Values: Can we tell you a story?
Excellence, Harmony and Compassion are the values we chose to guide our school community. Read the story to see how we introduced them to our children and how these 3 words encompass so much more.
The little boy lay in the grass and looked up at the blue sky with its wispy clouds like fine cotton wool floating by. He sighed as he thought about how happy he was lying there. He knew that not everywhere was a happy place to be and he wondered what the magic ingredients were for such a place.
Stretching, he set off to find out. After some time, he came across a peculiar looking place: it seemed to be a whole host of different environments yet he know immediately that this was a happy place to be. However, he had no idea why so he continued on his journey.
Suddenly, he heard the thunder of running feet. “Excellence,” called a voice as a blur of feathers raced by.
“Pardon,” yelled the boy. “What do you mean?”
The figure screeched to a halt and an ostrich came trotting back. “Excellence,” he replied. “Everyone here tries to be the very best that they can be. It’s not a competition to be better than anyone else; the only one we need to beat is ourselves. We need to run a little faster than last time, write a little neater, research more accurately, become faster at our times tables or read with more expression - the list goes on. Not just learning though, oh no. We are the best friends we can be, the best listeners and the most enthusiastic. What is really important to us is that we celebrate the success of others too.”
“Ah, I see,” said the boy with a smile. “That would explain a lot but not everything.” He waved goodbye to the ostrich and continued on his way determined to find out what else was special about this unique place.
Continuing along the path, he came across a sloth strumming softly on his guitar.
“Harmony,” he sang. “We’re like musical notes here. Each one of us is beautiful on our own but when you put us together, we create quite the masterpiece.” And to demonstrate this he played a beautiful melody that made the boy’s heart smile.
“See how the notes work together? That’s what we do. We help each other, co-operate to ensure that we can all achieve success and treat everyone with respect. Living and working in this way means we have peace in our community.”
The boy’s smile grew even bigger. “I think I’ve nearly got it,” he said excitedly. “I have a feeling that there is just one more missing piece of the puzzle. He thanked the sloth and jogged away down the path, with the sounds of music playing in his mind, until he came to a beach. There, sunning himself on the sands, sat a little turtle.
“It’s compassion,” he said.
The boy looked at him quizzically. “The last part of the puzzle you are seeking to solve. We care about each other and want the best for everyone. Each of us is different, totally unique and we value that here. We know how lucky we are to have such diversity within our little community and we treasure that. If someone is hurt, we help them. If someone is sad, we do what we can to cheer them up. It someone makes a mistake (and we all do), we are quick to forgive. No-one is left out and we listen with care to the voice of others, both within our community and beyond. I know I’m important but so is everyone else and I make sure I show that. And it’s even bigger than that.”
“Even bigger?” questioned the boy. “What could be bigger?”
“Our home,” the turtle gestured all around him. “Our planet. We know that we need to take care of it and protect it for the generations to follow.”
“I’ve got it!” exclaimed the boy. “Excellence, Harmony and Compassion.”
“You’ve got it,” replied the turtle with a gentle smile and he swam contentedly out to sea. The boy lay back on the sand and gazed once more at the sky to watch the cotton wool clouds float by. “Excellence, harmony, compassion,” he sighed. “That’s how to create a happy environment. Puzzle complete.”