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Hatching Dragons

Our Universal Values

Our curriculum intends to help children develop a strong set of moral principles from which to better understand both themselves, the wider world and the people within it, and how they can and should govern their thoughts, feelings and actions through a solid foundation in ethics. The world is increasingly testing us all by forcing us into un-chartered territory - ethically, practically and materially - and we believe the only way to help our children adapt to challenges we cannot foresee is to give them a sense of due north. That might sound heady, but it is really about going back to basics and understanding that there is, despite it all, a path of right, and wrong, and that if we all just remembered some basic rules that the ancients taught us, the world would be a better place...

Intercultural Nursery Education

The Values We Teach

Each month our teams take a guiding moral or ethical principle to focus on with the children during circle time. It is as much an opportunity for self-reflection with our staff teams as much as it is with the children to ensure that we're all holding these principles central to how we think about ourselves and interact with each other. They are introduced as concepts for discussion and are manifest in our behaviours across the month in what we say and do. They include...



The Chinese concept of Li or 礼 is more about ritual than anything else, but in that Confucius locked onto an important concept of social conventions we go through to ensure we have peaceful, happy and purposeful relationships. In the Abrahamic traditions, it would be about "do unto others as you would have done unto yourself". Or empathy in today's parlance...



One of Confucius' Five Constants (五常), Honesty - the ability to be believed by your peers - is as important now as it was then. In an age of celebrity showboating and fake news, we want our children to be honest with themselves, and with their friends, and to develop the ability to sense what might be true and what might be something else…

To do good

To Be good

In both the Hellenic and Chinese traditions, this broadly means to be a virtuous person - to follow one's life according to guiding principles, such as Honesty, Temperance, Courage, Courtesy & Consideration, Wisdom, loyalty and more - that are inherently right. For our children, it is about learning to do the right thing - for ourselves and for others...



The Confucian principle of 孝 was and still is hierarchical, in the sense that respect towards ones parents and teacher were hugely important in Chinese society, as they were in the West (respect your elders and betters!). We've moved on from some of this thinking now, but we think that there is some importance in understanding that we all, young and old, have much to learn from one another (be you a teacher or otherwise) and we should all respect each other if we are to learn and grow...


Harmony / Peace

The concept of 和 or Harmony is a constant throughout all Chinese early philosophical thought, albeit one the Daoists, Legalists, Mohists and Confucians disagreed over the means to achieve it. We think it is more important now than ever - learning to live in balance with our world, with ourselves and with our friends and society is the way to achieve peace, stability and contentment. 



In June we look at the stoic virtue of temperance. It was one of the Classical Cardinal Virtues in Hellenic and Roman thought, which is mirrored in East Asia in one of Confucius’s Four Virtues (四字). Temperance is all about self control - physically and emotionally. It is about learning that our behaviour and actions have consequences (good and bad!) and that to minimise the bad and maximise the good, we have to learn to direct our actions and feelings accordingly…

Doing Right

Doing Right

More appropriately translated as Righteousness, the Chinese Confucian principle of 义 conveys the same philosophical output as the Stoic sense of Justice. Doing the right thing, which is not always the same as the thing you want for yourself, is important if society, and the legal codes that underpin it, are to work!



Consideration, as a value, falls within Courtesy and the rituals that social convention require of us for society to function. It is about empathy, thinking about others first and how you can help them before helping yourself - a virtue that is important when we’re on the bus and someone needs a seat! Wouldn’t that be a world…



Another of the 5 Cardinal Virtues that can be found in Confucian cultures of East Asia, Wisdom - the pursuit of it, the acquisition of it and the utility of it in day to day decisions, choices and human interactions, helps govern whether impulse can turn into action. Reminding our children to think first, before acting (or speaking!) is important...

To be good

To Do Good

More aptly translated in Chinese as to be benevolent, kind, gracious in what one says and does, this principle is one of the Five Constants in Chinese philosophical thought and is the culmination of what one demonstrates by living out the virtues on a day to day basis 



Bravery and courage are both central to Chinese and Western philosophical traditions, perhaps because of the existential threats they faced from warring states at the time. But we think that courage - to be yourself and pursue your dreams; to show conviction and resilience in the face of adversity are becoming ever more important today, as they were in antiquity



Loyalty - to one’s family, one’s friends and one’s country were all important traits in establishing the sense of the individual and their place within the collective consciousness in ancient times. Being loyal to what you believe in (be they friends or ideas or yourself) is probably what they mean when they say “being true to yourself” today…

Curating Cultural Capital

Annual Curriculum

We believe in the importance of  balancing both child-led and adult-led learning strategies to provide the optimal educational experience for our preschoolers. After all, adults introduce concepts like numbers and letters in our numeracy and phonics programmes.

We adopt the same approach in introducing children to concepts, cultures and places beyond their immediate lived experience, and start to introduce, each month, a different geographic region to excite, inspire and engage their interest with the wider world and the people within it. Click on the image to download our wheel of learning...