My school is a candidate school for the International Baccalaureate (IB). As part of the IB- PYP (Primary Years Program) we make ‘Essential Agreements’ about all areas of school life pertaining to staff, parents and students. My students have been developing ‘Essential Agreements’ about what they believe is important to them. Given support, these 4 and 5 year olds know what makes them feel confident and happy.
The notion of rules isn’t part of our classroom. These very young children were able to talk, question and develop agreements about how we will support each other in our classroom/school yard to be the best we can be. I think you’ll agree that our ‘Essential Agreements’ are positive and reflect a culture that enables students to develop self management skills.
We will ‘have a go’ at everything or ‘give it a crack’.
We will say well done to people when they do something good or try really hard.
We will always listen to the person who is talking.
We are good friends to everyone. We are a team.
We agree to be at the classroom ready to learn.
Looking out for each other is important to us.
We will always look after our belongings and bodies and pack up our things.
We may add to our agreements during the school year if needed. The children have illustrated an agreement each which are displayed in the classroom and referred to when needed. This week I’ll take photos of children role-playing each agreement for display and reflection. This approach really works!