15 August, 2019 K-6 spotlight

K-6 spotlight: a focus on values

This is my first in a series of fortnightly articles where I will be discussing key elements of our educational journey that begins in K-6, to provide insight into how this is brought to life at St Michael’s.

The strong St Michael’s values of Dignity, Respect, Care and Compassion are both a uniting force and a clarion call to each of us to be the best people we can be. In K-6, we are intentionally focussing on a value each term in order to deepen understanding of our shared values and enable the students to build a personal connection to them so they can apply the values daily in practical and meaningful ways.

This term, our focus is on respect

The ‘Golden Rule’ is a principle that guides us, as both children and adults. Interpreted broadly, it calls on us to be kind, respectful and considerate of others in both our thoughts and our actions. The most familiar version of the Golden Rule is stated as; “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. This maxim is found in many cultures, religions, ethical systems and philosophies, and whilst the wording varies, the intent remains common.

At the beginning of this term, the Golden Rule was introduced to K-6 students in assembly through a story that was beautifully read by Lucy, our Year 6 Co-Captain and Danika, our Year 6 Co-Vice Captain. The story portrays a conversation between a grandfather and grandson, about how the world could be different, much kinder and more peaceful, if we lived by this rule. Father McKie then followed up in Eucharist by inviting the students to imagine how it feels when we apply the Golden Rule, and when we do not. Each class has been given a copy of the story, as a tangible reminder and tool to invite reflective thought. I am hopeful that the visibility of the story and our shared language will help us all to internalise the rule so that it may become a lens through which we will automatically filter our future thoughts and actions.

Developing social skills is a key priority that begins in Kinder and continues throughout each student’s time at St Michael’s up to Year 12 and beyond. School is a collective experience, unique because the scale of social interactions and the intensity of the school day, week and year, are not replicated in any comparable way in childhood and young adulthood. It is inevitable that every child will at some stage, if not many stages, experience social challenges. We all make choices that impact on others and we are also all likely to experience challenges caused by the thoughts or actions of others. Given this, we need to be proactive in how we respond to such interactions whilst supporting our students to manage this complexity and to learn and grow through experience. Our values are our true North and the Golden Rule is but one frame of reference that we can use to guide us on this journey.

Mrs Nicole Ginnane
Associate Head (K-6)