Welcome 2021-22 | Parent Wellbeing Blog

Welcome back to a new year and one filled with hope, optimism and confidence. This is founded on the impressive vaccination programme in Malaysia; how such programmes have worked so effectively in other countries and, of course, our pioneering work in Wellbeing. Our progress within the field of Wellbeing is testament to our multi-talented pool of staff and our wonderful pupils. The Parent Blog will again enlighten you on the great work going on within wellbeing at MCM in its widest sense so we are very much working together. We are starting the term online but do not expect this to be the situation for long and we look forward to welcoming all our pupils back very soon.

Last year really tested our fortitude and resolve as well as our commitment to [email protected]; something we recently reflected upon during our In-Service Training (INSET) with staff. We found there were many ‘learnings’ and ‘silver linings’ throughout a year that was, in common with schools around the world, severely disrupted. We have taken on board our staff reflections on ‘learnings and silver linings’ and will work on implementing these in the course of the year ahead. We remain confident that our award winning approach to [email protected] is consistent with the core values of the College as viewed through the lens of positive psychology.

Our clear strategic direction gives us the foundation and framework for development within the academic, pastoral and co-curricular aspects of college life. We believe all three compliment each other rather than compete, thanks to our consistent and holistic approach to education in its widest sense. Our framework helps us grow pupils’ confidence, character, resilience, kindness, leadership and many other behavioural traits that will serve them well at MCM and throughout their lives.
At our recent staff INSET we had vibrant discussions on particular learner attributes and how we cultivate these across a range of academic subjects and experiences. Helping develop a skill set and mindset that seeks to creatively solve problems rather than dwell on them. Our framework and strategic direction is fully informed by research both here within MCM, regionally and globally. The research into flourishing and leading a fulfilled life has engaged philosophers throughout history and back into ancient times. Indeed much of the current work in character strengths can be traced back to Ancient Greece, most notably, Aristotle (who died in 322 BC); who identified the types of character strengths/virtues that lead to what the Greeks called “eudaimonia” or a life well lived. It was also proposed that by acting out these strengths/virtues they can become positive habits. Maybe the focus of another blog?

We can promise you a huge range of topics once again and from every aspect of College life. We currently have 33 blogs offered by staff with topics including: “The Beauty of NeuroDiversity: It’s Ok to feel weird”; “Ancient Chinese Methods to Relieve Stress”; “Mindful interaction in the digisphere”; “What it means to be a third culture child”; “Embracing your inner child”; “The Power of Song”; “Nature to Nurture the Soul”; “Get creative: how doing something practical just for the fun of it can create a sense of purpose and release” and “Diving and Wellbeing”. Some great reads there and lots more as well.

Our staff certainly have great stories to tell and so many of these are lined up to share with you this year. Next week you will be able to find out more about the content of the Wellbeing lessons across the whole college and how these have been structured around the four interlinked domains seen below within our ‘infinity loop’ framework. Next week our Graduate Researcher in Residence, Ms Diane Trif will also briefly explain the research which has informed this model and the content of our Wellbeing curriculum.

Reflecting on last year I would also like to thank all the staff who contributed to the 31 Parent Wellbeing Blogs. We had a wide range of weird and wonderful topics from staff in Pre-Prep, Prep, Senior School and support staff.

Welcome; first Wellbeing blog of 2020/21

Magnus Cowie3 Sept 20

Why Is Everyone Talking About Blue Light?

Jamie Lennard

11 Sept 20

Do Good, Feel Good

Nick Eatough

18 Sept 20

Creativity

Bronwyn McDiarmid

25 Sept 20

Pupil Leadership and Pupil Voice

Magnus Cowie

2 Oct 20

Introducing our Researcher in Residence

Diane Trif

9 Oct 20

Talking to Teenagers

Sarah Patten

16 Oct 20

Managing my Chimp

Joe Hobdell

6 Nov 20

Quirky Activities as Positive Contributors

Alex Duncan

11 Nov 20

Do Purposeful Goals Lead to Purposeful Practice?

Joe Woolley

19 Nov 20

Thanksgiving

Cathy Stronach

26 Nov 20

Building Resilience & Growth Mindset

John Shaw

2 Dec 20

Get Outdoors

Rachel Brooke

8 Dec 20

3 Tips from Positive Psychology to Help in these Stressful Times

Diane Trif

9 Jan 21

Measuring Wellbeing 

Rachel Lockyer & Diane Trif

14 Jan 21

Physical Activity in the MCO

Ben Wicling

21 Jan 21

Wellbeing in the Prep Library

Carolyn Hawkins

29 Jan 21

Digital Wellness

Andy Gough

4 Feb 21

The Bamboo that Bends

Master

18 Feb 21

Positive Mindset

Jason French

26 Feb 21

Lessons from Lockdown

Rob Clarke

4 Mar 21

Lessons from a Hospital Bed

Iain Wilson

12 Mar 21

Safeguarding in the Digital World

Duncan Ogilvie

19 Mar 21

Bibliotherapy & Trench Humour

Sam Tapp26 Mar 21

Reflections on Flourishing and Use of Pupil Voice

Diane Triff

23 Apr 21

Handling Examination Stress

Thomas Jarrett

30 Apr 21

Barton Farm An Illyrian Wonderland/

Paul Lowden

7 May 21

Healthy EatingCathy Stronach

21 May 21

Wellbeing for Boarders in Covid Times

Rebecca Jarrett

28 May 21

Your Digital Life

Duncan Ogilvie

11 June 21

HumourMagnus Cowie

18 June 21

Good news! You can find them on our website, the latest blogs are on our Wellbeing page here or all blogs under News/Wellbeing.

As mentioned, we set this up to give parents an insight into our work within ‘[email protected]’. How we do this has been the theme of the different blogs, together with why we are committing to the various initiatives and what you can do at home so we are working together toward this common goal. I hope you believe in our commitment to enable your child to flourish and you understand the fundamentals of how we can work together to make that a reality. If you have any particular suggestions you would like us to report on, please let us know. Please note that we also reach out to parents to help with digital safety and this is principally through webinars led by Mr Ogilvie. Again we welcome suggestions for topics you would like us to cover in this field.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this overview, all of the past articles you have read and all we have in store for this academic year – we certainly have lots to feel positive about and these blogs give us an opportunity to share some of these stories with you.

Magnus Cowie | Deputy Head Pastoral

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