Why are so many schools starting to talk about teaching values?
Many parents are now wondering if a good education for a child is about more than simply test results. Surely, some ask, we should be teaching them about what it means to be ‘good’, and to live a full life?
Is good education about more than test results?
We're entering an interesting time in our nation's educational history. Many parents are now wondering if a good education for a child is about more than simply test results. Surely, some ask, we should be teaching them about what it means to be 'good', and to live a full life?
Many schools agree. They're certainly becoming much more interested in teaching children about the 'things that matter' – values like compassion, fairness and kindness.
It's not something they can give whole lessons to, but values can infuse many of the subjects being taught, and provide powerful themes for Collective Worship.
At Barnabas in Schools, our Creating character themes generated a great deal of interest last year, and our latest addition - developed for the 2017-18 academic year - is already being booked for the autumn term. Why?
Here are one head teacher's comments after we trialled it in her school, using the Bible stories of Jonah, Jesus and Paul:
The ‘Respect, resilience andresponsibility’ focus of the sessions is incredibly relevant; it reflects our ethos and our attitude towards curriculum content. I talked about the session with our Year 3/4 class the following day and, when I asked what the theme had been, it was lovely to see so many of them doing the actions you had used in the assembly! How powerful actions can be!
What the children particularly enjoy is the active way in which the stories are relayed.
They like the mixture of listening, participating and reflecting. They also liked the fact that everyone was able to take part, and not just a few selected children. I appreciate that my children are the oldest, but what I found interesting was that they enjoyed being challenged to consider the messages in the stories.
They liked being made to think.