's commitment to practice and promote the following character values in our school community: Respect | Responsibility | Integrity | Caring | Awareness | Teamwork

A Character Council was founded and met for the first time on November 30, 2011 with the inclusion of a variety of members from the Mouat student population. This council began meeting monthly in January, 2012.

In November of 2012, WJ Mouat Secondary was awarded the Promising Practices Award by Character Education Partnership for the Mouat Minute concept and their work with character education.  Again in 2017, Mouat was once again recognized with a Promising Practices Award, this time for the work of Travis Bell and the athletic department for the development of the Athletes' Charter.

Co-chairs of the Staff Committee

Brian Billo 
Karen Bowater 
Mark Thiessen 
Carissa Esau
Gina Vanderhyde

Character Initiatives

Grade 8 Transitions

Our Grade 8 Transitions program aims to alleviate uncertainty and anxiety for students as they move from middle to high school. Our Mouat students begin visiting the middle schools to answer questions and share information as early as January. Middle school students are first invited to tour Mouat in March and then brought back again in June for a  more in-depth program. During this Transitions program in June, students are introduced to the opportunities that will be available to them for getting involved at Mouat. They’ll be given tips for being successful in their high school classes and info on what to do if they find they’re struggling or falling behind. They’re also introduced to the character values that Mouat aims to practice and promote. 

Grade 9 Transitions (Senior Mentorship program for Grade 9’s)

This year-long program is targeted to our grade nines. As part of our Grade 9 Transitions program, Senior Leadership students meet monthly with a group of grade nines to mentor, encourage and connect them to Mouat. Our leadership students facilitate discussions around dealing with exam stress, academic integrity, empathy, being kind online and making a positive impact in our school and community. As a school of character, Mouat aims to practice and promote the character values of respect, responsibility, integrity, caring, awareness and teamwork and our transitions program has been a great way to introduce new students to these important aspects of Mouat’s culture.

Youth Philanthropy Initiative (YPI)

YPI is an inclusive, multi-award-winning secondary school program that grows compassionate communities by connecting youth to social issues, local charities, and philanthropy at a pivotal stage in their adolescence.

We are Hawks Week

We are Hawks Week is a spirit week focused around Character.  In addition to igniting student’s school spirit, the week incorporates the Family of Schools event as well as the Inside Ride.  Inside Ride is a team indoor cycling challenge that involves students, teachers, and members of the community. It is dedicated to raising money in support of children with cancer and their families.

Family of Schools

Leadership students host grade 4 and 7 students from the Mouat feeder schools (who will be leaders next year in their schools) for the 'Family of Schools Character Day'. Following a Character Pep Rally to excite students about being a future hawk, grade 7 students attend student-led workshops on Mouat's core values.

Athletes Forum

Coaches and Student Athletes gather together for inspiration, motivation and for Character Development.  Students sign a Character Athletes Charter to educate them on the requirements of being a student athlete here at W.J. Mouat.

Character Values


Mouat's Core Values were established over a 2-month process in spring 2011 including staff and student forums.


Self-discipline, courtesy and upholding the dignity of others are qualities that define respectful people.

How it can look when put into action:

  • Being patient
  • Caring for yourself.
  • Standing up for what you believe is right.
  • Saying please, thank you and excuse me; showing good manners
  • Showing good sportsmanship.
  • Allowing others to go first.
  • Following school code of conduct.
  • Considering the safety and well being of others.
  • Showing appreciation for the opportunities and privileges you are offered.


Taking responsibility means being accountable for your actions, your words and your obligations.

How it can look when put into action:

  • Attending regularly and being on time.
  • Admitting mistakes and making amends.
  • Setting and pursuing goals; taking initiative for self-improvement
  • Working diligently.
  • Communicating clearly and honestly; listening carefully.
  • Showing courage.
  • Being persistent.
  • Planning ahead and using time wisely.


Integrity is a commitment to honesty that is clear because actions are consistent with stated beliefs or promises. Honest, truthful, trustworthy people have integrity.

​​How it can look when put into action:

  • Doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
  • Telling the truth.
  • Producing work that is honest and sincere.
  • Keeping confidences.
  • Keeping promises and commitments.
  • Communicating honestly, openly and respectfully.


Caring is both an action and a state of mind that demonstrates kindness and sensitivity to others.

How it can look when put into action:

  • Paying it forward
  • Being sensitive to other people’s points of view
  • Sharing.
  • Listening.
  • Volunteering to help.
  • Being generous.
  • Encouraging others.
  • Protecting vulnerable members of the community.


Having awareness means being informed about school, community and global issues, identifying with the needs of others, and considering all points of view.

How it can look when put into action:

  • Learning about other cultures.
  • Including everyone.
  • Seeking fairness and equity for all
  • Having self-control.
  • Volunteering to help.
  • Sharing.
  • Showing gratitude.
  • Finding your passion.
  • Taking initiative.


Teamwork is working collaboratively and cooperatively to attain a shared goal.

How it can look when put into action:

  • Participating in class and school activities.
  • Challenging yourself.
  • Supporting and encouraging others.
  • Considering how to accommodate the needs of others.
  • Providing leadership.
  • Being willing to follow.
  • Taking turns.