Geoff Smith - Headteacher Kehelland School
"The Virtues training is the best professional development that I could have hoped for as a headteacher -it creates a common language between children, teachers and parents and its strategies identify those beautiful qualities which empower us to develop our full potential in our schools, families and workplaces."
Angela Clay - Headteacher - Pensans Primary School
"Since the Virtues have been introduced into the school our conferencing of children has shown that they are more confident when discussing their learning. Children are able to manage their emotional well being more successfully as they develop the language of the Virtues and the capacity to make changes in their responses to stress.
Questionnaires evidence that they feel that the Virtues curriculum enables them to set targets for their learning and reflect on the behaviours that they need to develop to achieve their goals. Progress measures in 2016/2017 show increased progress for more vulnerable children across all year groups. Children are able to recognise the virtues that are required in different situations both in and out of school life and parents have told us that this is a useful tool in addressing the well being of their children. School Improvement Partners have seen a change in the enthusiasm for learning across the school for the better."
Sharon Ciliberto – Year 3-4 Teacher – Pensans Primary School
We have been practising identifying and using virtues at Pensans School since it was first introduced to us by Shona Pye. I can honestly say it is probably one of the best incentives that I have come across throughout my time as a teacher. There is a leaning or tendency in society to classify children as either as 'good' or 'naughty'. Sadly, children who do find it difficult to follow societal or school rules can often label themselves as naughty as this is the most common adjective that they have heard when being referred to. ‘Virtues in Education’ has helped children to understand that character is made up of many different facets/virtues and this helps children to pin down and identify their individual character strengths and areas which they need to develop at any given time.
From a teaching point of view, using character coaching and the language of virtues is an invaluable asset in helping the children to see reason in their behaviour at any given time. For example, if a child has snatched a pencil from another, you simply refer to the virtues that they are exhibiting. "I can see you are enthusiastic to get started. Well done for your enthusiasm but which virtue could you have used when you snatched the pencil?"Invariably, the child who has been learning about virtues will reply, "My respect." The missing virtue could be 'kindness', 'caring' or 'self-discipline.' As the adult in the situation, you can then ask the child what it would have looked like if they had been using anyone of the virtues that they had referred to.
Once the notion of virtues has been embedded, you hear children referring to them themselves. As a result of identifying and naming their virtues, the children no longer see their behaviour as a given or as their identity but as a result of not practising certain character qualities or virtues. I cannot speak more highly of how positive an impact Virtues IN Education has had on the children in our school.
Lucy Wandless – Headteacher – Godolphin & Garras Primary schools
Even though we are at the early stages of embedding Virtues we have already noticed this has had an impact on our school community. Pupils and staff are using a shared language to talk about virtues and we are already identifying these in ourselves and others. We have linked the virtues to our reward systems in school and have a weekly focus on a particular virtue. I would thoroughly recommend Virtues in Education and would like to thank Shona for supporting us through her delivery of training and school assemblies.
Bill Coleman - Headteacher - Sennen School
"I would thoroughly recommend schools to take on The Virtues in education. We are in the early stages of embedding the practice and principals of it into our school culture and are seeing positive outcomes already. The ethos and principals of the project sat perfectly alongside those of the school; they have allowed us to enhance them further by giving us a common language and understanding for developing virtues within children.
The children enjoy virtues assemblies and circle times, quickly recognising the virtues in themselves and others. We regularly hear children nominating others for one of our virtues tokens, recognising helpfulness, honesty or respect in their behaviour. The training was excellent and enabled our whole staff to buy into the principals and language from the start. We are excited with our start to the project and are excited about where it will take the culture of our school in the future."
Jess Dumbleton - Foundation Teacher - Parc Eglos School
"I have been lucky enough to take part in the Virtues Training delivered by Shona at my school recently.
I work as a Foundation Teacher and the first term is always about settling the children into their new environment and enabling them to feel happy, confident and secure in their surroundings. Children can often find it difficult to separate from a loved one in the mornings and recently I have been talking to the children about being brave lions in order to deal with these feelings. The children have really taken this on board and I feel very proud of them for showing such courage in coping with their emotions.
Shona also highlighted the importance of promoting virtues amongst colleagues. I really value being part of a great team and make sure that I thank people for their contributions in a meaningful way".
Hannah Eddy - Year 2 Teacher - Parc Eglos School
I first met Shona on a INSET day in September. She introduced the Virtues to myself and my colleagues. I had no previous awareness of what these are and found it so interesting to hear about the characteristics/virtues that we all have within us. I found it a special experience to hear my colleagues and friends picking out virtues they thought I was good at and ones they think I should work on. As the school year started, I found it so helpful to talk to my children about how we are all a mine, rich in gems. We embraced the virtues project and the language from the start. I now have a class of Year 2 children who are so confident when reflecting on the virtues they are successful at and the ones they need to work on. My classroom management has changed in the way that rather than raising my voice, I calmly remind children of how they should be demonstrating certain virtues. They are kind and considerate young people who really reflect on their own characteristics and traits as well as they children around them. Thank you Shona for bringing this amazing project into our school and my classroom.
Lewis Groome – Year 1 Teacher
I worked with Shona over a year delivering the virtues to a two form entry primary school. Throughout this year, I saw the project develop the language and ethos of how people view themselves and each other. There was a massive shift through all people in the building from students to dinner ladies to SLT and parents! The most profound feedback I heard was from families telling us that their children were using the ‘virtues language’ at home in their everyday lives. That’s when you know a project like this has made a massive impact... when that learning flows into their lives outside the school gates and into their everyday understanding of the world.
Emily Whear: Year 1/2 class teacher
We have just had the pleasure of having Shona introduce the Virtues ethos to our school and are already seeing the benefits. After being introduced to the language during her fun and engaging assembly, the children are now able to identify the virtue that they are practising. After an emotional introduction to the parents, where our children were encouraged to make a gem and share it with their chosen adults, parents are now beginning to use the language themselves and enjoy celebrating these with us in our assemblies. We would highly and recommend Shona and the Virtues in Education to anyone looking for a collaborative approach with parents and the school community.
Janet Pascoe - Headteacher - St Buryan School
"Now the whole school community understands that, in order for our children to achieve their potential, building a strong, resilient character is equally as important as academic achievement. The Virtues Project has enabled our school to articulate the value we attach to every child's social attributes."
Josh McDonald – Yr 6 Class Teacher - St Buryan School
"My favourite thing about the Virtues is that the children are able to recognise their own strengths of character as well as those in their peers, school society and families."