26 November 2018

Head of Senior School

Schools often look to integrate a focus on aspirational personality traits into their programmes which can work alongside as a 'hang-on' programme. It has been very pleasing to see the integration of the International Baccalaureate Learner Profile and Attitudes into the programme at Scotch; looking to teach more than just content. Overtly stating skills to improve thinking, value effort and acknowledge attributes which contribute to a strong moral compass goes a long way to developing the 'whole' person.

Recently, I discussed Integrity with the School at Friday morning Assembly. Integrity is, of course, one of the International Baccalaureate Attitudes. So why discuss integrity? I feel it is important to remind ourselves what it is to act with Integrity in an age that appears to give little credence to such a quality. Following one's moral and ethical convictions and doing the right thing, even when no one is watching you seems a little old-fashioned in some people's eyes. I would suggest it is more important than ever given the disconnection within our community and in light of the amount of time spent on faceless social media. So why live with integrity?

I posit that living with integrity is easier. Surely, it is easier than living a deceitful life. Making ethical decisions and remaining honest to who you are must be easier than trying to remember a series of lies or mistruths. It must be easier and less stressful than worrying about getting caught out by those lies and mistruths. Living with integrity brings you wholeness and peace; with a conscience that rests easy.

Living with integrity also builds trust. Others know that you are one who can be counted on, one who will do what you say and one who is given opportunity because he can be trusted with greater responsibility.

Finally, Integrity serves as a basis for value judgements. Making hard choices is easier when done with a clear conscience knowing you have made the 'right' decision, one which is not self-serving. You know you can look yourself in the mirror.

My suggestions to the boys are simple -

  1. Keep your promises - follow through with what you say you will do.
  2. Do not say something behind someone's back, or online, that you would not say to their face.
  3. Be the vault - keep confidences shared with you by your friends. The only exception being if they place your friend in harm and, in this case, seek assistance to ensure your mate stays safe.

I hope you will take the opportunity to discuss this topic with your son over the dinner table one evening and hear his thoughts on integrity and sharing aspects of integrity in your everyday life.

Mr Dean Shadgett
Head of Senior School