From My Heart

Transforming Lives through Values

By: Dr Neil Hawkes


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Size: 216 x 138mm
Pages : 192
ISBN : 9781781351062
Format: Paperback
Published: September 2013

Inspiring individuals, families, schools, communities, companies and organisations to be values-based.

Values-based education is supporting both children and adults to be the best that they can be in countries around the world. We all seek meaning and purpose in our lives, so it is not only children that can benefit from this transformative process, but adults too.

Dr Neil Hawkes constantly strives for better education for all and advocates a unique way of thinking about how we can live our lives which enables us to flourish personally, socially and academically. He describes how we can develop a secure sense of self by nurturing our natural positive dispositions. Neil demonstrates ways in which teachers, parents, pupils and indeed all of us can create happier and more productive lives by raising our self-awareness and self-confidence.

Picture for author Dr Neil Hawkes

Dr Neil Hawkes

Dr. Neil Hawkes is an Oxford graduate and International Education Consultant. As Head Teacher of Kidlington Primary and Nursery School, Neil worked tirelessly with both the school and the community to devise and implement a unique system of Values-based Education, which has since been internationally recognised as the foundation of excellent school practice.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron endorses Values-based Education - watch video.

Read Dr Hawkes' interview with the Portsmouth News.

Read about the inspirational effect Dr Hawkes had on Ratton School, East Sussex.

Read Dr Hawkes' interview with The Shuttle.

Dr Hawkes is a Man on a Mission in his latest interview with The Yorkshire Post.

Listen to the summary of all Dr Hawkes radio appearances.


  1. Having read From My Heart and the author's thoughts around the significance of a values-based approach and the positive outcomes this invariably yields, I decided to focus upon values with the children in my class immediately following the Christmas break. We discussed desirable values and worked together to define these and suggest examples of them in action. It was really refreshing to listen to the children, not only speaking of times when they themselves had demonstrated given values, but how they had felt when they'd been on the receiving end of such values. They spoke so positively of the actions of others and how this resonated with them that, upon determining 5 key values we'd like to focus on (respect, generosity, kindness, listening, helpfulness), we decided to make our focus upon recognising when others are demonstrating such values as opposed to simply just trying to display them ourselves. 

    This has led to the children taking a truly leading role in recognising and rewarding the demonstration of our values. I, the class teacher, am now utterly redundant as the children go about praising those exhibiting our values and awarding them appropriately using our class rewards system. I was initially a little sceptical about handing over so much control of our values to the children. I always wanted them to outline our values and recognise them being displayed by other people, but I thought that, if they were to take ownership of our class rewards system for example, children may try and curry favour with their closest friends and, consequently, selectively see positive values demonstrated only by these people. I couldn't have been more wrong. They are completely objective in who they recognise and reward for the use of values and, as such, are beginning to build a truly lovely collaborative, values-based environment. I even had one girl come to me this week to recognise the kindness shown to her at playtime by someone she'd previously had a number of quite explosive bust-ups with. 

    I am really proud of our focus, not only in demonstrating our values, but in recognising the demonstration of our values in other people. I think this establishes the foundations for building positive relationships as it shifts and previously-held negativity and encourages us looking for the -˜good bits' in others. 

    Thanks you Neil Hawkes for not only bringing the power of values to my attention, but for allowing each of the children in my class to begin their journey in recognising the Good that everyone they meet has to offer. 
  2. The author takes the reader on an observational journey to gain insight of the behaviour of others and to reflect on our own experiences, values and behaviours to gain additional skills on how to transform lives. Neil's experience with “Slipper” Smith, the teacher who humiliated him in front of his classmates illustrates lucidly the need for teachers to be aware of the long term impact on the lives of children of derogatory comments or punishments. This is an outstanding book, which is greatly enhanced by the “Reflective points to ponder” at the end of each chapter. Many of the points raised highlight key issues for staff development. This is a key book for all aspiring teachers, support staff, school leaders and governors.
  3. At last I have got round to reading this wonderful book - maybe I loved it because I kept putting ticks next to paragraphs and exclaiming - but that's what Wellbeing Australia is all about! Hawkes talks about the values we want our children to learn that will benefit their own lives and sense of wellbeing, impact on their positive contribution to their communities now and in the future and importantly for teachers, enhance the quality of the learning environment. It is all about relationships, resilience and responsibility.

