Ready, steady, go! Preparing children for their life ahead

Rosemary Dewan

Rosemary Dewan is the CEO of the Human Values Foundation which promotes the importance of teaching human values in schools. Since 1995 it has been providing practical, cross-curricular programmes for personal development and behaviour management, integrating SMSC, PSHE education, Citizenship, PLTS and SEAL.

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Education is an investment in children and our collective future. The more informed and joined up our approach to this vital aspect of a child’s development, the more likely the emotional, social, financial, spiritual and physical investments will benefit the individuals, their families, society, communities, nations – indeed the world.

There is a growing emphasis and focus on ensuring that young children are 'school ready' and those progressing from their primary school are 'secondary ready'. When a young person’s compulsory education draws to a close, he or she needs to feel ready to go out into the world.

At this stage, young people are faced with decisions that will significantly impact the rest of their lives, including whether to continue with tertiary education or venture into the workplace.

News that inspires

Much of the news provided by the media has a negative influence but DailyGood is a portal that shares elevating, motivational stories and quotations that focus on the "good" that also exists in our day-to-day world.

The site, which started in 1998 when a college student began sharing inspiration with a few friends by sending them an enriching quotation every day, now provides a wealth of elevating stories, each of which has a simple suggested action which readers can take to make a difference in their own lives and the world around them.

Below are some "DailyGood" points to ponder for the emerging generation of citizens, parents and carers, teachers and others guiding and mentoring children and young people.

"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Education is much more than a matter of imparting the knowledge and skills by which narrow goals are achieved. It is also about opening the child's eyes to the needs and rights of others." - Dalai Lama

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela

"Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it." – Gautama Buddha ('Buddha' means 'awakened one' or 'enlightened one'.)


Here are a couple of articles that could prove informative and helpful for anyone wanting to understand and gain some insights into enabling children and young people to be enthusiastic about learning.

Before we try and help others, it is a good idea to 'Know thyself' and become more aware of our own values and how these values influence our decisions and actions.


Having considered some fundamentals for effective, exciting learning, here are some quotations and a couple of articles that provide direction for learning.

"Creativity is intelligence having fun." – Albert Einstein

"The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems." - Mahatma Gandhi


Young people are being encouraged to take ever more responsibility for their development and learning. Here are a few ideas for young citizens and those supporting them as they become increasingly independent and launch out into the 21st century world.

"It is better to have a meaningful life and make a difference than to merely have a long life." - Bryant H. McGill

Deciding on a career is far from easy for most of us but, for the good of our health and wellbeing, it is extremely important that what we choose or work towards aligns with our values.

The strapline of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation is "Rethink the future". The aim of this charity is to inspire a generation to re-think, re-design and build a positive future through the vision of a 'circular economy'. This concept is certainly thought provoking and will appeal not least to those keen to embrace sustainability, the use of renewable energy and care of our precious environment.

In conclusion

"In judging our progress as individuals we tend to concentrate on external factors such as one's social position, influence and popularity, wealth and standard of education ... But internal factors may be even more crucial in assessing one's development as a human being: honesty, sincerity, simplicity, humility, purity, generosity, absence of vanity, readiness to serve your fellow men - qualities within the reach of every soul - are the foundation of one's spiritual life. Never forget that a saint is a sinner that keeps on trying." - Nelson Mandela

2000+ teaching ideas. 
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