We live in a global economy that requires our students to be prepared to think critically and creatively, evaluate massive amounts of information, solve complex problems, and communicate well. A strong foundation in reading, writing, math, and other core subjects is as important as ever, but academics by itself is insufficient for lifelong success in the 21st century.
As Educators, we are for ever asking ourselves, “What works best for the education of our children?” In response to this question, we are reminded time and time again that a quality education is about more than just academic achievement – it is about the development of the whole child.
One vital component of this educational philosophy is our focus on character development through our Student of the Month programme. This programme makes central the core values which we feel to be the cornerstone of a civil, just and democratic society, such as: responsibility, courage, teamwork, maturity, ambition, commitment, friendship, and respect, to name a few.
As a whole school effort, each month is dedicated to a particular value. All members of the school community share in the responsibility to explicitly teach, model and demonstrate the universal attributes in all school, classroom and extracurricular activities. At the end of each month, one student per class is nominated to achieve the Student of the Month Award as a way to validate an outstanding embodiment of the value. This award is highly coveted by all students alike and is a way to publicly honour excellence in character development.
Overall, we as educators know that successful character development, when it permeates all school life, not only provides a standard for behavior against which we hold ourselves accountable, but it binds us together across lines that often divide us in society, as it forms the basis of our relationships and of responsible citizenship.