Kindness at OWIS
Kindness is very important to us at One World International School. In fact, kindness is the most critical element among a whole gamut of personal, emotional and social ingredients that we add to our scholastic mix. What we demonstrate and how we teach kindness equips our children to excel, not merely succeed – in all their life roles, not just in their careers.
“Kindness is at the core of everything we do at OWIS. In Early Childhood, we work with our children to model and explain kindness and to celebrate acts of kindness. Teachers are kind to children and to each other. Our Grade 5 Kindness Leaders come to support the younger children on the playground, again modelling kindness. We have found that a consistently positive and kind approach, where we truly value and embody kindness, has enabled the children to really understand its value. Our children strive to be kind people in everything they do.” says Luna Deller, Early Childhood Senior Coordinator at OWIS.
Inside the school, you’ll find Kindness Trees made up of students’ handprints. Children are nominated by fellow students or teachers for demonstrating acts of kindness and they then contribute their handprints as leaves on their Kindness Tree – you can find out more in this article on how OWIS fosters kindness.
Our emphasis on kindness and “what it means to be kind” emanates from the top, as you can read from this interview on The New Age Parent with our Head of School, Michelle Dickinson. And it is not just our thinking or belief, kindness is integral to everything we do. From our values and mission to curricula choices, our fee point and our assessment practice - our philosophy around kindness aims to equip our students with the skills and awareness they need to thrive in a global society.
At OWIS, we find that a kind and nurturing school environment,
· results in happy, aware, caring children
· heightens self-esteem
· increases peer acceptability
· reduces instances of bullying
· reduces stress
· improves general health
· enhances concentration and learning ability
· produces adults equipped for the demands of the 21st century
Promoting and Teaching Kindness
As kindness is such an essential value to us, we proliferate kindness within our school and in our community as well. As James H. Fowler and Nicholas A. Christakis observed in their National Academy of Sciences paper, “...the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity.”
What we effectively achieve is an environment in which students are continually made aware of what ‘kindness’ means and actually practice this, almost as one would a musical instrument. This leads to a habit of mind. And eventually, considered acts of kindness evolve into unthinking reactions of compassion. Step onto the campus at One World International School (OWIS) and you’ll understand why it’s known as the kindest school around. With a diverse student and teaching population, everyone is working towards the same goal.
The Kindness Council
OWIS emphasises a global community and a comprehensive approach to education. We have over 70 nationalities here, and the ability for everyone to work collaboratively to develop a new understanding based on diverse and opposing points of view is of paramount importance. Being able to relate harmoniously to teachers and peers (and parents) is a necessity. Compassion and kindness are core values. And that’s why we’ve evolved our student council into The Kindness Council. Students serving on this council embody the values of kindness and promote this throughout the school.
THE KINDNESS COUNCIL AND KINDNESS LEADERS WITH THE HEAD OF SCHOOL, MRS. MICHELLE DICKINSON AND GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE SINGAPORE KINDNESS MOVEMENT, MR. WILLIAM WAN, DURING KINDNESS WEEK AT OWIS
Kindness and Learning
The positive nature of kindness is an essential factor in achieving healthy relationships. And building such relationships is a catalyst for intellectual skills as well as social success.
In an article in Psychology Today, Dr Karyn Hall notes that acts of kindness trigger receptors in the brain that are conducive to a receptive and retentive state of mind. Such altruistic behaviour releases endorphins, giving rise to the effect known as ‘helpers high’. When you realise that concentration and creative ability are also stimulated, the positive effect of kindness in schools becomes evident.
How Does Kindness Help Our Students Grow?
Children with a positive outlook have greater attention spans, more willingness to learn, and better creative thinking to improve results at school. Acting with compassion and kindness towards others not only creates a sense of well-being but increases popularity. Being kind makes our students feel good. It increases the body’s levels of dopamine, oxytocin and serotonin. And the extra endorphins give rise to heightened energy levels and a sense of optimism and self-worth.
To learn more about our culture of kindness or if you’d like to see for yourself how our culture permeates everything we do at OWIS, schedule a tour of our campus today.