    This very readable book has 17 chapters which takes the reader on a journey exploring their own thinking and practice of values. The writing is enriched by stories from all parts of the world, but with a particular focus on Australia where Hawkes was influential in the development of the Values for Australian Schools framework. He cites people and schools that will be familiar to many of us: Professor Terry Lovat at Newcastle University, the ever energetic Andrew Fuller and the inestimable Sue Cahill, Student Wellbeing Coordinator at St Charles Borremeo School (and member of the Victoria WBA Advisory Group).

    In one of the very first chapters Hawkes cites the impact of values education on five dimensions, all of which are interrelated. Lovat et al, 2009, 2010).
    - Values consciousness (or awareness) - this means that when we talk and think about values in schools this changes what people do and how they do it.
    - Student Wellbeing: This is enhanced when students are given the opportunity to reflect on values such as self-worth, empathy and responsibility - this is particularly true of students who are -˜at risk'
    - Agency: Values action projects developed student voice, initiative and leadership. When students were aware of the foundational values of these projects their sense of understanding about others increased and led to more positive relationships across the school
    - Connectedness: Now a focal theme for resilience and wellbeing, values education builds positive and wide ranging connections between teachers, students and parents - across all contexts
    - Transformation: Values education is clearly transformative. It changes the way people think, behave and develop, how relationships evolve and how schools operate.

    One of the chapters in entitled Children See, Children Do. This is named after the 90 second video clip produced by NAPCAN in Australia which shows how important adult role models are for the ways children learn how to treat others. I use it all the time in training - but it is worth a look as it reminds us all that whatever we do, so will our kids. When we engage in acts of kindness, generosity and show that we can be trusted and are responsible in what we say then this is the behaviour our children will aspire to emulate.

    There is so much in this book it is impossible to do justice in this short review - you will need to buy it for yourself or at least for your staffroom. In each chapter Hawkes invites the reader to pause and reflect on what this means for them.

    Throughout the book Hawkes covers so many ways in which values education can breathe through the life of the school - for individuals, the environment, the curriculum, the community, leadership and school assemblies. Each chapter has great illustrations of real life events it makes it come alive and gives any reader inspiration to try things out.

    Values Education is as important as ever it was - and so closely aligned with student and school wellbeing it is virtually intertwined. -˜Learning to be' and -˜learning to live together' as fundamental pillars of education are potentially under threat as the economic arguments for increasing knowledge and skills overwhelm the curriculum. This book reminds us once again that if we are really concerned about the quality of life for the future values need to stay a central platform

    Thank you Neil Hawkes for writing this book - I hope many, many people read it and have been as inspired as I was.
  4. This book is well overdue and sets out to introduce to teachers, educationalists and the general public the notion that Values and therefore values-based education have an important part to play in helping us to lead a fulfilling and worthwhile life. It is not intended as an academic treatise on the philosophical or psychological nature and importance of values, but rather an introduction for all to gain a better understanding of what values might be and how values impact on our everyday thoughts and behaviour.

    The book cleverly takes the reader along a developmental pathway and through structured reflection encourages the reader to think about the content of each chapter and how this might impact on or change their own set of values.

    In this context the seventeen chapters comprehensively examine what values might be in a variety of every day situations and circumstances which reflect our experience of life. For example, through a variety of examples, chapter 1 asks us to reflect on ourselves and how we respond to ourselves, others and the world around us. This then provides a starting point for a personal journey of reflection and development, which explores aspects of values consciousness, well being, agency, connectedness and transformation.

