The School of Value Award was given to kindergartens in Kõrveküla and Tartu | Ethics in Estonia

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The School of Value Award was given to kindergartens in Kõrveküla and Tartu

Yesterday, on the 26th of September, Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu (CEUT) awarded quality badges to kindergartens who work on values development systematically. Prof. Margit Sutrop, the Head of CEUT, gave the highest recognition, the Preschool of Values Education 2019 award to Kõrveküla Kindergarten Päikeseratas and Tartu private kindergarten Terake.

CEUT gave the first School of Value Award to Kõrveküla Kindergarten Päikeseratas for supporting children’s social skills and mental development and resultative values development. The headmistress of the kindergarten Jana Rosenthal said that this was their third time participating in the recognition programme. “It was easier to write our self-analysis this time around, but the expectations were much higher. It is important to focus on evidence-based examples when analysing your work. This is how you learn,” Rosenthal described. She was extremely grateful to all her teachers who had worked hard to achieve this prize.

The representative of Tartu parish Jaana Puur described Kõrveküla Kindergarten as close-knit and hospitable: “Amazing children, smart teachers and hardworking staff – this is how I would describe them at Kõrveküla”. Puur added that the whole community, parents and teachers alike, has developed great co-operation for a common goal: to support and guide the children with their unique personalities and talents.

Tartu private kindergarten Terake was another laureate of School of Value Award and got recognition for developing process-oriented learning, creating an environment derived from children’s needs and trusting their pupils.

“Winning the School of Value dolomite cup proves that we have worked hard for the past 10 years,” said Katrin Helendi, the headmistress of the kindergarten Terake. “I am beyond happy to be working with such a great team.” She said that being able to take some time, self-reflect and analyse was very important for their kindergarten to develop further. “Centre for Ethics paid us a visit and the feedback from their Critical Friends helped us to focus on important aspects of our work to go even further in our progress towards greatness,” Helendi added.

“Within 10 years the teachers have planted and grown many seeds of wisdom, that have grown into great fruits. The whole kindergarten family is always happy to share their experiences and good practices with parents and colleagues,” said Urmo Uiboleht, a member of the board of Hariduse Edendamise Sihtasutus (Education Development Foundation).

Nele Punnar, the good school project manager at CEUT, said that kindergartens participating in the recognition programme are all very different. “There are a lot of good practices all over Estonia to support the development of children or to support the values education progress,” Punnar added. “The kindergartens work hard and put their hearts and souls into it.”

The Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu has supported and recognised values-based activities in kindergartens and schools since 2009. Previously known as the Good School competition, the self-analysis programme helps the participants to find their strength, peculiarities, development opportunities and -focuses. 80 schools and 113 kindergartens from different parts of Estonia have participated in the programme in 2009–2019. The highest recognition, the School or Kindergarten of Value Education award has been awarded to 14 schools and 15 kindergartens.

Kindergartens participating in CEUTs recognition programme “Good Kindergarten as Values-based Kindergarten” have to write an evidence-based self-analysis in the context of values education. 24 kindergartens participated in the programme this year.

The conference and recognitions programme are funded by the National Programme “Values Development in Estonian Society 2009–2013” for the years 2015–2020, funded by the Ministry of Education and Research.

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