The Relational Schools Foundation study took place within school environments in the UK and found students that had more time afforded to healthy relationship practices (e.g. time allocated to getting to know each other) could communicate well and had a more developed sense of belonging which flowed onto a higher level of literacy and understanding.
The attention of the study was given to Connection, Community and Relationship within a school environment. The study was broken down into the following 5 major domains of a relationship exploring its impact on a student.
- Power – respect fairness
- Information – predictability understanding
- Communication – clarity connection
- Purpose – Why are we here? Motivation/synergy
- Story – resilience momentum
These 5 areas were further broken down into a subset of 7 for each of the major domains, meaning the study encompassed 35 unique measures. Results generated from findings of the UK schools revealed schools that were afforded more time for talking and communicating well had developed a higher sense of belonging.
Within Christian schools we know that relationships are central to creating an environment of belonging. Relationship is central for a community to come together. When students belong, they know they have value and hope for the future.
Christian Schools Australia has commissioned this same research among 17 Australian schools, this study will include 7000 students and 5 Australian communities consisting of an indigenous community, a multicultural community, a rural community and a marginalised community.