    Chapter I explores the relationship between people and the fundamental core principles that apply to all aspects of our dealings with ourselves and others. The chapter contains many thought provoking examples of how we deal with interpersonal interaction, how reflection might help us achieve a more satisfactory way of communicating with others and that such interaction is frequently based on our values.

    The book then examines the starting point for values-based education, its philosophy, the importance of emphasising positive values in education, the environment and chapters dealing with -˜self', -˜others' reflective practice, an ethical vocabulary, the importance of role models. Again, it deals with these in some depth and asks the reader to reflect on each of the issues through a process of structured questions at the end of each chapter.

    Finally, Neil looks at the school curriculum, the role of school assemblies and the need to see the school as a community led by someone versed in and knowledgeable about the importance of values in the educative process. He then covers the importance of assessment and that this needs to be an integral part of values based education which must be built into planning, implementation and review procedures in order to ensure quality assurance.

    It is obvious that this book is the result of exceptional practical and theoretical experience in the field of education and that Neil speaks with conviction from his -˜heart'. This is made quite clear in the final chapter, which provides a personal challenge to teachers, educationalists and all others who are involved in the development of the young. Here he questions the purpose and function of education in a process of human attainment which transcends standards and targets.

    Neil has written something that is unique. He shares his professional and personal experience with the reader and provides a pathway through reflection for the reader to travel down a pathway leading to greater personal insight and understanding of the importance of values and values based education. I can recommend this exceptional book to all those who wish to know more.
  5. Neil Hawkes has been working at developing a values-based education for the last 30 years as a teacher, head teacher, local authority administrator and consultant. He is the founder of the Living Values Network, which has affiliates around the world. The book is widely endorsed by influential educators from around the world. It is written very directly with the reader in mind and there are various points to pause and reflect throughout the text. Neil's basic mission is to inspire children and adults to be the best they can be and to adopt a practical living philosophy for life and education. The starting point for values-based education is flourishing and relationships. Neil draws on the work of Nel Noddings, with her moral vision of education as -˜nurturing the growth of competent, caring, loving and lovable people' beyond a curriculum based on verbal and mathematical achievement. The reader will notice that both performance and moral virtues are included here. This means that the teacher as role model is critical, especially as their words can either empower or disempower their pupils. Neil emphasises the importance of unconditional positive regard in the development of relational trust.

    He defines a value as a principle that guides our thinking and behaviour involving both reflection and practice, especially in positions of leadership. The rest of the book is devoted to an exposition of the ten focuses of values-based education: a focus on the environment, atmosphere and routines, a focus on you, a focus on your relationships, a focus on adopting reflective practices, a focus on ethical vocabulary, a focus on being a role model for values, a focus on school assemblies, a focus on the school's curriculum and its leadership, a focus on community and finally a focus on values assessment. There are plenty of examples drawn from schools around the world and these chapters provide invaluable advice for any principal trying to embed a values-based approach in their schools. There are simple recommendations like the wording of signs, the importance of pausing to be and especially of fostering trust. Many of us suffer from what Neil calls TBD - too busy disorder - stress leading to strains on relationships and consequent misunderstandings.

    The responsibility of the leader of the school is primarily for its values, vision, culture, philosophy and practice. It is these that mark out a values-based school in a qualitative fashion. Neil goes further by referring to the development of greater consciousness, which he defines as awareness with a purpose. At the end of each chapter there are points to ponder and applied to answer situation. This important and inspiring book is a conversation between the author and the reader, but also a conversation of the reader with him or herself. One is left in no doubt of the importance of embracing universal, positive values that transcend specific cultures and are ultimately a contribution that each of us can make. It is a simple but powerful message.
  6. As for myself, through reading "From my Heart" I feel that I have grown as a teacher. Before, I would rush around trying to cram as much into my day as possible, whereas now I make sure that I take time to reflect on what has happened during my teaching day, how I interacted with children and staff and how I dealt with any situations that may have arisen. I am also aware that I am a role model for the values that we are trying to instil in our children and this awareness has had a significant impact and a positive affect on my teaching and my relationship with the children. Your books are inspiring- thank you Neil.
  7. For those of us who have had the privilege of hearing and seeing Neil Hawkes perform this books provokes memories of the gentle strength of his message. It is a book of principle, of story, and of sheer common sense born of rich experience. One cannot help but think that Neil has met some interesting people on his journey of education, and somehow through this book we are benefitting from those encounters.

