What is VbE?

VbE helps students to develop emotional intelligence

"Peace is calm. It is not a lot of arguing; it is like 'just go with the flow'."

Zachary Lloyd, Year 3, Porchester Junior School receiving a values mug and certificate, recognising his resilience in his approach to learning.

Neil Hawkes explaining aspects of VbE

Values-based Education is an approach to teaching that works with values. It creates a strong learning environment that enhances academic attainment, and develops students' social and relationship skills that last throughout their lives.

The positive learning environment is achieved through the positive values modelled by staff throughout the school. It quickly liberates teachers and students from the stress of confrontational relationships, which frees up substantial teaching and learning time.

It also provides social capacity to students, equipping them with social and relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed at school and throughout their lives.

What VbE Is : School Experience
Below are a few examples of the impact of VbE related to us by schools who have successfully embedded VbE in their whole school approach:
  • Improved quality of education : VbE is a transformative process for improvement
  • Improved climate in education: fearless teaching
  • Specific problem solving: arising from relational deficit such as lack of cohesion, unmanageable stress
  • Individual empowerment: allowing space for pupils to take responsibility
  • School empowerment: providing an opportunity to shape the school/future of education
  • Cultural/social change: providing experience of ethical lifestyle guided by univeral positive values
  • Non-confrontational pedagogue : establishing engaged and unified approaches to education and the educational community

What VbE is Not
  • A quick fix: it can have some immediate impact, but it is a subtle and growing approach, therefore its true impact is seen over time
  • Just about 'being nice': it is emotional literacy in the true sense, demanding much of us; it is about having high expectations of ourselves and others; it demands application of rigorous thinking as well
  • Something just for children: it is critical that adults are involved and model the behaviours
  • Another add-on to the curriculum: it is something that is done through the curriculum - is holistic and enhances the whole of school life
  • Expensive!

Values-based Education or Values Education?
All VbE schools deliver Values Education. Not all schools that deliver Values Education are VbE schools.

Values-based Education (VbE)
We say that a school or setting is values-based when it underpins all its practices and routines on a set of universal positive human values such as respect, tolerance and peace. That means for instance that all school policies are crossed-referenced against the school's values.

Values Education (VE)
Values Education refers to the aspect of the curriculum that is designed to enable pupils to learn about and experience the school's or setting's values. This includes lessons, activities and assemblies that support the learning about values. VE has an explicit and implicit element: explicit refers to the planned experiential activities that enable the children to develop an ethical vocabulary based on the values words, which builds ethical intelligence. The implicit element refers to, for instance, the way that staff use the values vocabulary to reinforce learning e.g. "Well done Matthew and Mary for showing so much cooperation when you worked together".

Values Education helps students understand what values are. Values-based Education helps students and adults embed those values into their lives, personal behaviour and social interactions. It establishes a parallel system of student achievement based on their values and behaviour, complementing the more limited assessment of academic attainment.


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.