The academic successes schools achieve after adopting VbE are well documented. Yet the power of VbE to improve school outcomes go well beyond academic results.
This section offers a very small number of examples of personal and social growth that VbE nurtures in learners, and staff and the wider community.
The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic were vast and immediate. Schools had to balance two very conflicting objectives. They had to work out how to keep learners physically safe, which meant some level of remote learning became a reasonably universal necessity. They also had to work out how to keep learners engaged and emotionally safe, which meant finding a way to keep them connected with each other and the school, remotely.
VbE provided the invisible thread that kept remote pupils connected.
At Capel Manor, our values helped nurture our children who have in turn, developed strong moral compasses. A tight communal bond developed over time. In times of unparalleled uncertainty, our values gave our Capel community and children in particular a reference point to battle through difficult times.
Our school termly values of kindness, ambition and teamwork were emphasised in children’s learning, feedback and through recorded assemblies, providing reassurance for our children and families who were safe in the knowledge that the link between our school and homes had not been lost. The benefits of VbE have always been clear to us and the last year reinforced this more than ever.Riccardo Maraia, Capel Manor Primary School
With the lockdown, [our] values carried on running through everything. The value of the month has taken on whole new meanings when referencing how everyone has been dealing with the situation we all found ourselves in. For example we have had resilience, fairness, appreciation, hope and empathy to mention a few. I am sure others have found themselves thinking how powerful values are at helping us all reflect, have understanding and helped bring collaboration and support for all. Ours certainly have!
I hope others have found values as helpful as we as a school have.Julie Barrows, Alameda Middle School
[The] benefit of our values became magnified for us all during a period of time when our thinking and our behaviour was challenged by fear, confusion and upset. We have ‘fallen back’ on our values-based culture throughout the past year to support us in riding the waves of the Coronavirus pandemic.Joseph Piatczanyn, Cranfield Academy
Recent, post-lockdown discussions with our children have shown us what values [our children] believe shone from our school during lockdown. Love and caring, positivity, thankfulness and communication! I’m happy with that. You are loved, you are cared for, we are positive, we are thankful for the good that we have and we stay together, even though we are apart.
The past 14 months have proven a challenge but they have also been a golden opportunity to bring us closer together with a common goal of ‘safety’ and ‘looking out for others.’ We have become stronger together using our values as the cement which binds.
Our values were the ‘bedrock’ of the cohesion and co-operation of parents (through the challenges of home learning), the community (supporting the vulnerable, providing food parcels and ‘checking’ on others) and children (to be so resilient). It has been a wonder to behold.Lee Batstone, Madley Primary School
During Lockdown we continued with promoting our values through online live assemblies. We explored how the value of the month linked to the pandemic and their environment. For example: we explored responsibility with a focus on our collective responsibility to look after our environment. As a result, we found that not only the children, but parents became involved.Coral Snowden, Western House Academy