    The book provides a very rich mixture of work that Neil has undertaken himself, but also wide exemplification of values-led education across the globe. His wide experience in every continent gives witness to the power of education inspired by values. Neil brings his own humanity to these examples, and paints a picture of values-based education as a vision to which all teachers and schools should aspire. It is difficult to argue against this persuasive view. Certainly an education driven by prescribed measured outcomes would be dull by comparison.

    Hopefully this book will be widely read by teachers, heads of schools, parents and all with a passion for education. It contains valuable insights and advice. For those who consider education to be about “ticking boxes” this book will be a challenge and disappointment. Neil takes the view that relationships are at the heart of education, and he illustrates this with many and varied examples from many countries.

    Each chapter forms a theme which could act as a relatively self-contained staff development session. It is well-structured and well- paced. Altogether a joy to read.

    The points of reflection at the end of each chapter are always stimulating and interesting. They serve as a useful reminder that all education is incarnated in a person, and does not reside on paper or books, however inspirational.

    Few books will articulate a philosophy of education with such passion and clarity. Those who are looking for education which will touch future generations should read this book with an eye to developing their own philosophy. Neil captures some real gems of educational thought through his journeys and these are a delight to read in this important book.
  8. Dr. Neil Hawkes demonstrates again and again that he has important insights into character education. I highly recommend this book.
  9. In choosing to title the book From my Heart, a reader might first think that this is a soppy attempt to do a "motherhood and apple pie" job on education. However by inviting us to embark on a virtual relationship with him, Neil brings the reader on an evidence based journey getting to the heart of what education should be about - not grades and results, but what do we as a society want a well-educated 18 or 19 year old to look like. Hawkes draws the reader into a journey, not in an airy fairy way but gets to the nitty gritty of how to model the values and behaviours we seek to develop in the next generation - a generation that is open and hasn't, as yet, been tainted by experience because as Neil reminds us, it's never too late to have a happy childhood! I first heard Neil address the European School Heads Association (ESHA) Conference in Cyprus and was so impressed I invited him to Ireland. I was certain Irish School Leaders were longing to hear someone who could articulate something that I know each individual felt in their own hearts about vision and values for society. I wasn't wrong and the feel good factor that permeated conference following Neil's address to delegates lasted long after they returned to their schools. Neil's invitations to pause, his use of reflection points at the end of each chapter, his use of a positive values vocabulary, his descriptions of the impact of the adopted approaches on students and practitioners, his hints and suggestions about how to embed a values based culture make this book a must read for all who reflect on education, especially school leaders, teachers and those involved in the educational enterprise. I wholeheartedly recommend it - especially to those suffering from TBD (Too Busy Disorder).

  10. This book provides a sensitive and subtle invitation for readers to engage and reflect on their work in the world of education within which they work and live. This is a book which cannot and should not be ignored - through Neil's detailed analysis arising from extensive work in schools throughout the world his message is clearly set out in a powerful vision that reminds us all of the human nature of the school experience and presents a call for how we can reignite and renew our sense of what schools can and should be - for all the children, the staff, the parents and the community served. The reader is gently reminded that in any institution, school or company, there should never be a hierarchy of relationships, only a hierarchy of roles.

    Within such a powerful culture and where it is clear that it is human relationships which matter most, then the real benefits arising from a 'talk together, plan together, work together' and a VbE philosophy and practice suddenly becomes very clear...

