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Making Kindness a Priority

08 August 2017

Principal Sarah Osborne-James believes kindness should be central to any school and shares with us how we can teach children to be kind. 

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You only need to turn on the TV or listen to the news today to see that we seem to have lost our way in being kind. As a child, I can always remember my mum saying “kindness doesn’t cost a thing” and she is right, “Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give” (unknown).
I believe we need to role model kindness each day, we may at times disagree, we may have different beliefs and values but we can still be kind to each other.
The world needs it.

The Random Acts of Kindness Organisation over a four-year period carried out rigorous research and pilot programs in urban, rural, public and private school. The results are astonishing, teaching kindness really does make a difference. They conclude that;

Students behave better, discipline rates have decreased, they are more inclusive of others, student conflicts have decreased and the relationships between students and teachers is much stronger.

If we teach our children to be kind when they are young, maybe they will grow into adults who can really make the difference the world needs?

THE KINDNESS PARADIGM

One of the most beautiful things about kindness is the purity of its ease and simplicity. This is reflected in a Kindness Paradigm, a simple, four-step cycle that The Random Acts of Kindness Organisation have illustrated:

Here's how it works, kindness is contagious!

STEP 1 – INSPIRE… through being a positive role model, demonstrating and exhibiting kindness.  

STEP 2 – EMPOWER Whether you are a parent, guardian or a teacher, provide hands on opportunities for your children to explore and identify kindness, to empower them to find ways to be kind in their daily lives.

STEP 3 – ACTNo act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted (Aesop). Help your children put their ideas into action, no matter how small! Bring real, tangible kindness into the world.

STEP 4 – SHARE… Talk about it, reflect, celebrate it. This reinforces what they've learned and experienced, and makes it far more likely that they'll begin the kindness cycle again themselves.

Kindness is contagious, what are you waiting for?

Further reading

Siva Kumari, Director General of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) http://edtechreview.in/voices/interviews/2248-intercultural-competence

Random Acts of Kindness Foundation https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

Kindness Scale http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1520-6807

 

Ms Sarah Osborne-James
Principal