Caring and Excellence at Turnbull School

Located at 1132 Fisher Avenue, Turnbull School is a private elementary school that has been established since 1992. Its director, Gareth Reid, answers some questions about the Turnbull School Honour Code.

What is the Turnbull School Honour Code?

TheTurnbull School Honour Code captures our goals for the students related to their academic excellence and compassion. It is made up of two parts, a Code of Academic Excellence and a Code of Compassion.

When was it established?

We have always had a values based approach at the school when it comes to treating each other well. About four years ago when anti-bullying became a hot topic, we decided to look at the way we expected our students to act from a compassion, kindness and caring for others point of view.

Why does it exist?

To formalize our expectations of Turnbull School students and to promote respect, kindness and caring within our school community and beyond. Who is it for? It is specifically for all of our students. In general it is for everyone in our community. We follow the traits of caring and excellence to guide what we do at Turnbull School.

In what ways does it reflect the school’s mission, values and uniqueness?

The Honour Code is tied closely to, and is an extension of, our mission statement “… Turnbull School challenges the students and faculty to develop their individual academic and personal growth in a cooperative and positive learning environment.”

In real terms, how is it applied?

Teachers review it with their students. It is also reviewed at home and signed by both child and parent. It is then referred to during the year. If a situation arises that is a breach of the code, it will be reviewed with the student(s).

How is adherence to the code revealed in the activities and spirit of the school community?

Turnbull School is a friendly place. Children feel included and kindness prevails. There is a real culture of being good to each other and trying your best at the school. None of us are perfect, but we are all trying to live up to the values we promote at the school. Caring, excellence, compassion and kindness are important to us at Turnbull School.

Since Turnbull is a K to Grade 8 school, can you provide some everyday examples?

Students include others in their games (not just friends). Older students are good about including someone who is alone at their lunch table. Younger children are taught the value of sharing and playing well with others.

What does the code mean for kids in kindergarten?

The code is applied at an age appropriate level. There is something in this code for children of all ages, teachers and parents.

For kids in Grade 8?

Kindness, acceptance and respect for yourself and others {are} very important.

For teachers and administrators?

We try to model the code as well. The way we interact with each other, the students and parents is critical to the success of our code and school in general.

For parents (the school’s families)?

The parents sign off on reviewing the code with their child(ren) as well. We have a culture of respectful dialogue and open communication. The parents are on board with what we do at Turnbull School. This values-based approach, focused on caring and excellence, has been a part of Turnbull School for over 20 years. All of us who work here believe in this and try our best to live it and promote it with the students.

The Turnbull School Honour Code is also embedded in the monthly character traits we celebrate and in the curriculum we teach (including the TLC program, senior school PODS and character and leadership classes). We also strongly promote integrity and sportsmanship within our athletics program and school teams. It is also r eflected in the work we do for others, such as our involvement in the United Way campaign, Ottawa Hospital campaign and Help Lesotho.

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