  11. Neil Hawkes has been the fearless pioneer of Values-based Education -” both as an outstanding head of school and then as a public educator. This book encapsulates the extraordinary power of his message.

  12. The author has influenced not just the schools he has run, but countless others in using a values-based approach to change for the better the way children and their families lead their lives. Here he writes in a way that any school leader, in any country or setting, will find inspiring and practically useful in doing the same thing.

  13. At Wellington College, we believe that education is only of enduring meaning if it is underpinned by profound values: the five which our community itself has chosen being courage, integrity, respect, kindness and responsibility. I agree with Neil that values-based education should be the driving principle for all schools and colleges in the 21st Century.

  14. Neil Hawkes manages to convey the vitality of values-based education, a set of principles that can guide the learning journeys for those who learn and those who teach. The best teachers recognise that they are learners too and this fundamental belief in individual growth shines through the book.

  15. This is an ideal teaching reference and guide for practical values-based education (VbE) written by one of the world's foremost and most reputable values-based educators. Few people anywhere have the theory and practice of VbE as synchronized or its effects as proven as Dr Neil Hawkes.
  16. Neil Hawkes's vision is the change agent for Values-based Education we all need. This book provides the insight for us to move from -˜talking the talk' to -˜walking the walk' and is a must read for parents and educators.

  17. Rooted in his own experiences as a successful teacher and Headteacher, the author has a deep commitment to core human values being placed at the heart of good and great schools. In this book, he draws upon his extensive international work to offer a carefully argued and convincing rationale as to why school leaders - and indeed business and wider society - might embrace the practical ideas he puts forward.

  18. I have always looked at Leadership as being one of self-awareness and an awareness of others. As Sun Tsu fabulously puts it, “Leadership is a matter of intelligence, trustworthiness, humaneness, courage, and discipline. Reliance on intelligence alone results in rebelliousness. Exercise of humaneness alone results in weakness. Fixation on trust results in folly. Dependence on the strength of courage results in violence. Excessive discipline and sternness in command result in cruelty. When one has all five virtues together, each appropriate to its function, then one can be a leader.” Neil has been able to bring the skill of understanding all components to children, educators and parents, and without doubt has made a difference to our World through his delivery of values-based education and I thank him for that.

  19. Neil Hawkes writes lucidly, and with an infectious encouragement to his readers, about what he has been doing as a teacher, leader and advocate for at least the last twenty years. The quality of education provided for children, students and their families has been the cornerstone of his work, based as it has always been on their growing commitment to the values his schools have selected and celebrated. To hear and read, as I have often done, about what the children are learning and discussing about a whole range of values, and how this has helped their development and, importantly, how often this has changed their lives, is all in this book. It is what it says -” -˜a life enhancer'.

  20. Guided and inspired by Neil, Values-based Education now pervades Ratton School. Exploring the meaning of our values and judging ourselves against them has brought clarity of purpose and a common understanding to our work at Ratton. As a result, staff motivation and student behaviour has improved. Our Values-based Education has also proved popular with parents, who cite our strong values as a reason why they want their children to be a part of our School.

  21. Being successful in school requires good teachers, but mostly you need a humane approach among adults and students. Each student must feel that they can succeed. To create this, you need a values-based curriculum that involves all aspects of work, which is the essence of Dr. Hawkes's philosophy and practice. His approach does not require expensive materials or long education. However, it is an easy way to work with positive values with which we want to permeate learning. Values-based Education is an ideal approach that fits well in schools in Sweden.
  22. I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Neil Hawkes in New Zealand, where he has addressed numerous Principal organizations, and in the UK where I visited schools that have embedded his values-based philosophy. With the emphasis on Values in the New Zealand Curriculum, this book provides teachers and others involved in the education of our young people with an insight into both the philosophy behind Values-based Education and the key steps to take to enable it within their educational environment. Neil's approach is warm, enlightening and encouraging.

