School Core Values: An Example

Written by Dan

Last updated

A school’s core values are the foundation of its community and play a vital role in shaping its culture. They should be reflective of the school’s unique mission and values, and they should guide everything from decision-making to daily interactions.

If you’re looking for an example of how this can be done well, check out this school’s impressive list of core values.

Related: For more, check out our article on the perfect behaviour management policy  here.

love to learn pencil signage on wall near walking man

Define What Core Values Are And Why They Matter

Core values are a person or organisation’s fundamental beliefs and guiding principles. They serve as a moral compass, informing us of what is right or wrong and providing guidance on how to respond and interact in various situations.

Core values lead to improved decision-making, helping us reflect on what matters most and reminding us why our actions matter.

Ultimately, core values ensure we always do the right thing – even when it’s difficult – and work to create an environment that encourages integrity, respect, compassion and excellence.

Furthermore, core values help unify a team or organization as everyone works towards the same shared beliefs.

Core ValueDefinitionExample in School Context
IntegrityAdherence to moral and ethical principles; honesty.Encouraging students to do their own work and credit others.
RespectEsteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of others.Promoting a culture of mutual respect among students and staff.
ResponsibilityBeing accountable for one’s actions and duties.Assigning roles in group projects to teach accountability.
EmpathyThe ability to understand and share the feelings of another.Implementing peer mentoring programs to foster understanding.
PerseveranceSteadfastness in doing something despite difficulty.Recognizing students who show improvement through hard work.
InnovationThe act of introducing something new; creativity.Hosting a science fair to encourage creative problem solving.
InclusivityIncluding people from all backgrounds and abilities.Ensuring school activities are accessible to all students.
CollaborationWorking jointly with others; teamwork.Group discussions and team-based learning activities.
ExcellenceThe quality of being outstanding or extremely good.Rewarding academic achievements and exceptional talents.
CompassionSympathetic consciousness of others’ distress with a desire to alleviate it.Organizing charity drives led by students.

Core Value 1: Appreciation

Appreciation is such a significant value and, unfortunately, so often forgotten. Whether recognizing a job well done or simply just noticing someone’s unique qualities, appreciation can dramatically affect improved relationships and morale within a workplace or any other setting.

Appreciation motivates, encourages and strengthens relationships – all integral to success.

Showing appreciation, even in small ways, can often make the most recognizable difference, leading to more positive energy being shared amongst all those we cross paths with.

persons right hand doing fist gesture

Core Value 2: Determination

Core Value 2 is about determination and courage to keep going no matter what. Having resolution means putting in hard work, even when things won’t turn out as planned.

It takes dedication to stay focused on a task through difficult times and to finish what you have been working towards. Determination allows us to believe that anything is possible if we have faith and the motivation never to give up.

When we have grit, we know the results will be worth the effort we put in, no matter how challenging it initially seems.

brown wooden blocks on white surface

Core Value 3: Responsibility

Responsibility is an essential core value to cultivate in life. It entails understanding our actions and their impact and implications for us and the people around us.

Being responsible does not just mean taking charge of situations and tasks handed to us; it also means creating positive change within ourselves and our communities by making conscious decisions in areas like sustainability, volunteer work, leadership development, and more.

Developing a sense of responsibility can help build strong character qualities like reliability, competency, trustworthiness, and problem-solving skills, which create a strong foundation for a successful career and meaningful life.

Core Value 4: Respect

Respect is a fundamental human value and should be exercised by every person daily.

Respect for others can manifest in various ways, such as being kind and courteous, showing tolerance towards different points of view, listening attentively to others, being open-minded about different ideas or beliefs, and avoiding judgment or discrimination.

Respect for one another allows us to show empathy towards our peers and helps us build strong relationships based on mutual trust and understanding.

Furthermore, having respect enables us to learn from one another and collaborate effectively on various projects. In short, practising respect is an essential prerequisite in every healthy relationship, whether at home or work.

Core Value 5: Honesty

Honesty is one of the essential core values that should be upheld in any situation. It involves being truthful, transparent and accountable for our words and actions.

