As some of this site’s readers know, I work in an Educate Together school. One thing, as ET teachers, we’re always looking for are resources to support our Learn Together (LT) curriculum. Because Prim-Ed sell their books in several countries, a lot of their stuff that is usually tailored to the UK or Australian market is really appropriate for the four strands of the LT curriculum.
The Teaching Values Toolkit is one such series that supports the Moral and Spiritual and the Environmental strands brilliantly. The toolkit consists of 5 books for different levels, all packed with excellent lesson plans and resources. One can also buy a set of posters to support the series too. Essentially, the Teaching Values Toolkit outlines six types of kindness, orginally developed by David Koutsoukis, an Australian education consultant:
- Be kind to yourself
- Be kind to others
- Be kind to the environment
- Be the learning kind
- Be the achieving kind
- Be the community kind
Now those who are not in ET schools will see that most of these “kinds” support the SPHE and some of the Science and Geography curricula well too.
Relevance to the curriculum aims: 5/5 (for ET) or 3/5 (non-ET school)
If you work in an Educate Together school, this supports half the strands of the Learn Together programme so would be well worth it. If not, it’s still a reasonable kit for SPHE lessons.
Like all Prim-Ed books, it’s dead easy to get going with excellent lessons. Because this book was originally written for an Australian audience, sometimes the level of lessons may be pitched a little high, particularly the lower level books. Therefore teachers should examine the lessons carefully so they can differentiate them to Irish curriculum standards.
Value for money 3/5
Each book costs €24.95 and the set of posters is €29.95. If this programme was to be taken up as a whole school behaviour system or as a method to implement some of the SPHE or Learn Together curriculum, it might be worth it. In isolation, however, it may be a little expensive for one class.
I guess the posters are an extra but, sadly, they cost almost €30, which I feel is a little steep. Perhaps some classroom A4-sized posters would be a nice add-on or maybe even a CD-ROM to support lessons would be good.
Overall, Teaching Values Toolkit should be considered by every ET school. With a little tweaking, a whole school scheme to support half of the Learn Together curriculum could be developed. Other schools may wish to use the scheme to support their behaviour system or to support some of their lessons in SPHE, Geography and Science. Extra resources can be got from David Koutsoukis’s own site, www.sixkindsofbest.com, but all these have to come from Australia.
Total score: 12/20 (for an ET school), 10/20 (if not)