  23. Values-based Education is at the heart of everything we do here at Chantry Primary Academy. Guided by Neil's inspirational work, our staff team are driven by our values in the way they teach, and how they support our children and their families, resulting in comments like this from one of our pupils, "Values have helped me with schoolwork and friendship. The values link and help Chantry to never let me down, they always believe in you." Our strong values have enhanced our school's excellent reputation in the community, helped us to become an even better school and are a core element of our school's 'personality'. We will continue to learn and to grow in our values journey with Neil's work to support us.

  24. As an ex-Headteacher of a values-based school and now the Values Education Co-ordinator for Bedfordshire, I have twelve years first-hand experience of the positive and inspirational impact of Neil's work in all phases of education. This book will support and re-energise those schools already involved in Values Education, whilst inspiring and encouraging those setting out on their Values journeys.

  25. Great schools are hatcheries for good souls. To do this, the centre point of schools needs to be value-based education. Neil's book will not only help you live these values, it will help you to weave and embed them into the tapestry of the culture of your school.

  26. Values-based Education has enriched my personal life and the lives of my students, as well as my professional life as a teacher. It influences the way an individual tackles life's experiences and how they deal with the various obstacles of life. It offers a new perspective, and requires the teacher to have integrity and to be true to his values. This teaching method makes the individual more aware of his own feelings and those of others. Values-based Education awakens us to the inner values of life. By working with these values, teachers become better at their profession and the students blossom in a new and wondrous way. Mutual respect, co-operation and unity are qualities that represent those who sincerely apply Values-based Education in their personal and professional life. Applying Values-based Education, as a teacher and as a human being, is character building and constructive for society.
  27. No matter what stage of the 'life-long journey of exploring or implementing Values-based Learning' you are on, and irrespective of how much personal and professional experience you, your school or organization has in this field, you need to touch base with Neil's expertise. In Brunei, we have benefitted from working within a unique combination of cultures and environments. Our success over the years is built on our ability to transform lives through values in action. This approach powerfully reaches out to people of all cultures and faiths. It moves the spirit, touches the sou, and is a guiding light for all who want to make a difference to their own and other lives. From Brunei, 'The Abode of Peace', our message is a simple one - get inspired through taking the time to read and take action!

  28. As a Head teacher who has led two Values-based schools, I am totally indebted to the work of Dr. Neil Hawkes in the development of VbE as it has had such a profound effect on me both professionally and personally. VbE has provided me with a strong fundamental base from where I have been able to build my leadership skills, especially with regard to developing people and forging positive relationships. The shared common language of VbE gives everyone in a values-based community a clear understanding of expectations and the opportunity to explore the evolving nature of our individual moral compasses based on our experiences. 

    Dr. Hawkes has been pivotal in this journey as his philosophy is to gently challenge our thoughts, words and actions. As our school embeds a VbE approach to living and learning together, Dr. Hawkes has had a presence, probing deeply into our thought patterns so that we reflect, analyse and take responsibility to make positive changes to ourselves. 

    I am truly delighted that Dr. Hawkes is now sharing this journey through this wonderful book: From My Heart; transforming lives through values. As Megan, one of my former pupils once said to me, “If anyone wants to have a happy life they should simply use VbE. It will help them to live a long and happy life.” I can't think of a better way to endorse this book.
  29. I have been a Headteacher for 11 years and led two schools using Values-based Education. This "way of being" in school permeates every aspect of school life and thus school improvement. I could not imagine, especially in the current educational climate, leading a school without a rigorous bedrock of values-led relationships leading to values-led learning. As a consequence of this, there is a depth of metacognitve learning, learning of real beauty and worth, woven into the fabric of places called schools, giving a strong moral direction ensuring the flourishing of all.

