The Leader in Me

"Thoughts form actions, actions form habits and habits form character."

-Ellen White-

To nurture our students to grow, learn and serve as leaders, the school adapts the Leader in Me programme from Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Happy Kids and the Virtues Project. The CCE programme develops personal and inter-personal effectiveness in our students by cultivating the Seven Habits and growing the virtues in our students throughout the year.


Leader in Me and Virtues Project

At the beginning of the year, teachers and students decorate their classrooms by personally crafting their Seven Habits tree. Throughout the year, teachers make reference to the tree in the classroom. They make use of both planned and teachable moments to reinforce what students learn in the “Leader in Me” lessons. Teachers guide students to practise the Seven Habits not only in the classroom, but also during CCA, recess and after-school activities to help students achieve success.

The Seven Habits provide a common language for students, teachers and parents to use, as well as a framework to encourage a growth mindset and personal empowerment for effectiveness. We believe that all students have strengths, and we help them to develop and share these strengths. We seek to grow every student to become a Leader for Life.

The Virtues Project aims to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life and awaken the gifts of character in our students through the use of the Five StrategiesTM, enabled through morning conversations and virtues challenges. The Five Strategies of The Virtues Project™ are practices that bring virtues to life, helping to create a culture of character in our school. The Five Strategies are:

  • Speak the Language of the Virtues
  • Recognise Teachable Moments
  • Set Clear Boundaries
  • Honor the Spirit
  • Offer Companioning

Every morning, Form Teachers engage students in conversations and activities related to virtues. This helps our students to start the day right on a positive note. Form teachers then use the Virtues Challenge Board to encourage students to practise the virtues throughout the day. The Virtues Challenge Board also serves as a visual aid to encourage subject teachers continue the conversations in their lessons.

Read on to find more about Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Happy Kids and the accompanying virtues.


Private Victory

The first three habits form the roots of the tree, and only you can change them. If you try to change others before changing yourself, it would not work. All change starts with you. It is an inside-out approach.

Habit 1: Be Proactive – You’re in Charge

Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind – Have a Plan

Habit 3: Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play


Public Victory

The next three habits form the trunk and branches of the tree. These habits deal with getting along with people. If you have not won Private Victory, you will not have much success with Public Victory.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win

Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood – Listen Before You Talk

Habit 6: Synergise – Together is Better



Above the tree are the things that nurture the tree, like rain and sunshine. Habit 7 is the habit of renewal. It breathes life and vitality into all the other habits.

Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw – Balance Feels Best


Habit 1: Be Proactive – You’re in Charge

I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my actions. I make good, responsible choices without being asked, even when no one is looking.

To be proactive means to take responsibility for our choices and behaviours. Habit 1 is the key to all of the other habits; that is why it comes first. Young children can easily learn to understand that different choices yield different results. The goal for them will be to think about those results before they decide what to do.


Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind – Have a Plan

I plan ahead and set goals. I do things that have meaning and make a difference. I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school’s mission and vision. I look for ways to be a good citizen.

To begin with the end in mind means to think about how we would like something to turn out before we get started. Looking at a map before leaving on a trip or looking at the picture before going on to solve a jigsaw puzzle is beginning with the end in mind.


Habit 3: Put First Things First – Work First, Then Play

I spend my time on things that are most important. This means I say no to things I know I should not do. I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan. I am disciplined and organised.

To put first things first means to decide what is most important and to take care of that first. Learning to think of which things are the most important and taking care of them first allows us to be less stressed and more settled. We can write down our responsibilities and plan ahead to put this habit into practise.


Habit 4: Think Win-Win – Everyone Can Win

I balance courage for getting what I want with consideration for what others want. I make deposits in others’ Emotional Bank Accounts. When conflicts arise, I look for third alternatives.

To think win-win is to have the belief that everyone can win. It is not about you or me, but it is about the both of us. It is a belief that there are enough good things for everyone; it is an abundant way of thinking. To think win-win is to be happy for others when good things happen to them. A win-win mindset will lead to less resistance between the parties involved.


Habit 5: Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood – Listen Before You Talk

I listen to the ideas and feelings of others. I try to see things from their viewpoints. I listen to others without interrupting. I am confident in voicing my ideas. I look people in the eye when talking.

To seek first to understand, then to be understood means it is better to listen first and talk later. By taking the time to listen to another person, you reach a higher level of communication. Learning to listen without interrupting and learning to listen with your ears, your eyes and your heart will help us to build a foundation for Habit 5. Simply put, we have two ears and one mouth so that we can spend more time listening with the intent to understand.


Habit 6: Synergise – Together is Better

I value the strengths of others and learn from them. I get along well with others, even people who are different from me. I work well in groups. I seek out other ideas to solve problems because I know that by working with others we can create better solutions than anyone of us can alone. I am humble.

To synergise is to have two or more people working together to create a solution that is better than one person would have thought of alone. It is not your way or my way, but a better way. When there is synergy, 1 + 1 = 3 (or more). Synergy is taking good ideas and making them better by working together.


Habit 7: Sharpen The Saw – Balance Feels Best

I take care of my body by eating right, exercising and getting sleep. I spend time with family and friends. I learn in lots of different ways and in different places, not just in school. I find meaningful ways to help others.

To sharpen the saw means to have balance in life. There was a story of a man who was sawing down a tree and not making a lot of progress. When a passer-by asked him why he did not stop to sharpen his saw, he remarked he was too busy sawing. Habit 7 reminds us that we are more productive when we are in balance – body, mind, heart and soul. Just like the four tyres of a car, if one is being ignored or overused, the rest of the tyres will feel the results. Just like the car, it is important to take care of all parts of our human body to make them all work better.