Updated: May 12
I believe a schools vision and values should be alive to you within the first few minutes of entering a school. I feel this is a massively important part of a schools look and feel. I take great pride in ensuring that when I am showing through a prospective new parent to our school or a group of visitors that they are bombarded with evidence of what our school stands for in this regard. When I started at Turitea, we had a set of four values and a vision that was known by some staff members, but it wasn't woven into all that we were doing. Some classrooms had evidence of this and few students had an understanding of this, but it wasn't our 'bread and butter' and my goal was to change that. I strongly think that a vision and values helps establish a sense of identity for the school. This identity can be used to differentiate Turitea from other schools in the Manawatū. I want to attract students and staff who share the same values, and create a sense of belonging among the school community. My first step was to make our values 'drip from the walls' so I enlisted the help of a Māori visual artist that I knew to design something that kids could identify with and built a narrative that explained the value along with the link to the image he created for it. These were then turned into large boards that are in classrooms and at the start of the year at our learning conferences our parents took home a A5 postcard with a magnet on the back for them to take home so that our values were visible at home as well as school. Although we are only at the start of our journey with this mahi, it is exciting and evolving as the days go by. Our next steps are to develop indicators of what showing the values looks like at our kura. I'd love to connect with other schools who are moving down a values based approach and away from behviour management plans.
Principal / Nominated contact: Troy Duckworth