E iloa le tagata i lana amio ma ana aga. (Samoan)
You can tell a person by their deeds and actions, and the way they treat others.
At our school, our three core school values are kindness, respect and perseverance. We have a Maori version too but remember that translating the Maori core value back into English can have an impact on meaning.
This week I was in one of the junior classes and for their writing the children were describing our school values. Each day the teacher modelled one value using shared writing strategies. In addition she provided the children with sentence starters to help them frame their writing and support them depending on their abilities. Then the children went and wrote their own version. What the children wrote about our school values left such an impression on me that I thought I would also have a go but write them from a teacher perspective. So what I have done is put the values together and used the Maori version to help strengthen the English value.
At Newmarket School kindness is one of our school values We teach our children the importance of being kind. As teachers we model being kind with our words and actions. We show empathy for each other by choosing the words we use when we are together and are conscious of the impact of our words. We are role models for our children and for each other by upholding a high standard of what we say and how we say it. We show kindness by taking pleasure and pride in our team work and produce great lessons that our children remember. We show kindness by building relationships with our children and their families and take the time to greet them using eye contact and remember their names and where they come from. Kindness is important because kindness is central to who we are at Newmarket School. We value people above all things and in doing so, we are ourselves uplifted. The very act of talking and writing about kindness encourages our children and us to be kinder. Let us make kindness visible. We can smile at people and ask how they are. We can make an effort to connect and act in kindness. We can practice being approachable by being gentle with words and actions. Kindness sits at the heart of well being.
At Newmarket School respect is another one of our school values. We teach our children the importance of being respectful with a focus on manners. As staff we highlight respect beginning with greeting each other, our children and their parents whenever we see them. This year we have spent the year unpacking belonging and what this looks like in learning. The concept was developed by our student curriculum leaders. As a staff member of Newmarket school I am conscious of my rights as a person and also my responsibility to our children, my colleagues and our families. One major responsibility we have with our children is to build that reciprocal relationship with their families. At Newmarket school we have a history of creating shared experiences for our children. Their favourite event, as was highlighted by our leaving year six children, is our annual camp. This major event sees a huge input from our families and staff to ensure a safe and memorable event for our children. Respect is important because it serves to strengthen each member of our school group.
Our third Newmarket School value is perseverance. We teach our children that perseverance is about never giving up, giving things a go, trying one’s best. However we must also remember that perseverance is also about duty and not just the playground grind. It is more like service and for us at Newmarket School it is about acknowledging our historic motte, ‘Not self but service.’ Perseverance is about knowing our heritage through storytelling and sharing our story. Again this was an area highlighted by our curriculum student leaders in their planning for learning for 2019. Our children wanted to know more about our school’s history. Perseverance is important because it is about guardianship and looking after our surrounding environment sustainably. It is about building a legacy for future learners. It is about leaving our school in a better place.
Overall in today’s climate of learning, it is important for schools to have a core set of values that underpin all that they do and are communicated clearly with all involved. Often when we design learning ,we focus on what we can see and yet the greatest learning space is the space between the ears. When we focus on values, we focus on actions and again we focus on what we see and yet the greatest action is how we treat others.
By communicating our core values with each other and our children, we build citizenship and make a difference. I have written before about citizenship and presented my understanding about citizenship here.
Maori say, ‘He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!’ What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!
If you have written about your school values, can you please share this with me?
Note; Nikki @Nikki_From_NZ thanks for reminding me about revisiting our school values. I look forward to seeing what you do with these in your classroom.