The Importance of Teaching Kindness in the OWIS Classroom

Michelle Dickinson
Published on
November 13, 2021

It's a well-known and accepted school of thought that being kind to someone increases their happiness. But did you know being kind also makes you feel better? Research performed by Oxford University and published at Kindness.org attests to this truth. Kindness is a win-win for both giver and receiver, which is why it holds such a position of high esteem at One World International School (OWIS). OWIS is a kindness-led school. As such, we encourage and reward acts of kindness every day from our academic staff, our administration and our students. In this way, we strive to build a positive atmosphere that's stress-free and conducive to learning.

However, just because kindness is an important characteristic for parents to nurture in their own child, is it really important enough to justify weaving it throughout an entire school curriculum? And if so, why? 

Here is our line of thinking on the role of kindness in the OWIS classroom to help parents and prospective students better understand our methods and how they may benefit from them throughout life.

Why Should We Teach Kindness in the Classroom?

OWIS students do kind deeds in the classroom
OWIS students performing acts of kindness in the classroom

There are as many benefits to being the recipient of kindness as there are arguments for being kind. Simply stated:

  • Kindness alleviates stress and lessens the pressure to perform.
  • It creates happy, relaxed individuals who genuinely care about one another and the classroom. 
  • Kindness helps children feel as though they belong. It increases self-esteem and helps them realise their vast potential. 
  • In a kind and caring environment, children feel more willing to share their true thoughts and feelings.
  • They develop better focus and longer attention spans. 
  • It reduces bullying.
  • A classroom that is ruled by kindness improves individual mental health and promotes feelings of well-being and gratitude.

For these reasons, we always emphasise and reward acts of kindness in and out of the classroom.

How One World International School Encourages Kindness

The OWIS classroom is far different from the traditional classroom in many ways. Not only are students encouraged to take responsibility for their achievements, but they're encouraged to share and to be actively engaged with the material and with other students. And these interactions are always made better when kindness is present. We reinforce this idea in various ways, including:

  • Routine events that take place throughout the academic year, such as Kindness Week, the creation of the Kindness Trees, and appreciation days for all our stakeholders.
  • The Think Kindness Challenge of 2021, which challenges OWIS students to become “Kindness Ninjas”, performing kind acts and tracking them in kindness journals
  • Creation of the Kindness Council, which is the OWIS version of a student council, where members model and promote kind acts throughout every school day. 
  • The entry in the Singapore Book of Records for completing the country's biggest felt heart - a student-led kindness project that blossomed into something much bigger than anyone could have foreseen. 
  • The election of Kindness Leaders in the Primary Years Programme. This introduces younger students to conflict resolution as playground leaders, encouraging inclusion for all. 
  • Daily classroom reinforcement and rewards by teachers, faculty and staff when students are observed performing acts of kindness. 
  • Modelling of kindness by staff and faculty at OWIS, including how they interact with students in the classroom, with parents and with other faculty members and administration.

OWIS students are proud to place their handprints on our Kindness Trees

There are age-appropriate activities and lessons that embrace kindness for every grade level, from our Primary Years Programme through to CAS projects in IB Diploma and our elected IB Diploma Kindness Ambassadors. The authentic promotion of student agency also encourages and allows children to spread kindness wherever they see a need within the community.

OWIS children don't dread going to school. They eagerly embrace it as an opportunity to meet new friends, achieve new goals, and learn new methods and ideologies. It's this feature that has helped to make us a top international school in Singapore for hundreds of families who come from all around the world.

Kindness in the OWIS Curriculum

One World International School has built a solid reputation for quality and excellence in education. And much of that stems from the core values we teach. As a values-led school, our focus on accepting responsibility, striving for achievement, embracing diversity and always treating others with respect are at the centre of our success. As a result, students who graduate from OWIS become voices for good in the world. We're cultivating a generation of leaders who exhibit impeccable judgment, empathy and understanding in everything they do. And interwoven through it all runs the common thread of kindness.

At OWIS, your child will be free to question and explore, draw conclusions and test theories. They'll gain an advantage from our culturally diverse student body that will benefit them for the rest of their life. They'll learn about kindness and acceptance and discover how to make meaningful changes within their community. We invite you and your child to join us on this exciting journey.

If you're interested in learning more about how One World International School can help your child achieve great and wonderful things in and out of the classroom, talk with our admission counsellor today, or register for a virtual tour of our campuses.


About Author

Michelle Dickinson

Head of School

After teaching across all three primary key stages in the UK, Michelle began her school leadership career in 2002. Since then, she has built her school management expertise in roles in schools in the UK, India, China, Ethiopia and now Singapore. As someone who loves the outdoors, she believes that learning transcends the classroom environment and is passionate about educational visits and extra-curricular experiences.

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