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Julie Rees

Leadership - Values - Coaching

It is one thing for a school to talk about values. It's another for a school to make them a living, breathing part of every aspect of school life in a way that transforms the entire community.

Such is the power of Values-based Education (VbE for short), something that Julie Rees brings to life in the schools she leads and why so many people flock to visit her school to see for themselves. And come away entirely moved by the experience.

Julie is an experienced and successful primary school leader who fully embraced the concept of Values-based education when she first came across it several years ago in her previous school. It totally transformed that school – a small village primary school – and she was then keen to apply such an approach in a more challenging environment, a large market town primary school with many issues relating to rural poverty and deprivation. And it worked, transforming everything almost overnight.

The process in many ways is quite simple and starts with identifying seven core components to be followed across the school:

  • Authentic modelling by adults of positive values
  • Developing an 'inner curriculum' of thoughts, feelings and emotions
  • Ongoing reflective practice
  • The creation of the Values-based Education environment
  • Building the Values-based Education curriculum
  • Developing quality leadership
  • The development of an ethical vocabulary

These components are embedded by taking any of a number of values - from honesty and friendship to trust and responsibility – and exploring them in depth and across the whole school on a month-by-month basis.

Recent titles include:

  • Leading a Values-based School
  • Listen to Your Instincts - Then Have the Courage to Follow Them!
  • Stress-Less Headship - Resilience, Well-being and Flourishing Across the School Community

In this way they become embedded not only in the school but in every member of the community, making that community all the richer as a result.

But there is more to Julie’s remarkable work than simply the effective application of Values-based Education in a challenging setting. What she has achieved is to weave together an astonishingly wide variety of different strands that go towards creating a rich, challenging, vibrant and exciting curriculum that makes school life a joy and each day something to treasure.

From the use of Philosophy for Children strategies and peer massage in the classroom to Forest School approaches and free play outside, school is a place of stretch and wonder for all. There was even Bailey the school dog who was just what is needed when it comes to helping socially and emotionally challenged and nervous children find their true voice.

And to witness a whole-school assembly there is to be part of something incredibly moving, an event that connects the children and staff in a way that is spiritual and authentic.

All in all, Julie's many approaches hit all the right inspection and SATs buttons and they do so without in any way attempting to hit all the buttons.

What's more, building on her passion for helping people develop and doing it the right way, Julie is now developing her reputation for coaching and employing her passion to help people find theirs, and then come together as an effective, resilient team.

For an approach to education that is as heartwarming as it is effective, and an outlook on leadership that is all about being brave and walking the talk, then Julie is the ideal speaker you are looking for.

An excellent speaker. Passionate about what she does and believes in. An example to us all – she made me cry

Excellent. What brilliant ideas and leadership

An inspiration to us all. Made me remember about positivity and having fun – Learning should be fun

Excellent presentation. Felt empowered by her – so much so that I bought her book

Inspiring and positive, reminding us of why we came in to teaching in the first place and the important role we play in helping to shape and guide young people

Julie was one of the most inspiring, and calming, speakers I have heard. I have heard a lot too! It was perfect timing during these difficult times to remind us of why we do what we do

What a fabulous training session Julie delivered this week! It was everything we had hoped for and more!

Julie skilfully guided, an initially rather reluctant and exhausted group (!), through many key aspects of wellbeing and informed and empowered us all personally and professionally

Julie Rees was inspirational - out of the box thinking with a pupil centered approach. I loved it! Amazing and very relatable to ‘green and yellow thinkers’

Julie’s values-based education session was very thought-provoking and resonated both personally and professionally

Julie Rees In Her Own Words


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