Fairness. Caring. Citizenship. Trustworthiness. Respect. Responsibility. These are all virtues that form the pillars of character, and are qualities that we want our children to learn. At Thursday's Coffee Morning, the ICS Parent's Association hosted a conversation with the school's Senior Leadership Team about this topic. The team discussed how education at ICS encompasses the wellness of the whole child, not just academics and test scores. ICS considers character education an important part of wellness, and is a key skill needed for students to thrive in the workforce and in society.
In an engaging presentation, the Leadership Team discussed what is meant by character education and how the teaching of it is organised at ICS. The team explained how character development is a process that takes time. It is formed through experiences and circumstances woven throughout classrooms and through daily life, rather than simply a "Character Education" course with assigned reading.
A big part of those experiences is engaging students in conversations about challenging behavioural issues. Rather than lecturing about good behaviour and laying out black and white rules to cover every situation, students are asked to reflect on their actions, understand how their behaviours impact others, and apply that thinking to new scenarios. This leads to children becoming empowered, adaptable, and resilient in the face of ethically complex situations.
The morning was filled with insightful questions and observations from parents and real-life anecdotes that illustrated the concepts being discussed. As always, it was great opportunity to understand the "behind-the-scenes" planning and thinking that goes on at ICS. Classroom practices are heavily rooted in education theory, recent and relevant research, and innovative developments. These Coffee Mornings are a great way for parents to dialogue with school leaders about these topics, and we hope to see you at the next one!