At Moss Hall Juniors it is our aim to raise standards by promoting a school ethos which is underpinned by core values. These values support the development of the whole child as a reflective learner within a calm, caring, happy and purposeful atmosphere.
At Moss Hall Juniors we give regular thought to how values can be used to support the child as a reflective learner and promote quality teaching and learning.
In our society children are increasingly encouraged through advertising to think of happiness as something which can be found simply in the material world. They are generally encouraged to experience life in a world which is external to their inner selves.
As a school community, we believe that the ethos of the school should be built on a foundation of values.
Values-based Education is an approach to teaching that works with values. It creates a strong learning environment that enhances academic attainment and develops students’ social and relationship skills that last throughout their lives.
The positive learning environment is achieved through the positive values modelled by staff throughout the school. It quickly liberates teachers and students from the stress of confrontational relationships, which frees up substantial teaching and learning time.
It also provides social capacity to students, equipping them with social and relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed in school and throughout their lives.
Respect, Thoughtfulness, Tolerance, Co-operation, Caring, Equality, Perseverance, Independence, Responsibility, Appreciation, Positivity, Friendship, Kindness, Trust, Loyalty, Patience, Empathy, Honesty, Fairness, Unity, Determination and Courage.
These are at times addressed directly through lessons and assemblies but also permeate the whole curriculum. Either way, they are the basis for the social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and moral development of the whole child. We encourage children to consider these values, and thereby to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that enable them to develop as reflective learners and grow to be stable, educated and civil adults.
Teaching and Learning
The elements of Values Education are:
- Ensuring that the school’s institutional values are consistent with the values that children are encouraged to develop.
- The active promotion of a whole school policy that has the support of all the staff and is led and monitored by the deputy headteacher.
- A programme of school assemblies that introduce and explore a value each month. Children are encouraged to be actively involved in exploring their understanding of values.
- Direct teaching about values in the classroom. These sessions provide opportunities for personal reflection, moral discourse and appropriate activities which promote understanding.
Teaching and Learning about Values takes place in the following ways:
- By teachers explaining the meaning of the value (see Appendix 1).
- By children reflecting on the value and what it means to them and their own behaviour.
- By children using the value to guide their own actions.
- By staff modelling the value through their own behaviour.
- By ensuring that values are taught implicitly through every aspect of the curriculum.
- Through the work of the School Council, Eco Council, House captains and Travel Ambassadors.
- By involving all staff, governors and parents in the values programme through newsletters which explain how school and home can work together to promote positive values.
In order for the school’s purpose to be effective and for the values to be meaningful to the children, the staff understand that the basic needs of children are:
- To be loved.
- To feel secure and know clearly what is expected of them.
- To be valued.
- To have a balance of activities – active/passive; quiet/talking; communicating/reflective; taught skills/exploratory work.
- To have help to develop relationships.
- To develop self-awareness and a knowledge of the world outside of themselves.
- To have creative experiences, including external exploration and internal reflection.
- To be fully involved in the process of education.
In order to try to meet the needs of children, staff try always to be consistent in their own behaviour and in their expectations of the children. They:
- Value all the children.
- Display great patience and listen carefully to children.
- Focus on and emphasise the positive.
- Face reality and help pupils to come to terms with difficult issues as they arise, such as death.
- Only disapprove of poor behaviour, never the child.
- Try to make time for one another.
- Are mutually supportive.
- Speak quietly and avoid shouting.
- Are valued by the governors and the community.
- Have a good sense of humour.
- Communicate with parents to ensure that they appreciate the school’s values and to ensure that there is a common understanding.
Throughout the school the development of the following skills which contribute to reflective thinking about values are encouraged:
- Displaying helpful politeness and good manners to everyone in school.
- Speaking quietly and politely to others.
- Listening carefully to and thinking about what others are saying.
- Empathy and tolerance.
- Using imagination.
- Visualisation techniques.
- Being able to express feelings constructively, thereby learning to manage feelings and resolve conflicts through discussion, understanding and practise.
- Articulating thoughts clearly in order to enhance communication skills.
- Walking quietly about the school building.
- Developing positive attitudes to work and play.
- Accepting personal responsibility for actions.
- Care and respect for other people’s property.
Activities that promote Reflective Thinking
Teachers are especially mindful of the activities that promote positive thinking and incorporate these into their teaching as much as possible. These include:
- Creating a peaceful climate in the classroom and on the school site.
- Taking children to beautiful places to experience peaceful places and encourage them to value them.
- Children setting their own targets for their work and behaviour.
- Children involved in the assessment of their own work.
- Giving opportunities for decision making.
- School’s behaviour policy that clearly defines how the school puts emphasis on behaving well and positive thinking.
- Giving time in class for children to respond to some of the basic needs within us: friendship, love co-operation, to clarify their understanding of values.
- Allowing children to sit and work in silence to think through their own thoughts.
- Helping children to be relaxed and unstressed but focussed on their activities.
- Including visualisation as a teaching technique to help in the development of the imagination and memory.
- Opportunity for role-play so that skills associated with negotiation, co-operation and assertiveness are developed. This helps children to understand the potential consequences of giving way to peer pressure.
Benefits for Children
The benefits that come when children are expected to be reflective about values are:
- Children behaving more calmly and purposely.
- Children able to concentrate and reflect more on their own behaviour.
- Children being more self-aware and self-accepting.
- Children being more considerate to others and less ego-centred.
- Children taking a greater responsibility for their own actions.
- The improvement of self-confidence and self-esteem.
- Children knowing themselves better and being able to relate to others more effectively.
The approaches outlined in this policy describe how the school uses core values as a basis for its work. The success of our approach to teaching and learning is not easily measured but it is evident in the school’s positive ethos and in the personal qualities that pupils display in the community.
This policy will be reviewed in June 2018
Implementing the Values Education Programme
- Values are introduced in assembly each month children become familiar with the language and ideas.
- Lots of basic training is needed, manners, routines, picking up the positive and giving praise when children show respect etc.
- We have high expectations and clear boundaries: the foundation of good values require good discipline.
- We aim for a calm, reflective atmosphere which facilitates contemplation. Then the children get to know themselves better and develop a sense of responsibility for their own lives and happiness.
- At the start of the year, class rules are decided with the children: the rules are then real and meaningful for the children.
- Opportunities are taken to discuss values throughout the curriculum.
- As teachers, we try to live the values: we teach best by being role models.