Well, the values came about because it’s an extension of who we are. So one of the questions we’d be asking is “who are we?” Who are we as a board, who are we as people, and the values were basically an extension of that. People don’t care what you know until they know that you care. So the values were a part of caring for people.
The values were part of a board decision to implement the curriculum into the school at that time, and there was consultation with the community and with the teachers, and with the management. A lot of parents want good children. So when they leave school they just want them to be good kids. This was part of that vision to help them achieve that result.
Our children have awesome values that are taught through the assemblies, by their staff and reminded of with each other – to use their values, and how do you show respect, how do you show caring? I may help my friend, who’s feeling a little sad.So I love that our children are learning those values which they will not only have here but for the rest of their lives.
I implement the same things we have at school at home, so that they are getting an all round view of what is to be expected on the worldview. When you put them out into the community, and from the community into the world, so it all translates back to well balanced children, which is what we want at the end of the day.
It’s something which as a board we believe in, which filters down to our awesome management team, then through to our staff that get mass support in terms of professional development, all of that filters down to our kids, and then we as the parents are on the side saying OK, there’s their plan, this is what I’d like, and the children have their input and then we have children moving forward.
There was a huge impact in the school and people just worked together a lot better because they all basically were on the same page. It broke down a lot of barriers between us and other cultures as well. Because even though values is something that you can actually talk about, it means something different in every culture. So we were able to get more of a community feel into the school, and a lot of the teachers, and the management team and even ourselves as board, we were working a lot closer together because of them.
We have two main values each term to focus on, however all the other ones feed into it as well, so lots of teachable moments. Like for example, we’re running around the school doing an ‘Amazing Race’, and within that lots of things come into play with our learners working as a team. So there’s the kindness aspect, consideration, all those other things that come in, as well as our learning behaviours. How they get on with each other matters in practical applications. So when they’re in an authentic task, and they are moving around doing things, it’s how they interact with each other that we’re looking to see what they’ve gained, what they’ve retained from the classroom book learning.
So the praise cards are used to acknowledge learners when they are either applying the values or applying our Pomaria learning behaviours. So how that works is that a teacher fills in, it’s like a postcard, and they put the reason why they are getting that praise card, and it actually gets sent in the mail and it arrives to their home address. So the learner doesn’t actually know until they receive it in the mail.
My daughter actually comes to this school, so as a mum, I get to see her face when she receives it in the mail, and not often do children get mail of their own, and she got one for being a sports leader. So the conversation that ran past just looking at the card, was “oh, I do this…” and “My job is to…” and she was able to articulate all the things she had to do as a leader and what she’d learnt to become that role. That was really powerful. So I took my mum hat and put that on and listening with teacher ears, at all the kinds of richness in her language that she was coming home with. So the cards bring a piece of what they’re learning from school, home.
I was going to say too, that the values aren’t just for our learners. They're for the teachers as well and our community, and it’s a whānau contribution, it’s the concept of whanaunatanga. Our management, they role model that for us as a team. And we’re not just a team we’re a family at Pomaria, and I think that’s what makes it unique.