Learning Values Week: Entry's deep dive into UCS ethos

At UCS we aim to develop our pupils as effective learners and young people through four key Learning Values. Typed in bold in the Lower School diary is the Learning Values Week which promotes among the Entry year group, and consolidates in the Shell, the personal qualities which pupils can use in their lives and also their learning. Edd Roberts, Assistant Head (Head of Lower School), explains all.

By Edd Roberts

Lower School Learning Values Week ran from 12–16 September and was an opportunity to launch and embed the four Rs of resourcefulness, relationships, responsibility and resilience in our two youngest year groups. These are important habits and traits required by pupils for the rest of their UCS careers and, indeed, their lives. UCS teachers devise lessons that balance the core curriculum with the development of these traits, so this launch week was a chance to prepare pupils for what lies ahead.

The Shell year group had already seen some of this material but they spent time in form periods revisiting the principles taught during the past 12 months and re-examining the importance of Learning Values. For the Entry, it was a broader programme. They spent the Monday morning off-timetable at the Sports Fields, taking part in team-building games which provided the opportunity both to discuss and practise the four Rs and to get to know each other in their form groups.

The morning was a great success. It was heartening to see how the boys improved as teams and rewarding to hear their increasingly impressive reflections as the day unfolded. For the rest of the week they looked at the Learning Values in form time and lessons, and participated in extra activities such as quizzes and a scavenger hunt designed to test and develop their resourcefulness as well as their knowledge of UCS.

Then, on Friday, they reviewed what they had learnt and (self-)reflected, prompted by questions like ‘Can you give three examples of when you have used each Learning Value this week?’ and ‘Which Learning Values do you need to develop?’.

Learning Values Week also facilitated the Entry’s induction into the school, given these are the traits we treasure and the lessons that should live with our pupils going forward. We don’t expect this cohort to get things right from day one, but it is important that UCS values are at least on their radar. We want to develop such qualities – and not just a better understanding of Maths, Science or Geography.

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