  30. Neil's experience as a leading educator shines through this book which is both intensely practical and profound. Leaders of schools, corporate organisations and communities will gain insight into how to be truly self-managing by identifying shared values, and then using these to evaluate success. What Neil demonstrates in this book is how to go about creating and inhabiting a shared language for values education which is local, accessible and powerful.

  31. Neil Hawkes is an inspirational colleague. As soon as I met Neil, I realised that he had a special message, and indeed a special gift, to share with anyone who passionately cares about the education of children. His message and mantra advocating a Values-based Educational approach, is both timely and powerful. Anyone who has used VbE within their school will tell you that mutual respect and trust is built through paying attention to the way people discuss, define and model their shared values. These explicit debates and agreements lead, if successfully and determinedly adhered to and modelled, a school community that is built on trust and interdependency. This is the strong -˜glue' that makes schools successful. However, make no mistake, Neil does not advocate a -˜fluffy' poorly defined culture where relationships take centre stage for their own sake. This is the building block whereby top quality educational experiences for children are focussed upon and ensured, and most importantly, raising achievement and life chances for children is at the top of the agenda. I unreservedly recommend that all school leaders from primary and secondary schools, read this book and act on its wisdom. Also, invite Neil who is an inspirational speaker to visit your setting for a thought provoking and practice changing event!

  32. In 2010 I had the privilege to hear Neil speak about the purpose of Values-based Education at an international convention for European School Principals in Cyprus.
    I was deeply touched by Neil's inspiring lecture. He provided the answer and the confirmation that we should not focus on learning and cognitive results alone, at a time that the tendency in the Netherlands was to overemphasize cognitive achievements only.

    As a result of this conference we decided to organize an Inspiration Day in October 2012 for more than 1000 teachers in Helmond for which we invited Neil and his wife Jane to speak about Values-based Education. This Inspiration Day marked the start of 'a quiet revolution' within the Helmond educational community. Individual teachers started thinking about ways to pay more attention in their classrooms to VbE and the holitisic development of children. Also, at a city level, we launched a task group to offer a more structural approach towards VbE for the Helmond school community.

    I therefore wholeheartedly recommend this inspirational book to anyone who, like us in the Netherlands, believe that education should be more than just about learning outcomes only. For each and every child, a well-balanced education that includes the development of values will contribute to better learning achievements, which will ultimately result in a more peaceful and values conscious society.

  33. Values-based Education, as described in Neil's inspirational and practical book, has had a huge impact on the children at Tower Hill Primary School. Initially the reasons for its implementation were to address the children's social and emotional needs through an approach that we felt would have a greater impact than SEAL or PHSCE. As soon as the new values became embedded, we began to notice rapid changes in the behaviour of the children and their relationships towards each other. This in turn, has had a phenomenal impact upon attainment and progress. An open and supportive culture now pervades all aspects of learning, where real and appropriate self-assessment, peer and teacher assessment are used to further enhance the learning. Suggestions for the improvement of work and behaviour are no longer seen as criticism, but are welcomed by each child and acted upon accordingly. The direct result of implementing VbE is a happy school, where learners thrive on a mutually supportive atmosphere and learning has been rapidly accelerated as a result.

  34. This book, like all of Neil's work comes from the heart, and what he advocates is also supported by powerful evidence and a strong understanding of practice in schools. This unique combination enables practitioners to be confident that it will help them to improve their practice and the lives of the children they work with and their own lives as well. Neil's generosity of spirit shines through all his work and this is no exception. It has the potential to radically change how and what we do in our schools.

  35. Dr. Neil Hawkes's book comes at an opportune moment in history. It is a wake-up call to live our lives more meaningfully and in doing so, to inspire others. Neil writes with depth, compassion and wisdom drawn from his many years of experience and experiential knowledge of Values Education. A must read for all educators who believe in taking their students to greater heights. Research has conclusively proven that a values-based school brings out the best in students and teachers and implementing Neil's valuable, tested strategies will lead to excellence in all spheres.

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