Image: Raha International School
School initiatives that support students in their development of ethical values, which encourage them to think and act as good citizens, are recognised in the International School Awards through the Ethical Values Education Award.
The judges look for evidence of initiatives that enable students to develop their global citizenship or critical thinking by taking ownership of their ethical values while building upon an understanding of how ethical perspectives and conventions can differ within and between societies.
Three international schools were shortlisted for the 2022 Ethical Values Education Award which was sponsored by Community Brands.
Acting upon values and beliefs through the Global Citizenship Diploma
ACS Hillingdon International School, UK was shortlisted for the Ethical Values Education Award for an initiative connected to the Global Citizenship Diploma (GCD) which helped students to focus on their personal, social, and emotional learning as a complement to academic programmes.
ACS Hillingdon is the first school in Europe to introduce the GCD which challenges students to reflect upon their values and beliefs and to act wisely upon them. The students selected their GCD-related courses and values to pursue from a choice of 16 key elements which include multilingualism, artistic expression, wilderness engagement, and work experience. ACS Hillingdon students documented their experiences through a medium of their choice, sharing their learning journeys with their peers, as the example below demonstrates, as well as promoting their outcomes from the diploma with other schools. You can read more about this initiative submitted for the International School Awards here.
Community caring develops ethical values
Raha International School in the UAE was shortlisted for a learning-focused community project that was inspired by young students from Grades 1 to 3. They suggested making ‘caring boxes’ for the school support staff during the pandemic. Older students at the school managed the project, donating their break times to organise donation collections and compile the caring boxes. Students then hosted an appreciation ceremony for the support staff.
The initiative, which became a learning model that all students were able to participate in, encouraged them to explore community action that was respectful of many ethical perspectives. Find out more about this initiative here.
Ethical values for very young learners
Berlin Brandenburg International School (BBIS) in Germany was the third shortlisted school and won the Ethical Values Education Award for a primary years initiative to frame complex notions of ethics in an accessible unit of learning involving storytelling and imagination, linking ethical values to global citizenship.
The initiative, which challenged students to develop their moral compass while learning about themselves as change-makers, received widespread acclaim from the judges who suggested it as an approach that all schools could model. In the April 2022 issue of International School Leader Magazine, a feature written by judge Paul Regan on behalf of the judging panel explained the benefits of the initiative.
As well as details of the initiative on the International School Awards category page, you can read advice from BBIS for implementing a similar initiative in a feature for the April 2022 International School Leader Magazine called ‘Growing the change-makers of tomorrow’.