Summary of this person-centered thinking tool

This tool involves listing all the pupil’s positive characteristics, gifts and capacities by learning what others like, admire or value about them. This informs the pupil’s one-page profile, could be used in school reviews and helps us to think about how the pupil can use their gifts every day to make a positive contribution and benefit others in the school or community.


Benefits for pupils

  • Enables all pupils to develop a strong sense of themselves as valued individuals and as part of their school community, and the part they play in it. This can help us think about ways the pupil can use their gifts to make a positive contribution to something that is bigger than themselves. For example if a pupil is good at sport could they use this gift to teach others or be part of a school team.
  • A way for pupils to hear what their friends and classmates like and admire about them. Hearing what others value about them can have a positive effect on pupils’ self-esteem and well-being.
  • This may show that a pupil is gifted and talented in an area that was otherwise not known and could inform programmes for gifted pupils (for example the Gifted and Talented register in the UK).

Benefits for parents

  • To know that other people value their child and see the child’s strengths rather than just focusing on difficulties or areas to develop.
  • To know that the school has a full understanding of their child that includes strengths.
  • To know what other people value about their child.
  • To share what others like and admire about their child at any meeting or review, thus setting a positive tone that can lead to more creative problem-solving and thinking.
  • A way to invite parents to contribute their learning and experience of their child and a way for families to have a conversation about what they appreciate about each other.

Benefits for school staff and teams

  • Staff can also complete this exercise as a positive contribution to team building – knowing what everyone appreciates and values about each other.
  • Can help to identify strengths and talents of team members to enable individuals to use their gifts to have the greatest impact on the team.
  • To ensure that any meeting about a pupil starts off with a positive tone.
  • As a way for adults to build good relationships with pupils (in whatever role they have) and their parents.
  • Meets the expectation in schools that pupil strengths are highlighted to enable high self-esteem.
  • Can be used to gather principles and values to inform a school mission statement.
  • To support the development of a whole-school approach towards personalisation.
  • To collect information about what pupils, parents and staff like and admire about the school in preparation for inspections – another way the school can be appreciative and celebrate what is going well to share with inspectors. This tool supports the Ofsted (the UK’s inspection body) emphasis on the spiritual, moral, social and cultural (SMSC) development of young people. Schools will be required to provide evidence of the behaviour towards and respect for other young people and adults – this tool facilitates this.

Benefits for others

  • Used by the governing body, it can identify strengths and talents in order to enable individuals to use their gifts to have the greatest impact on the development of the school.
  • To use as an opening to any external meeting about pupils. For example in the UK the Team Around the Child meetings or when working with parents completing a Common Assessment Framework (CAF).