The “Top Ten” values upon which we base our pupils’ education at Agora Lledó International School
Education is about much more than just delivering content; it’s about creating a value system that will help our young people to grow into respectful, tolerant and caring individuals.
At Agora Lledó International School we understand that part of our role as educators involves helping our students to become well-rounded and responsible members of society. Mr Luis Madrid, the Head Teacher at Agora Lledó says “It would not mean much if we simply filled the children’s heads with content. A values-based education means not restricting a child’s learning to subjects and skills, but setting moral, social and emotional standards to which our pupils can aspire in their journey towards becoming useful, responsible, innovative and well-rounded members of society”.
We are firmly committed to helping each of our students to be the best they can be, and to guide them towards happiness and success, based upon a solid foundation of respect, cooperation and kindness.
Oscar Wilde said “The best way to make children good is to make them happy” and at Agora Lledó the happiness of our students is not only central to our work, but also a way of life.
We focus on promoting ten fundamental values from day one:
- Respect for diversity: accepting each individual for the person they are, without discrimination.
- Respect for the environment: promoting environmentally friendly habits on a daily basis and staying informed on environmental issues.
- Tolerance: finding the right balance between kindness and firmness, living and working together in a positive and supportive way.
- Self-improvement: we encourage our students to set goals to help them to be the best they can be, to work hard and persevere, even when the going gets tough!
- Social commitment: our students are encouraged to engage with the wider community and to work towards improving the world around them at both a local and international level.
- Coexistence: we promote a spirit of empathy and understanding for those around us, giving each other space when necessary, and learning to be mindful of other people’s feelings and emotions.
- Cooperation: our students learn how to work effectively in groups and teams, supporting each other and working together to achieve common goals.
- Solidarity: our students participate in a range of charitable projects and events to offer help and support to those who may be less fortunate than themselves.
- Freedom: we help our students to grow in understanding and independence, giving them the confidence and wisdom to make their own decisions.
- Self-esteem: we strive to establish a learning environment where our students feel confident, accepted and good about themselves, creating a solid foundation for learning.
How do we promote a values-based educational environment?
Although an education in values essentially begins and ends at home, the role of the school is central to a child’s experience of the values upon which they will base the choices that they make throughout their lives. Our Director, Mr Luis Madrid indicates that “The school’s job is to support families in the education of their children, providing information, guidance and training both individually and in groups via publications, workshops, meetings and open communication. It is essential that teaching and non-teaching staff work together to achieve these goals, and provide a positive example for our children to follow. Values-based activity must be a simple and unwavering presence in every situation and in every subject, thus becoming an inherent part of our pupils’ daily education”.
However, an education in values does not just happen either at school or at home; the school and family have to work together to ensure that we are always moving in the right direction, and for this reason, good communication and engaged involvement from both parties is crucial to the success of a child’s education. At Agora Lledó we invite open and honest communication between families and teachers in order to ensure that our pupils get all the support they need to move forward. We inform families in detail about teaching and learning methodologies and about all decisions that might affect the academic and personal progress of our students.
We know that good communication and a strong relationship between home and school is essential for our students to succeed and it is therefore important that both parties are clear about the fundamental values upon which our children’s education is based. At Agora Lledó we strive to ensure that our families are informed and involved in this respect: “When a family comes to visit our school we talk about our aims and values. We understand that every family may have slightly different priorities, but as a school we are very clear about defining our value system and providing families with all the support they need to enable us to work together as a team. Communication in both directions is very fluid and we are keen to ensure that parents have all the information that they need at all times; we encourage parents to engage with tutorials, talks, meetings with our educational psychologist and workshops to ensure that we are always working towards the same goals”. (Luis Madrid).
The Spanish philosopher and writer Fernando Savater’s article (link attached) notes that “Education is about selecting that which seems most relevant and important to us from all that we know, and passing it on.”
At our school we believe that what is relevant and important is not only to pass on facts, but also to help our students to understand the importance of values such as respect for ourselves and others, tolerance towards other cultures, to view the world creatively, to know that we form part of a wider global community and to embrace the benefits and responsibilities that this entails.
Psychiatrist, and author of the book “How to Make Good Things Happen”, Marian Rojas says, “Ultimately, we all want to find happiness, a certain peace, a certain serenity, but, as we all know, that is only achieved in small moments. This process is connected with our sense of self-esteem, but also with a sense of solidarity and love for others” (more on elcorreogallego website). Clearly defined values are key to finding happiness.