Published in The West Briton, Monday 8th July 2013:
A headteacher of a school near Camborne could see his scheme, encouraging pupils to be more virtuous, adopted by schools across the country.
Geoff Smith, who runs Kehelland Village School, introduced his virtue project six years ago following an inspirational trip to a school in Canada.
The scheme, which praises children’s virtues such as hardwork, patience, caring and teamwork, was singled out by experts at the University of Birmingham who are lobbying Education Secretary Michael Gove asking him to endorse the scheme nationally.
Mr Smith recently attended a two day conference at St Georges House, inside Windsor Castle, organised by staff with the university’s Jubilee Centre for Characters and Values.
He was asked to write a charter on character education which the Government may consider introducing into the national curriculum.
The headteacher, who has more than 20 year’s experience in teaching, works closely with pupils, staff and parents to strengthen pupils’ characters.
He said: “It is a unique way of teaching good character. It helps parents and teachers to recognise the positive in the children. We praise flexibility, determination, courage,rather than just saying something is good, or focussing solely on academic achievement.”
Mr Smith is keen to see the project adopted by schools across Cornwall and is inviting headteachers to visit Kehelland School and see it being put into action.
He said the scheme has reaped rewards across the board, adding: “An improved classroom climate leads to greater learning, and confidence, students achieve more and there is better attendance.”
Tom Harrison, deputy director at the Jubilee Centre, said Mr Smith’s project was at the forefront of educational practices and was setting an “incredible example” for other schools.