Vision and Values

‘When the power of love overwhelms the love of power, the world will know peace.’ Jimi Hendrix


How to manage their students’ hostility to people perceived as ‘them’ or ‘other’, whether Travellers, Polish workers, gay people or Somali refugees, was one of the ‘controversial issues’ identified by teachers from all over the UK at an event organised by the then QCA (Qualifications and Curriculum Authority) in 2007. Working with Di Layzelle from Croydon College, Kirsty Colburn-Hayes from De Ferrers Technology College in Staffordshire, Lyndsey Buchanan and Sarah Thistle at Change for Children, VTE&S, Waltham Forest and staff from Rush Croft School in Waltham Forest, we created an approach which combined materials for exploring ‘difference’ with taking action to address prejudice in the community*.  We designed materials for discussion and the students met up twice to share progress and hear inspiring speakers including Sylvia Lancaster, the mother of Sophie who was murdered for being a Goth.  We look at people like strangers and we dehumanise and criminalise them and then we don’t know how to treat them. We need more empathy instead of closing the curtains and watching TV. It’s wonderful to inhabit each other’s lives’ (Callum McCann, NPR June 2012).  With thanks to all participants, funders and supporters.   Some of the resources we used were only in hard copy and not reproduced here.   See the Resources and Project Details below.

*Croydon College’s campaign focused on the media’s portrayal of young people and how it focuses on crime, making communities feel unsafe. De Ferrers Technology College campaign was a drama based project to encourage an acceptance of difference in primary schools, via assemblies and Rush Croft School worked on tackling gangs and violence, raising awareness via a drama for primary schools.


Vision and Values Croydon College, October 2008


At the conference in Croydon College, 2008, students spoke about how they were enjoying the project because, ‘it has something to do with everyday life.  What happened to Sophie Lancaster is shocking and shows how much prejudice there is’ (Kwabene, Rush Croft) and David, Rush Croft described the preparation lessons as ‘… fun.  I really like working in groups and having the opportunity to offer our own opinions.’

Natalie Waterhouse, an A Level student at Croydon College, said, ‘it broadens out everyone’s mindset; you start to think about other people’s situations.’  And Charlotte Beddoe of de Ferrers Technology School said, ‘It has been great to be able to talk to people and make decisions and work together to achieve one thing.’

Resources for Vision and Values – A Collaborative Community Cohesion Project:

(Click on the links below to download the pdf documents)


A rabbi asked his students when one can tell the moment night ends and the day begins. They replied:

‘When from a distance you can tell the difference between a sheep and a dog?’ ‘No.’

‘When you can tell the difference between a fig tree and a grapevine?’ ‘No.’

‘We don’t know…’

The rabbi replied. ‘It is when you can look into the face of human beings and you have enough light in you to recognize them as your brothers and sisters. Up until then it is night and darkness is still with us.’


Additional Resources and Information:

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