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Creating an Authentic Culture of Kindness

by Belinda Breeze

By Simon Crane, Head Master at Brighton College Dubai

As the Head Master of Brighton College Dubai, I have had the privilege of witnessing the transformation that ensues when an authentic culture of kindness permeates a school environment. Schools should not only be places of academic achievement but also sanctuaries where young minds are nurtured, characters are moulded, and a genuine sense of empathy is cultivated. Here, I aim to shed light on the paramount importance of fostering a culture of kindness in our institution and indeed, all educational settings.

Kindness is not just about being nice. It is a potent catalyst for personal growth. Pupils who experience kindness regularly are more likely to develop strong self-esteem, confidence, and a sense of belonging. These are the underpinnings of a conducive learning environment, leading to better academic results. When kindness is an intrinsic part of school culture, pupils feel safer to take risks, ask questions, and make mistakes, knowing that they will be supported rather than ridiculed.

When kindness is both taught and celebrated, it becomes the default behaviour. Pupils become allies, not adversaries, leading to a harmonious learning environment where every child feels seen, heard, and valued. As educators, we must lead by example. By demonstrating kindness in our actions, reactions, and daily interactions, we set a standard for our pupils. We show them the importance of empathy, consideration, and the power of simple acts of kindness. Our behaviour serves as a template for theirs, both now and in the future.

Kindness is not just about being nice. It is a potent catalyst for personal growth.

Here are my top tips on how parents can help foster kindness in their child:

  • Lead by Example: Children learn kindness by observing your behaviour, so be a role model for empathy and compassion in your own actions and interactions.
  • Encourage Empathy: Foster your child’s understanding of others’ feelings and perspectives through open conversations and by asking them to consider how others might feel.
  • Highlight Acts of Kindness: Encourage your child to perform small acts of kindness and praise their efforts, emphasising the positive impact their actions have on others.
  • Discuss Consequences: Teach children about the negative effects of unkind behaviour and help them understand how kindness can resolve conflicts and build strong relationships.
  • Promote Inclusivity: Emphasise the value of inclusivity and diversity and encourage your child to make friends from different backgrounds, cultures, and abilities.

By instilling kindness as a core value in our pupils, we are equipping them with a moral compass that will guide their actions beyond the school gates. They will carry this value into their adult lives, influencing their relationships, workplaces, and communities, creating ripple effects of positive change in society.

We show our students the importance of empathy, consideration, and the power of simple acts of kindness.

Brighton College Dubai hosts a diverse pupil body representing over 70 nationalities and cultures. Promoting kindness ensures that differences are celebrated, leading to mutual respect and understanding.

Numerous studies have shown that acts of kindness, whether giving or receiving, release endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller. This boosts mood, reduces stress, and improves overall mental well-being. A school environment that prioritises kindness thus plays a pivotal role in the mental health of its pupils.

At Brighton College Dubai, our pursuit of academic excellence is unwavering. However, we firmly believe that character education is equally crucial. Creating an authentic culture of kindness isn’t just an idealistic aspiration; it is a necessity. For it’s in this nurturing environment that we produce not just scholars, but compassionate leaders and global citizens of tomorrow.

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