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THE BIG THINK - making education today fit for purpose

THE BIG THINK - making education today fit for purpose

• Schools in England must include in their curricula provision for children’s Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development and embrace their Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education. However, there is growing concern about the decrease in children's levels of happiness and wellbeing and increases in their levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Consequently, many schools and teachers are urgently looking for accessible ways to address emotional, mental and physical health problems in young people.

• In 2017 the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust held a series of round table discussions about the importance of character development, particularly in relation to employability and the ability of education establishments to provide this important and often overlooked part of education. In July 2018 the trust published a White Paper: The Opportunities and Challenges offered by Character Education - which represents a contemporary insight into the views and experiences of leaders from across education, government, business and the youth sector in the UK.

• It is proposed that “character development" is defined as: when people align their actions with their considered values.

• Adrian Bethune, a teacher and author of “Wellbeing in the Primary Classroom” published in September 2018 considers that, “Teaching a curriculum that includes wellbeing is one of the best ways to raise attainment”.

Whatever the issue – be it children’s wellbeing, character development or attainment – it is clear that young people today urgently need a bedrock of well-considered values to guide their thinking, choices and actions – and that’s exactly what our new, holistic programme THE BIG THINK is designed to achieve.

Stories on Values by Children for Children - 2018 competition

Stories on Values by Children for Children - 2018 competition

In 2016 our Chair, Charles Fowler, initiated World Values Day, a global celebration that attracted great enthusiasm and gained even more momentum in 2017.  The Day is an opportunity for everyone to think about their most deeply held values and to act on them.  During the lead up to 18 October 2018, special attention will be paid to putting our values into action in our communities and thereby helping to change the world.

To mark each World Values Day, the Human Values Foundation has held a global STORIES ON VALUES competition open to children aged from 7 to 11 anywhere in the world.  The children are invited to write a short story based on one of their favourite values (maximum of 400 words).   The closing date for entries is Friday, 12 October.

We are eagerly awaiting this year's crop of amazing and imaginative stories with some more delightful illustrations.

Piloting our exciting new programme in London schools

Piloting our exciting new programme in London schools

Feedback as we pilot our new, multi-media "The Big Think" programme is very exciting as both teachers and children say how stimulating and effective the lesson plans are.

Please support our work that is making systemic improvements to the quality and effectiveness of education for children aged between 4 and 14.

What can be more important than enabling young citizens to enjoy their schools days and achievements as they learn to use inspiring values to develop attractive personal qualities, meaningful relationships and a mindset that enables them to maximise their potential?