“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”
Embedding our values has been one of my key priorities. We voted upon our new values early in the start of the year. Now, it is about further embedding them in everything that we do and ensuring that the children understand what these values mean. Even though we chose to have six key values that represent our school, we draw on many other very important values in our collective worship and in class discussions. Values have become central to the way we discuss our roles as pupils in our school as well as citizens within our community.
I had seen a secondary school that had begun having different members of staff write something for the weekly newsletter about the theme or topic that their school was focusing on for that term. I thought this was a fantastic way to really get the staff involved and to begin thinking about how that theme or topic related to them and why they felt it was important.
I began this last week by taking one of our core values and thinking about why it is important to me. I wrote down my thoughts and presented it in our weekly newsletter. Another member of staff has taken another core value and is writing about it for this week’s newsletter. Over the year, hopefully a range of members of staff will have written about each of the different values and what the value means to them and why they think it is an important value to model. Hopefully, this will embed the idea of values within not just the staff, but also within the wider community, helping to promote our message and the values that underpin what we do.
Another thing that I have introduced is the Headteacher’s Value Award. This Award is given out termly to a pupil who has demonstrated and modelled our school values consistently. I’m hoping to also implement ‘values’ cards – which is a card that has all of our values on it, laminated with the child’s name. This would probably work best for pupils in year 5 and 6. When a teacher notices them modelling or demonstrating a value in a very demonstrable way, they would then have their values card punched over the value that they had shown. Once their card was completed, they would then receive a special certificate as well as have a special tea/breakfast with the headteacher and their parents.
It is about celebrating our achievements and making sure the children understand how proud we are of their success in everything that they do. But again, it is yet another thing to implement in school, so I am just waiting for the right time to begin it. The cards are ready and waiting…….it is all a matter of time!
So many ideas…..but you can only introduce them when the time is right……it is about learning the value of patience…….