What is Values in Action?

Values in Action is...

a robust and comprehensive curriculum created for students in primary schools to provide a pathway in which the children can develop their character joyfully and healthily. This pathway is provided through 35 effectively compacted lessons each year beginning in year one and concluding in year six. Each lesson is 30 minutes in length and consists of one or two short stories  from the Bible alongside stories from New Zealand and world history along and present-day news.
The children will be engaged in practical character building activities along with being introduced to the Maori language, values and tikanga during each lesson throughout the six years.
This course is an optional course for parents to choose for their children, and is designed to be respectful of all cultures, religions, and people groups by giving students tools in how to think rather than what to think.
VIA has had the opportunity to create, develop, and refine over 200 unique, respectful lessons with effective values in the last 16 years of operation and is continuing to grow in their ability to lovingly construct this distinctive pathway for their students.

Rich Cultural Content

During VIA lessons, as well as learning how to put values into action through fun games and activities, and hearing Bible stories which illustrate these values, children have an opportunity to gain a huge amount of general knowledge about New Zealand and the world. They learn about how Matariki is celebrated and the meanings behind it; about the stories behind the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi; about Dame Whina Cooper and her hikoi; and about the shifting views of New Zealanders to keas and the conservation of kiwis and wetland areas. They learn about 'Lady Justice' and the principles of fair court processes, as well as special places in New Zealand such as the Supreme Court and High Court buildings and the Waitangi Treaty House. They hear about the history of 'poppy day' along with other stories from both World Wars and the 'In Flanders Fields' poem. They learn about the British royal family and hear British and Maori stories about the emblems on the NZ flag and some of the artworks on NZ postage stamps. They hear about Arama Toiroa, Ruatara, Yazudi regugees, civil rights in America and the story of Nelson Mandela.

Features of the programme 

VIA offers... 

  1. Hands on with time to practise strategies
  2. Interactive with space for self-expression
  3. Innovative and 'Out-of-the-Box' stories
  4. Seven Life Skills / 'Heart Tools / Ngakaunui

How the Values in Action programme addresses each of these features…

1. Hands on with time to practise strategies

VIA's research-based learning process is fun for kids as they practise strategies through drama, dance, team games, co-operative activities, simulation games and group challenges

2. Interactive with space for self-expression

VIA draws on the latest knowledge in Education and Psychology to spur conversations that empower children to explore life skills and cope with grief, anger, anxiety, stress

3. Innovative and 'Out-of-the-Box' stories

A refreshingly creative way to respect the ancient wisdom of a book that has stood the test of time...the Bible.  All sorts of characters from New Zealand history also feature in pacy narratives, as models of life skills in action.

4. Seven Life Skills / 'Heart Tools' / Ngakaunui

Be kind - Aroha - Tender-hearted honesty, balancing personal needs and consideration for others

Help - Awhi - Awareness of and prioritising responsibility for the land, plants, animals and other people

Enjoy - Whakanui - Taking time to boost others up while enjoying life to the full

Aim High - Tu Kotahi Ai - Standing as one together and reaching for your best and beyond to make a difference

Respect - Manaaki - Self-awareness and celebration of difference, extending hospitality and equal regard for every human being

Think - Whakaaro - Heart and mind drawing together to create powerful thinking and deep understanding

Support - Tautoko - Teaming with others to achieve superior outcomes

A typical Values in Action Lesson

20% Innovative storytelling

Putting a fire in the belly of kiwi kids and modelling life skills through rich narratives that bring alive New Zealand history and Bible stories

40% Hands-on activities

Building life-skills
Good fun

Drama - Art -  Music - Dance - Team games - Co-operative activities
Simulation games  - Group challenges - Role-play  - More

40% Time to be heard (ORACY)

Reflection and visualisation
Embedding life skills
Sharing thoughts and feelings
Talking and listening

Specialist Teachers

  • Authority
    Values in Action teachers are all either fully registered primary school teachers or have undergone a course of at least fourteen weeks training before teaching solo in a classroom. 
  • Training
    The  teacher training process is specific to Values in Action and, alongside well known models, includes original teaching and learning theory that supports a unique mix of traditional storytelling, active listening skills and current pedagogies.
  • Child-centred
    The teaching and learning relationship employed in Values in Action gives children ownership of the direction of the lesson.  Teachers do not ‘talk at’ the children, rather drawing them out and allowing them to set their own learning paths and come to their own conclusions.
  • Accountability
    Supervision of Values in Action teachers is regular and rigorous, ensuring consistent quality of programme delivery.
  • Professional Development
    To maintain registration as a Values in Action teacher there is a requirement to participate in regular meetings, workshops and supervision and to ensure continuous improvement of classroom practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some questions we get asked often, if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us