Faith Schools

Bridget Knight, a VbE Trustee, writes an article on RE in Education
for RE Today Magazine
(click image to download article)

Values-based Education complements and strengthens the teachings of faith-based schools very well.

Values-based and Faith-based schools
Generally, schools that already engage deeply in values achieve the individual and school-wide benefits of Values-based Education quicker than other schools. Many faith-based schools teach religious values and find that these dovetail with VbE's generally wider perspective that helps students and pupils embed religious values more comfortably within their lives.

Values-based Education succeeds not when pupils and students have learnt about values, but when those values start to influence their normal behaviour. VbE schools model their chosen values throughout the whole school. Faith-based schools often benefit from seeing where practice can be enhanced from reviewing the entirety of the school's procedures, processes and lessons through the lens of their chosen values. Strong evidence shows that children's behaviour is far more influenced by the behaviour of the adults they interact with than by their words.


Faith-based Inspections
Most faith-based inspections have a very high regard for VbE. Inspectors regularly comment on the link between VbE, the impact on education in general, and on religious teachings in particular. Below are extracts from a SIAMS (National Society Inspection of Anglican and Methodists School) Report of the VbE Quality Mark school Eardisley CoE Primary, Herefordshire in 2014.

Effectiveness: Outstanding
The school’s commitment to the core Christian values of joy, friendship and determination ensures excellent personal development and well-being of learners

Meeting the Needs of Learners: Outstanding
The Christian character instils self-belief and enables staff and learners of all ages and abilities to be the best they can be. A range of stakeholders explained that joy, friendship and determination are the most important values to their school. These are clearly understood as reflecting the teaching and example of Jesus. The core values were chosen, after much debate, by the school council. Learners can explain how passages from the Bible help them understand how the values chosen affect them. One child explained:” If we didn’t have our values, we would not be who we are today or get on in life in the future.” Behaviour and relationships across ages are exemplary and learners articulate with maturity and confidence how the value chosen each month helps them to live and learn together. All members of staff, including volunteers, provide effective role models.

Effectiveness of the leadership and management: Outstanding
The headteacher is an outstanding role model of care for each member of the school community. Her commitment to a high quality education for all abilities, grounded on Christian principles, means there is an increased demand for places, a rising roll, and improving academic standards. Since her appointment in 2011, the school has achieved the Values Quality mark. The incumbent and governors rightly attribute the success of the school to the clarity of vision and purpose the headteacher has engendered among all members of the school community. Parents recognise the special qualities of the school and attribute this to the transformational impact of the shared vision and values. They express confidence that the school meets individual needs. One parent said that the children are: “Ambassadors for values.” Another described how: “Values enable my child to consider life’s big questions and make good choices.”






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Books

From My Heart
Neil Hawkes


This is a book that guides readers on how to bring values into their consciousness, thereby improving their well being and that of their family, community and working environment.