Putting Values At the Heart Of Education
There is no such thing as a values vacuum.
Every organisation, whether a business, social club or charity, will have at its heart a set of values – the beliefs and principles which give it identity and shape its purpose.
Sometimes these values are carefully chosen, afforded a significant profile, enshrined in a mission statement and emblazoned across headed notepaper. In other organisations the values develop organically and can be recognised in the way people treat one another or decisions are made. Whilst these values may be only implicitly understood and rarely articulated or acknowledged, they nonetheless represent powerful drivers in informing culture and behaviour. Businesses often invest huge sums in promoting positive values precisely because they are acutely aware of how much these will contribute to the cohesiveness, and ultimately the success, of the company.
For a school, effectiveness is measured by the quality of the education that it offers its pupils. The understanding that governors, senior leaders and teachers have of the purpose and nature of the education they are providing, and the values which underpin it, will determine the ethos and often the standards in the school.
This is recognised by Ofsted when, in the Inspection Evaluation Schedule, it describes some of the characteristics of an ‘outstanding’ school:
“The School’s thoughtful and wide ranging promotion of the pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development enables them to thrive in a supportive, highly cohesive learning community.”
Ofsted Evaluation Schedule 2012
Schools that have invested time and resources to allow children, teachers, parents and governors to explore and reflect upon the values that inform their life together as a community have been commended in inspection reports:
“The school promotes pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development exceptionally well. There are opportunities for pupils to reflect on their work, relationships and on the values that are promoted.”
Mitcheldean Endowed Primary School
Leadership and Management Section of Ofsted Inspection Report 2012
The 12 values which underpin all Imaginor materials are rooted in the Bible, many being drawn from the teaching of Jesus. They can therefore be described as Christian Values, though may also be seen as touching on what it means to be fully human.
It has become increasingly evident over recent years that schools that are confident and clear about their values are happy, purposeful, thriving learning communities. The aim of Imaginor publications is to support and resource creative, inclusive Values Education and in so doing promote spiritual and moral development in schools.
“The school’s strong family ethos permeates school life and the very strong emphasis on increasing pupils’ awareness of ‘values’ is a significant factor in enhancing pupils’ outstanding spiritual, moral, social and cultural development.”
St Lawrence C of E Primary School, Lechlade
First Key Finding. Ofsted Inspection Report 2012