“As you walk through the foyer of West Kidlington School the feeling of harmony is as powerful as the light that floods in through the glass roof,” writes Frances Farrer in A Quiet Revolution, her book about West Kidlington Primary School and its wonderful values programme, devised by headmaster, Neil Hawkes.
Each morning at assembly there are a couple of minutes silent reflection on the month’s chosen word, which might be, for example, honesty, truthfulness or respect. There are 22 positive values, which were chosen by staff and are carried through into lessons and every aspect of school life. Staff respect pupils and pupils are given responsibilities; at lunchtimes they work in the school office, answering the telephone.
The values system grew out of Neil Hawkes observations of schools as an inspector. He returned to the classroom in 1992 to make his vision a reality with the support of all the teachers and it has been very successful. “I think it’s a model for other schools and parents how to work together,” said parent governor Andrew Jones. “I think values affects friendships,” said Mark, one of the pupils. “You can be more friends with people. You’re more confident; you’re more kind and helpful and people like it. People like you better because you’re nicer.”
This book describes the values system in use at West Kidlington and each chapter also shows how parents can work with values at home. It is an inspiring book for parents and teachers alike.
FURTHER INFORMATION : A Quiet Revolution’ by Frances Farrer, Price £9.99 Rider ISBN 0 7126 0577 0