What is Kindness and Why It Matters
Kindness is a compassionate and positive virtue that involves treating others with empathy, understanding, and consideration – without expecting anything in return. We say that kindness is the most important of the Ways of the Wolf; if you can be anything, be kind.
Our Headmaster, Will Newman, talks about teaching children that kindness is their responsibility, “We are particularly keen to ensure that all of our pupils know that they have an individual choice and responsibility to choose kindness in their interactions with others. Being kind is not only beneficial to the recipients of kindness but also contributes to the children’s own well-being and the overall positive atmosphere in the school and external community.”
As a school, we are aware that childhood experiences play a significant role in shaping a person’s values and behaviours. What we do matters; so we show our pupils what kindness looks like, day-to-day, and through our charitable activities we aim to help them understand why it is so important in society as a whole. We role-model kindness, to establish an environment and community where kindness is the norm.
Our pupils nominate and vote for a charity of the term three times a year, and this is the charitable organisation the Prep School will support for the coming months. The Prep School aims to kick start each year with a whole school sponsored walk in aid of the chosen Michaelmas Term charity, before a whole host of different events will take place, each with kindness at the heart of the activity. The first day house charity Friday will take place before half term, our Junior choir will sing at Harvest Festival in the village church, to which children have been asked to donate food items and families will be asked to donate Christmas presents in support of the local Salvation Army campaign, as we approach the festive season. Additionally, we are proud to continue that families in the Ukraine stay at the front of our minds, with the ongoing support of Siobhan’s Trust by both Schools.
Incorporating kindness into school on a daily basis, through actions as well as special events, helps create a foundation of compassion, empathy, and positive behaviour that extends beyond the classroom. It equips children with important life skills that promote their personal growth, meaningful relationships, and positive contributions to the world around them. Below are 10 reasons why it is important children learn kindness at school:
1. **Social and Emotional Development:** Promoting the value of kindness helps children develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and understanding of others’ feelings. These skills are crucial for building positive relationships and navigating social interactions throughout life.
2. **Positive Classroom Atmosphere:** A classroom where kindness is valued and practised creates a positive and safe environment where students feel comfortable expressing themselves and engaging in learning.
3. **Improved Mental Health:** Engaging in acts of kindness has been shown to boost mental well-being and reduce stress. Teaching children to be kind can contribute to their overall emotional health and resilience.
4. **Leadership:** Kindness involves qualities like compassion, respect, and responsibility, which are important for developing leadership skills. Children who understand and practise kindness are more likely to become positive leaders in their communities.
5. **Long-Term Societal Impact:** When children grow up practising kindness, they are more likely to carry these values into adulthood, positively influencing their families, workplaces, and communities.
6. **Building Empathy:** Kindness encourages children to put themselves in others’ shoes, which helps them better understand different perspectives and experiences. This can lead to a more accepting and inclusive society.
7. **Academic Success:** A positive and supportive classroom environment, fostered through kindness education, can enhance students’ engagement with learning, leading to improved academic performance.
8. **Preparation for a Diverse World:** Kindness education helps children appreciate and respect diversity, preparing them to live and work in an increasingly interconnected and multicultural world.
9. **Prevention of Negative Behavior:** Teaching kindness fosters a culture of respect and inclusion, which can help prevent negative behaviours at school. Children who understand the impact of their actions are more likely to treat their peers with compassion and empathy. It can also help children to find peaceful solutions to disagreements through the development of effective communication and listening skills.
10. **Empowerment:** Teaching children that their actions, no matter how small, can make a positive difference empowers them to contribute positively to society and the wider world.
“Kindness underpins all our behaviour in school and lays the foundations for us to make hugely positive contributions to society. We take nothing for granted and do all that we can to help others.”
Taken from The Ways of the Wolf