Mutual respect and care

25th June 2004 at 01:00
Raymond Ross visits Carrick Academy and a cluster of primary and special schools to see how personal and civic values education affects a community

At Gardenrose Primary in Maybole, four P7 pupils, Bryony Harvey, Lisa Campbell, David McCulloch and Connor McGill, are giving a presentation about the school's values: caring, honesty, respect, loyalty and trustworthiness.

It is a very polished performance. They have already given it at the council chambers in Ayr.

They explain the role of the house captains, the prefects, the school council, the buddy system and the suggestion box, which is emptied every month and 10 "sensible" suggestions are discussed by the headteacher and the house captains. At present they are considering the suggestion of lockers for the pupils. They have ascertained the cost, pound;700, and are looking at ways to raise the funds.

Values education started at the school in August 2003. Involving pupils in establishing values was crucial, says headteacher Mary Scott. "You can't impose values. Pupils have to believe they are their own values.

"Ours certainly have a big thing about honesty. When staff pointed out that trustworthiness might be covered by honesty, they still insisted on having it as a distinct value for the school," she says.

"People are better behaved and they think about our school values more," says Bryony Harvey.

Pupils have a say in the games they play in the playground and can bring in their own games.

They wanted and got bins to help keep the playground tidy.

For a recent mini-enterprise, pupils prepared and sold fruit kebabs, helped by a home economics teacher from Carrick Academy. They raised pound;57 in two days, winning a trophy and pound;250 from Alloway Rotary Club. The school council is still deciding what the money should be spent on.

"I can see things changing," says Mrs Scott. "Pupils speak out more, even if it's something teachers might not like." She gives the example of one youngster's complaint that pupils opened doors for teachers but not all the adults returned the courtesy. "Staff were horrified. So everyone does it now.

"We are responsible for the messages we give the children. Teachers are more aware of modelling behaviour now.

"A caring school is built on mutual respect, pulling together and working as a team to get the best out of our children.

"We always focus on what we are aiming at and why, giving attention to detail and picking up on possible issues, because success breeds success."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today