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Island schools learn more about virtues

Thursday August 24, 2017 Written by Published in Virtues in Paradise
Apii Avarua principal Engia Baxter with former Frankton Primary School head Judy Dixon. 17082321 Apii Avarua principal Engia Baxter with former Frankton Primary School head Judy Dixon. 17082321

Schools across the island are counting themselves fortunate after being given the opportunity to participate in a workshop on the Character Education Programme by New Zealand visitor Judy Dixon.


The former Frankton Primary School principal has been in Rarotonga this month working with the Ministry of Education to provide specialist training.

Dixon has been recognised as an outstanding principal who encourages all her students to excel by using the Virtues in their everyday school and home life.

She says Frankton Primary School has benefited hugely since being introduced to the programme 12 years ago.

It was the turn of Avarua Primary School teachers, teacher aides and early childhood teachers to participate in the workshop on Tuesday afternoon.

Principal Engia Baxter said the Virtues programme had been embraced by students and teachers since first being established at the school.

“This workshop was a positive time for us when we were equipped on how to actually activate the Virtues and what we already know, and what has already been developed within us by our parents, churches and our former teachers.”

Baxter said the programme was significant to the school as it helped shape children’s lives and taught them to develop the characteristics of the Virtues within themselves.

“Virtues help us as teachers and role models for the students to think before we speak.

“They cause us to evaluate ourselves. For example, how can we change the way we approach a child, instead of getting angry?”

Baxter says if the values promoted by the Virtues programme were absent from the school, it would not be a nice place to be.

“If we didn’t have these qualities, we would have lots of bullying, fighting, gossiping and undisciplined children.”

Baxter said the programme empowered teachers to continue to develop what they already knew and practised as teachers.

“It’s about speaking and making the Virtues a part of our everyday language.”

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