"Dear VIA Teacher - Thank you for giving us the opportunity that others don't have and giving us the upper hand in life." (Year 6 Student 2018)

Industry Professionals

Kereama Nathan‘Whakatupuria ake te tamaiti i te ara e haere ai ia, ka kaumātua, e kore e mahue i a ia’.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old, he will not depart from it’.
The acquisition of positive life skills are a necessity for all children of all ethnicities, in all communities throughout Aotearoa. This is reflected in the grassroots approach of the programme, its teachers and volunteers. It has been a pleasure to work with our local LIFT staff in developing suitable grammar  to encapsulate the essence of the seven life skills in te Reo Māori.

Traditionally Māori knowledge was transmitted orally, so there is a natural synergy created by the collaborative use of te Reo Māori within this programme. The lessons and its truths are ageless, the delivery is contemporary and relevant to this present generation.

I wish the VIA Life Skills Programme and its entire staff every success for the future.

Kereama Nathan
Kaiwhakahaere Te Herenga Waka o Orewa

Ian and Mary GrantWe love the contemporary and inspirational approach of the VIA Life Skills Programme for schools. The careful way that the authors have crafted the lessons to engage students’ minds and sense, while teaching universal moral truths, is impressive. It is known that we have a window of opportunity between 5 and 10 years of age to teach right and wrong and the universal virtues of kindness, generosity, honesty and patience.

The programme contains a delightful energy in teaching children, through Bible stories and activities, those habits of goodness that the ancients including Plato, Aristotle, and later Aquinas encouraged. The way the developers of the VIA Programme have thought deeply about the content and pitched it perfectly for the age group makes it highly credible educationally and easily used by classroom teachers as well as volunteers. It certainly appears to be a programme for the current generation with pace and energy, while still teaching universal truths and a moral framework on which to base lives of meaning and purpose.

Ian and Mary Grant
Founders, Parents Inc.
Fathers who Dare win


“The Values in Action programme has been absolutely amazing in the way it complements exactly what we believe in here. The thing that has always impressed me is the effort the Values in Action teachers make to ensure that the thinking skills and problem-solving strategies they teach are exactly what our own teachers do.  It fits very nicely into the school’s overall vision.”
Lesley Tait (Principal Red Beach School 1997-2012)


Fun, exciting and relevant” are words chosen by Kathryn Trimble to describe Values in Action lessons at Red Beach School.  Kathryn’s older daughter and son have passed through the school now and, with her young daughter starting out, she is delighted Values in Action is still offered in the school.  Kathryn speaks with gratitude of the support Values in Action continues to be to her family. 

Validation of their family values is one of the things Kathryn appreciates about Values in Action.  “It’s nice to have what we do at home  reinforced with peers at school.  When the values are brought out in the classroom like this parents don’t feel so alone.  It’s not just coming from the parents all the time. It is great for the children to realise that our family standards are also valued in society.”

Learning practical ways stories and values from the Bible can help them “do life” has enriched her children’s education, according to Kathryn.  She explains how the children hear the Bible stories, go through the values, and reflect on them in a way that makes them feel accepted. 

Kathryn comments,  “Boys can get distracted and easily swayed by other kids but Values in Action made it cool for my son to do these values.”   And now, she is delighted to find the programme is still there for her daughter…“Still here.  Still relevant.  Still fun.  Wonderful!” 


‘That story was definitely a turning point for me!’

“That story was definitely a turning point for me!  When Miss Henderson told me the story what stood out is that Lot just looked out for himself.  He wasn’t a nice person and he wasn’t very loving and friendly. After hearing the story I realised I wasn’t being the best sort of person. I definitely thought I was like Lot.  When I reflected on what Lot had done I was embarrassed.  I felt bad like I was in a ditch and I had to work my way out of it to learn the lesson. 

 When I went home I told Mum I was embarrassed and she said,

“Well, I’m glad you picked that up because when you pick up your mistakes I know for a fact, you change them and try and make yourself a better person and I’m here for you if you need any help.” 

Learning how to put others first has made a big, big, big difference in my life.  My sister’s friend has a younger brother who has a tumour.  He’s only 7.  He’s been in Starship and his tumour is the size of a tennis ball and I just feel sorry.  He complained, “The books in Starship are so boring!”  Since then I’ve been fundraising for books.  It became our class project and I organised it.  You had to get a job at home and be paid, then buy a book with an age rating of 5 to 18. We got about 50 books. When I saw that pile of books, my gosh, I was so happy!  They’ve also got book marks with them that we made.  Whoever bought the book wrote a note in it saying why they would recommend that book.  My teacher took the books to the hospital on the last day of term. 

Even though Values in Action is hard sometimes, it is a learning opportunity because if there was no Values in Action we would never learn how to work together as a team and learn how to put others first, make friends, be respectful and helpful. 

I think putting others first has been my most powerful learning in Values in Action.  It has helped me with my friendships, my family and also other people in the community. 

Room 6 Student, Red Beach School 2010


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