Initially, my professional line of leadership enquiry was how school leaders develop cultural capital, through promoting Character Education, our Values and virtues within a school to staff, students and parents and our stakeholder community.FutureLearns’s What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education provide an excellent introduction and I continue to read the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtue Research Digest.
You could position me as a Values based educator. On starting as Headteacher in 2016, all students in Years 7-9 were explicitly taught our five Values. Values were displayed throughout the school and communicated through all school publications, assemblies were “Values” focused, behaviour expectations were anchored to the school Values rather than rule focused. Rewards and celebration events were anchored to our Values. Enrichment events were tied to, or promoted our Values. And continue to be so.
Mid Year our organisation introduced a range of “soft skills” and lesson time was repurposed to explicitly teach students what these skills were, and to provide time to discuss and evidence them. Teachers are now taking on the responsibility for signposting these opportunities in their teaching. This has now been adopted by our over-arching organisation.
My professional focus has now moved to how Headteachers develop Trust in schools.