It’s that time of year again when we encourage children to share their love of reading in the classroom by dressing up as their favourite book character. I was thrilled to receive a photograph of Archie, dressed as Max with his copy of edition two in hand to share with his classmates. It is great to see that the story is continuing to be shared in schools across the UK and wider afield.
The core messaging of edition two focuses on the theme of ‘Kindness’ a value that cannot be ignored in the importance of raising children to be accepting of differences and being inclusive of one another.
I was thrilled to see a recent short film entitled ‘Ian’ find its voice at the Cannes Film Festival. Ian went on to win an award for Best Animation and Best Short film.
Inspired by a real life boy named Ian, it poignantly tells the story of a disabled child bullied in the playground who finds his place and shows how children with disabilities can and should be included. A powerful message to help teach kindness.
This year I will be developing a resource to expand the messaging of teaching kindness, there is so much documented about mental health and in particular the impact bullying can have on children in their formative years. There has been criticism of a deficit based approach to mental wellbeing and the need for a positive learning approach to be fostered in schools.
“Schools all around the country regularly run ‘anti-bullying’ initiatives we would call this a deficit based approach because the focus is on the deficit i.e. The outcome of negative relationships with everyone. What if it wasn’t just for a week, what if building positive relationships and understanding and leveraging diversity was just part of what they learnt at school” (MyHappymind)
With this in mind, and with the right resources, schools across the country can help teach kindness and inclusion across the board. Strong and Mighty Max Edition Two, seeks to help facilitate classroom learning. This is not purely focused on children with disabilities but much wider in terms of practical ways to show kindness and be kind in the playground.
I am excited to be partnering with primary schools within the Diocese of Coventry and Warwickshire to implement ideas for learning and teaching kindness in the classroom. I will be presenting the book to over seventy headteachers at a briefing in May. My hope is that by 13 November 2019 (world kindness day) over 50 primary schools within the diocese will have a copy of the book Strong and Mighty Max, edition two in their school library and will have engaged in learning activities around the value of kindness and inclusion.
The theme of engagement for schools will be #choosekind not just for a day but as a life choice. Children will be exploring the value of #choosekind in the playground; classroom; and within the context of their peers, family and wider community. The aim is to help teach children to be better citizens, to think of others and be empathetic to their peers and hopefully in the end to aspire to kindness as a life choice and not just for one day in the school calendar.
A World Kindness day education resource will be available to download from the learn section of this website for the start of the Autumn term 2019. Watch this space for further updates.
Register Interest in World Kindness Day Resource below: