WHAT IS A VALUES LED EDUCATION?
We all have values by which we and our families try to live our lives by. These can include values such as honesty, trust, respect, kindness, perseverance, justice and so on. At Educate Together we have our 4 core principles and the objectives in the Learn Together curriculum. We use values to teach about this.
Each month we look in depth at one and bring it into all we do. This way the children begin to think for themselves what they, their families, the school and their friends think is important. We find that discussing values helps children to realise that whilst we may all have different beliefs and different cultures or ways of life we actually share much in what we believe in.
By referring back to the values children can begin to think about how to behave and respond to the situations they come across in life. They are helped to understand what is important to their own family and to others. This way they will grow up able to understand and find the shared values with all people they come across.
Are there any faiths or cultures that do not value honesty, respect, friendship or kindness? By sharing and discussing these we realise that we have far more in common with each other than what separates us.
October - Respect
The children have been thinking about how to show respect and what they can do to be respectful.
July - Thankfulness
Bumble Bee class took time to think about what thankfulness meant and how they could show it. They learnt that thankfulness meant the feeling of being happy or grateful for something. During a circle time they passed around a special stone to share things that they were thankful for. They then made a thankfulness tree where each of them wrote some of the things they were thankful for.
Some comments from the children:
I am thankful for my home because lots of people don’t have one.
I am thankful for my family because they love me.
I am thankful for my bed.
June - Justice
Bumblebee class learnt about Justice, they found out that it means what is fair or right - it means people being respected and treated fairly, respectfully and peacefully. Social justice is the view that everyone deserves to enjoy the same economic, political and social rights, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, gender or other characteristics.
Tash split the class into two groups and asked them each to build a house, one group were able to use the crates and polydron and the other group had paper, scissors, string and glue. Tash gave both groups the same amount of time to build their houses. Once the time had run out they went to observe each groups houses. Some children said Tash hadn’t been fair, Tash said she had because she gave them the same amount of time. Some comments from the about this were:
“Tash wasn’t fair because they weren’t allowed to use the crates and blocks”.
“I felt sad because they didn’t have crates and blocks to use.”
“We all should have worked outside and built with the same things”
“It was impossible to make it out of paper, it’s not fair!”
“Everyone should get the same, if there’s enough.”
Everyone agreed that Tash should have let all of the children have access to the same materials.
Tash gave each child a lemon, we got to know our lemons really well by observing their characteristics and thinking about what made them special and unique. We then put them into the middle of the circle and Tash mixed them up. We found that we knew our lemons so well that we could find them even though they had been mixed up. Tash decided that only the lemons without spots and bumps could be peeled as they were the best ones. We peeled these lemons and put them in the middle. Bumble bees decided Tash wasn’t being fair again so decided to peel all of the lemons themselves. Once all of the lemons were peeled and in the middle Tash asked Bumblebees to find their lemons again. As hard as we tried we realised we couldn’t identify our lemons because they now all looked the same. This made us realise that even if we look different on the outside we are all people and all deserve to be treated equally.
“We all have hearts, we should all be treated nicely.”
“We all need to be loved.”
“We’re all together like a family.”
May - Empathy
April - Courage
The children have been thinking about how they have shown courage and been brave to try something new or do something that they were a little unsure of. The children showed courage to try some unfamiliar foods.
March - Happiness
Bumble Bee class have been thinking about how to spread happiness and fill other people’s buckets with happiness. They went out into the local community to give out flowers to spread happiness.
February - Honesty
Bumblebee class read the story the boy who cried wolf. We spoke about how it is important to tell the truth and how people would feel if we tell lies. We spoke about how telling the truth can keep us safe and ensures that people believe us.
January - Perseverance
Bumble Bee class have enjoyed reading ‘How to Catch a star’ and ‘The little engine that could’. They have been thinking about what they would like to persevere with to get better at.
December - Peace
Bumblebee class talked about peace, what peace meant to each of us and what it looks like in our world. We thought about all of the peaceful things we could do and the ways that we could spread peace. We then thought about our wish for peace in our world.
November - Kindness
Bumble Bee class thought about kindness. They used water to represent a person’s feelings. They dropped items (unkind actions) into the water and watched the ripples, realising the impact of being unkind.
October - Respect
Throughout October we have been focussing on Respect. The children have been identifying how to be respectful in school and out of school; staff have been so impressed by how they are showing and understanding the need to be respectful. Bumble bee class thought about different cultures and how to be respectful of different people’s faiths, non faiths, beliefs etc.
September - Responsibility
In September, we were learning to be responsible. All of the children in Bumble Bee class are taking responsibility of their own items and their classroom. Each day a special helper is chosen; they have many responsibilities including getting snack and ordering dinners with the office.