The Grammar School Kindness Assembly, held annually for the students at Westminster, focuses on treating others with respect and responding appropriately to others. Inspired by the discussion of bullying in today’s culture, the Kindness Assembly concentrates on virtue instead of the problem of unkindness itself.
“We focus on kindness and thinking about the elements of why people treat others badly. We have landed on a focus on the positive and how to be kind.”
– Elizabeth Peckham, 5th grade teacher and leader of the Kindness Assembly
Every year, the Grammar School students learn to view kindness from different perspectives. “My goal,” Mrs. Peckham says, “is to make it a little bit funny, and a little fun for the students, helping them to see things that they haven’t thought about before, putting themselves in the position of one who needs to be kind and looking for opportunities to reach out.”
This year, the Kindness Assembly concentrated on moments where one struggles with being kind and when one should show forgiveness to others. To demonstrate the message, several Grammar School teachers acted in a skit, showing the times that even adults struggle showing kindness.
In order to continue the discussion of kindness in the classroom, the Grammar School has a Defender Code which is implemented throughout the year. Posted once a month around the hallways are Bible passages and virtues for the students to remember. Many, such as humility, courage, justice, and self-control are rotated through the year and serve as reminders for the students as they interact with one another. Also, building on this, each Grammar School teacher discusses these virtues with his/her students; some will also read a devotional that relates to a particular virtue with the class.
A classical Christian education is more than the acquiring of academic skills; it also includes the development of virtue. Incorporating the Kindness Assembly into the curriculum is one way Westminster seeks to build Christian character in its students.