archived news

New Zealand Character Counts! Week: 20-26 October 2013

Character Counts! 2013

Show respect, grow respect, know respect

Character Counts! Week is an international celebration of character and character formation. It is celebrated in 88 countries and involves over 10 million students.

Complete details are now available on the Character Counts! 2013 page.

The Kindness Cornerstone

How do your students learn to be kind?

Written with the busy teacher in mind, this photocopyable resource book is packed with ideas that provide the basis of teaching kindness as a core life skill and essential character trait.

These easy to use ideas that guide teachers and save time include:

  • kindness planning templates
  • teaching kindness as an inquiry topic
  • lists of kindness resources
  • kindness thinking skills
  • kindness lessons that can be adapted to any level
  • complete resources for kindness as the ‘value of the term’

The Kindness Cornerstone is now available from the store for $NZ39.95.

The Kindness Cornerstone

Winners of the National Schools of Character Awards

The winners of New Zealand’s inaugural National Schools of Character Awards were presented at an awards dinner held in Wellington on Friday 26 October 2012.

The winning schools and colleges are;

Complete details are now available on the Character Awards page.

New Zealand Character Counts! Week: 21-27 October 2012

Character Counts! 2012

Your choices are your responsibility
To Kowhiritanga - To kawenga

Complete details are now available on the Character Counts! 2012 page.

Two new books available

The Respect Cornerstone

64 photocopiable pages of resources and classroom activities that support the Cornerstone Values approach to building character.

The Respect Cornerstone and The Responsibility Cornerstone are now available from the store for $NZ39.95 each.

The Responsibility Cornerstone

Something has gone wrong

While New Zealanders can be justly proud of many achievements, over recent decades we have experienced a general decline in the traits of character which build responsible individuals, strong families, effective schools and caring communities.

It is understood that young people need such character qualities as diligence, a strong work ethic, and a positive attitude in order to do their best in school and to succeed in life. They also need character qualities such as honesty, respect and fairness in order to live and work with others.

It is known that character determines behaviour just as behaviour demonstrates character.

If you would like to contribute to the New Zealand Foundation for Character Education, download this PDF file (139 KB) for further details.

8th National Character Education Symposium

Building Communities of Character

Gain insights, Ideas and Inspiration for Effective Character Education in your School.

Presentations are now available on the symposium '10 page.

The Cornerstone Values Approach to Character Education in New Zealand Schools

The purpose of the paper The Cornerstone Values Approach to Character Education in New Zealand Schools is to answer three broad questions.

  1. 1. What is the purpose of the Cornerstone Values approach to character education?
  2. 2. Where can the Cornerstone Values approach to character education be seen?
  3. 3. What comments have been made about the Cornerstone Values approach to character education?

Today’s Schools, Anonymous Visitors and the Shifting Gate Post

Kate Borrie writes on the importance of the school website. Kate, who has worked as a journalist and taught at both secondary and tertiary levels has a post-graduate Marketing qualification as well as a Diploma in School Marketing and is particularly interested in school website usability.

Dunedin schools lead way with award

Dunedin has become the first city in New Zealand with two primary schools awarded a prestigious national award for their initiatives in controlling pupil behaviour.

Symposium '08 Presentations

Another very successful Symposium has now been and gone. Presentations are now available on the symposium '08 page.

Making Sense of Managing Self

Teaching Responsibility to Improve Student Learning and Behaviour in New Zealand Schools

How do busy schools implement the Key Competency Managing Self? This publication has been prepared in the hope that teachers who are already over burdened won’t need to reinvent the wheel. Schools looking for evidence based, teacher friendly and successful strategies for improving student engagement will be interested to know ...

This publication by Rod Galloway is now available to purchase as a soft cover from the store or downloadable as a PDF file (932 KB)

Symposium '08 - Developing Cultures of Character

Teachers and Principals and are invited to a presentation of successful practice, recent research, and new resources that will assist secondary schools to implement the values and Key Competencies of the revised curriculum with an emphasis on improving student engagement and developing models of effective student leadership. Further details on the symposium '08 page.

Sample of Education Review Office [ERO] comments

A sample of ERO comments on the Cornerstone Values approach to building character. Check out this page from the SCHOOLS menu.

Symposium '07

All three keynote presentations from the recent Symposium 2007 are now online. Further details on this page.


Do you have any questions about Character Education or

Our comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page is now available. Store

The store is now online

We will be expanding the range of resources available for purchase during the next few weeks

Connecting Character to Conduct - Teaching values in the new Curriculum

One day symposium to be held Friday 2 November 2007 [update], National Library, Wellington. 9am - 3pm

Further details to follow in the near future

Two new articles

Two new articles have been added to the website:

What is the Cornerstone Values approach to Character Education?

A three part series that was published in NZ Principal

Smart and Good High Schools

A Highly Recommended Webpage for Secondary Schools

To date the restoration of character education has been overwhelmingly in primary schools.

Perhaps this is because it is widely recognised that core values are learned at a young age?

Complete details available on this page

Gael McDonald Ph.D.

In October 2004 Dr. McDonald supervised a study into the effectiveness of character education in New Zealand schools.

Dr. McDonald spoke of the results of that study, Character Education in New Zealand Schools, at a symposium held in Dunedin in October 2005.

The PowerPoint of this presentation is available on this page

Accredited Schools

Details of Accredited Schools has been added to the SCHOOLS menu.

Website Update

Welcome to the refreshed Cornerstone Values website. This is the third major update to this site in 10 years. Some of the goals for the current updates are to:

Should you have any comments on the update, please use the form on this page to send us your thoughts.

October 2006: Symposium '06

A one day sharing of good practice, recent research, and new resources that tell the story of what New Zealand schools are achieving through the Cornerstone Values approach to Character Education

A Report to the Nation

No charge
Friday 27 October 2006 9.00am – 3.00pm
Rotorua Education Centre, Rotorua
Dr Gael McDonald; Professor of Business Ethics, Auckland Unitech
Warwick Moyle; Principal, Kaharoa Primary School, Rotorua
Andrew McFarlane; Principal, Spring Creek School, Blenheim
John Rutherford; CEO, Westbridge Residential School, Auckland
Peter Moyle; Deputy Principal, Taupo Nui-a-Tia College, Taupo
Angela Johnston; Assistant Principal, Bellevue Primary School, Wellington
Sue Walker; Principal, Waianiwa Primary School, Southland
Rod Galloway; Principal George Street Normal School, Dunedin
Target Audience
Teachers and Principals
Primary and Secondary schools with an interest in Character Education

... conference brochure and online registration no longer available.

June 2006: Connecting Character and Conduct

John Heenan's address to the Central North Island Secondary School Deputy and Assistant Principals' Conference, Connecting Character and Conduct is available to download from this link (165 kb)

Download links on this page are in PDF format

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