Being honest means telling the truth and being sincere in our communication – avoiding exaggeration or distortion of facts.

Honesty fosters trust between individuals and will lead to more constructive and meaningful relationships.

By being honest, we can also gain more respect from others and increase our credibility as reliable sources within any social setting.

Furthermore, it is essential to remember that honesty begins with ourselves – by being true to who we are and how we feel, we can live our best lives.

Core Value 6: Care

Care is a core value beyond caring for ourselves or our loved ones. It involves compassion and understanding towards others and recognizing the importance of collaboration and cooperation in achieving success.

Caring for others also means showing genuine concern when needed and offering help to those struggling with their issues.

In addition, it involves being mindful of the environment and our impact on it and taking responsibility for our actions and their consequences.

How To Embed The Core Values

Embedding core values such as respect, honesty, integrity, care, fairness, creativity, collaboration, trustworthiness, and responsibility into the daily life of a school is essential for fostering a positive and nurturing learning environment.

To achieve this, a school can implement several strategies and practices.

First and foremost, the school’s leadership and staff must serve as role models for these values.

They should consistently demonstrate respect for one another, honesty in their interactions, and integrity in their decision-making.

These actions send a powerful message to students about the importance of these values in the real world.

Additionally, schools can incorporate these values into the curriculum. For example, they can design lessons and activities that highlight the ethical aspects of various subjects, encouraging students to think critically about their actions and decisions.

Schools can also establish character education programs that explicitly teach and reinforce these values through discussions, role-playing, and reflection.

Beyond the curriculum, creating a safe and inclusive school culture is vital. Anti-bullying initiatives and conflict resolution programs can teach students how to respect others’ differences and resolve conflicts peacefully.

Encouraging teamwork and collaboration in group projects fosters creativity and trust, while holding everyone accountable for their actions reinforces responsibility and trustworthiness.

Furthermore, schools can involve parents and the wider community in promoting these values.

Through open communication and involvement in school activities, parents can reinforce the importance of respect, honesty, and other core values at home, creating a unified front in teaching these principles.

Ultimately, care is about demonstrating empathy and respect to those around us – both in our personal lives and in the broader community. By showing care, we can create a better world for everyone.

As you can see, core values are an essential part r lives and can guide us in making big and small decisions. They provide a foundation for purposeful living and help create cohesive communities.

If you’re looking to develop personal or family core values, start by reflecting on what is important to you. Once you understand your values well, you can begin brainstorming possible rules or guidelines representing those values.

What are your thoughts on core values? Do you have any personal or family core values? How do they affect your day-to-day life? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Related: For more, check out our article about the importance of British Values.


How can Core Values help a school with Ofsted?

Core values can be invaluable in helping a school implement Ofsted and ensure that it meets the standards the body sets.
Core values can provide a set of clear principles and expectations that staff and students are expected to follow, allowing everyone to be on the same page regarding expectations and behaviours.
This ensures that any inspections from Ofsted are carried out with an understanding of the school’s ethos and expectations.

What is the difference between Core Values and Mission Statements?

Core values represent a set of principles that an organization or individual holds dear, while mission statements explain an organization’s purpose or focus in more detail.
While both are important in guiding behaviour and decision-making, core values should remain more constant over time, while mission statements may need to be adapted as the organization changes.

What are some examples of Core Values?

Core values include respect, honesty, integrity, care, fairness, creativity, collaboration, trustworthiness and responsibility. Depending on the context, these values can be adapted and tailored to suit individual organizations or individuals.

About The Author

I'm Dan Higgins, one of the faces behind The Teaching Couple. With 15 years in the education sector and a decade as a teacher, I've witnessed the highs and lows of school life. Over the years, my passion for supporting fellow teachers and making school more bearable has grown. The Teaching Couple is my platform to share strategies, tips, and insights from my journey. Together, we can shape a better school experience for all.

2 thoughts on “School Core Values: An Example”

Comments are closed.






Join our email list to receive the latest updates.

Add your form here