Wellbeing Blog Intro

Dear Parents,

I hope 2019 ended well and the new decade has started on a positive note for you and your family. To enable us to work together to help your son/daughter flourish at MCM and in later life we are starting a regular weekly blog/podcast on a variety of Wellbeing based matters. We want parents to be fully aware of what we are doing to support pupils Wellbeing, why we are doing this and what can be done at home in order to bring maximum benefit to our pupils. This is one element of our commitment to incorporate aspects of positive psychology within our wider curriculum so we are thoroughly preparing our pupils for successful and purposeful futures, whatever they choose to do with their lives. We are launching the Wellbeing blog/podcast initiative knowing that we are building on an extremely strong foundation in terms of:

  • The quality of the content and delivery of Wellbeing lessons at every stage in MCM. We believe this is as strong as any programme running in any school worldwide and are delighted this has been recognised with MCM being one of three schools nominated for the Council for Overseas British International Schools ‘Wellbeing in Education’ award (the ceremony is in London later this month).
  • The way in which pupils are encouraged to reflect on key aspects of their wellbeing (e.g. sleep, exercise, diet, relationships) so they learn to take responsibility for looking after themselves.
  • The opportunities provided outside the classroom so pupils can grow in confidence and character through leading clubs and societies, organising and contributing to Charity & Outreach events, establishing or contributing to House or Year group events or simply being good active citizens and friends to others.
  • Our firmly established holistic IB learner profile which provides a framework for pupils to develop academically, creatively, socially and culturally.
  • The positive relationship the College enjoys with parents, formally organised through Friends of MCM. The events arranged by Friends of MCM helps bring us together as a community for the benefit of our pupils. This is exactly what we are setting out to do through the weekly Wellbeing blog/podcast and we greatly appreciate the support from Friends of MCM.

The regular blogs and podcasts will normally include contributions from relevant staff, from pupils and from parents who have expressed an interest within the topic. There will also be requests for feedback so we can plan:

  • articles to publish at particular times and adapt content to address parental requests.
  • for parents to be involved in providing content for particular blogs and/or podcasts.
  • relevant events organised for (and with) parents.

In many ways, this can be seen as an extension of the information provided to the parents who attended the Friends of MCM Coffee Morning in Taylor House in May. At that event staff were available for discussion on what we were doing in the following fields and why we were focusing on these issues:

  • Overview of Wellbeing courses taught in Prep and Senior School
  • The importance and benefits of sleep
  • Health circulars and diet advice from our Health Centre
  • Exercise programmes across Prep & Senior School
  • Benefits of reading for pleasure and wellbeing
  • How we support the emotional & mental health of our pupil body and train our pupils in looking after themselves and others
  • Climbing & the College Farm as two activities that can boost self-esteem and be of significant therapeutic benefit
  • How boarding can make a positive contribution to Wellbeing
  • How to promote Wellbeing amongst Pre-Prep pupils
  • Staying safe online

The feedback from this event (from parents and from the staff who participated) was extremely positive as it was from a similar coffee morning in Honan House in Summer Term. This, together with further discussion with Friends of MCM and additional parental comments, give us confidence that there is an appetite for weekly blogs/podcasts on Wellbeing related items.

The following potential topics for blogs/podcasts came out of a recent meeting of College staff who have either been involved in Wellbeing planning or in developing our strategic commitment to integrate the principles of positive psychology within our wider curriculum. As you will see there is no shortage of relevant issues we wish to share with you so you are better informed about what we are doing to develop ‘life skills’ such as confidence, character, kindness, compassion and resilience at MCM. In doing so I hope you can better see how we are providing a foundation which will help your child to flourish and also inform you on things that can be done at home to help embed these life skills in your child.

Growing up in the modern & digital world is not easy and the pressures on young people today are manifold and complex. There are, however, tremendous opportunities available to those who are prepared for the challenges ahead: who look to learn new things, who build positive relationships, who make positive contributions to the lives of others and the environment; who lead healthy lives, who can express feelings and emotions, who celebrate their own successes and the successes of others. At MCM we recognise we are educating leaders of the future and all of the above are required if they are to lead with distinction and be happy in the process. All if this will be made easier if the messages from MCM and from home are consistent and clear in terms of establishing this foundation for future flourishing.

Mr Magnus Cowie | Deputy Head Pastoral

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