Our Values

Our Values

The Learner Profile represents ten attributes which we believe can help individuals and groups become responsible members of local, national and global communities. Together with the SBW Fractal, the Learner Profile forms the foundation of ISN’s school values and defines its unique culture.

The learner profile

The profile aims to develop learners who are:

  • Inquirers - We are curious and always aspire to know more. We ask questions and learn with enthusiasm throughout our lives.
  • Knowledgeable - We have vast interests and try to understand the world around us through many perspectives. We connect different topics we have learned and enjoying sharing what we know with others.
  • Thinkers - We use critical and creative thinking skills to develop our own thoughts and opinions. We explore different ways of solving a problem.
  • Communicators - We share ideas, thoughts and feelings confidently and in many ways. We listen carefully to others and respect each other’s perspectives.
  • Principled - We treat others as we would like them to treat us. We bravely stand up for what we think is right and are guided by integrity, honesty and justice. We act with respect for other people’s rights and take responsibility for our actions.
  • Open-minded - We consider the opinions and ideas of others. We appreciate our own and value other cultures and traditions. We understand the benefits of multiple perspectives.
  • Caring - We are mindful of other people’s feelings and show empathy. We act with respect for others and try to make a positive impact in their lives, as well as the world we live in.
  • Risk-takers - We are not afraid to make mistakes and get out of our comfort zones. We challenge ourselves and are resilient. We face unknown situations bravely.
  • Balanced - We try to remain healthy – physically, mentally and emotionally, and understand the importance of finding harmony between different aspects of our lives. We actively look for ways of improving our well-being.
  • Reflective - We give thought to our learning and experiences. We try to understand our individual strengths and weaknesses and constantly make an effort to improve ourselves. We think about our actions and what consequences they have on others.

The SBW Fractal

Fractal as a guiding principle for creating a culture

Fractals are a particular natural phenomenon that are found in all forms of life. When you look deeper into the structure of ferns, crystals or snowflakes, for example, you can see that certain basic patterns repeat themselves: they all consist of miniaturised copies of themselves. The smaller structures reflect the larger, and vice versa. Our seven fractal elements illustrate how we support and encourage the development of children, young people and adults, how we structure ourselves as an organisation, and how we harmonise simplicity and complexity. The principles of a fractal are a) simplicity of the basic pattern and self-similarity, b) self-organisation and goal orientation, and c) self-optimisation and drive. At SBW, we align our organisation and our work with these principles.

7 fractal elements

  • Respectful interaction Respectful treatment includes respect for oneself, for other people and the environment, for other cultures and generations, and for social and cultural values. Respectful treatment is not simply civility or politeness, but an expression of a partnership on equal terms that generates trust and certainty, enabling independent and creative learning and thinking.
  • Responsibility Autonomous learning encourages an individual to assume responsibility for their own learning and actions: it develops the ability to set objectives, determine approaches and find appropriate means and methods that are suited to the individual’s own learning pathways and possibilities. It also gradually advances an individual’s ability to take responsibility for their community and to use their own skills for the benefit of fellow human beings and the environment.
  • Designed environments - An effective way of stimulating an individual’s development is to design the environment in which they live and learn. This environment is determined both by the space itself and by its aesthetic, expressed as design, light, colour, smell and sound. However, the designed environment is primarily shaped by the people within it who create the social climate and a culture of co-existence.
  • Believing in success - In all SBW schools and across all SBW services, great emphasis is placed on "Believing in success" – the importance of trusting each other and having confidence in one’s own ability, daring to go beyond one’s own limits and taking small risks. Children and young people need challenges through which they can grow. "Believing in success" strengthens an individual’s competence to reach and expand the limits of their strength and ability by taking action with confidence.
  • Coaching - Self-development, actively searching for individualised, personalised solutions and providing development support requires coaching at all levels. Solution-oriented coaching focuses on an individual’s desires, objectives and resources and takes the approach that the individual being coached is responsible for their own change processes. This approach is combined with the firm conviction that every individual being coached already has the resources within them to find a solution and that this just needs to be developed and utilised. Every learning partner, teacher and school leader has access to individual coaching.
  • Compacting - To enable an individual to place their own passion at the heart of what they do, we have to create a special environment and a new way of thinking. Firstly, the subject matter must be prepared differently in order to gain time (compacting); secondly, the curriculum must also be rearranged in a meaningful way in order to create longer time periods when the individual can focus on their own passion and on project-oriented, interdisciplinary work, and to enable experts to be brought in from outside school. Our definition of compacting is streamlining the basic curriculum to take account of individual needs and goals.
  • Connecting - Connecting and networking with others increases our ability to make real-world connections (both internal and external), generates multiple interfaces between ourselves and the environment, and strengthens networks. Our aim is to create connections: between people who come into contact with each other, build and maintain relationships; between different generations with complementary perspectives and competences; between educational and extracurricular experts from the parent community, the wider community and the world of work; between organisations and companies with intersecting values, products and interests; between subjects and disciplines; between values, curricular competencies and Future Skills; between tradition and innovation, between human beings, nature and technology. Boundaries become more fluid, are expanded and overcome. This in turn creates added value – and suddenly 1 plus 1 becomes 3.