Parent Wellbeing Blog September 2022

Back in January 2020, I wrote the first of our Parent Wellbeing Blogs. The purpose of this channel of communication is to enable us to work together to help your son or daughter flourish at MCM and in later life. As stated then, 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 across the College. 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 have had around 50 articles written on a wealth of different topics by many staff around the College, each giving their own perspective and insight into aspects which they believe can contribute positively to those within our community. 

It seems appropriate that back then I commented on how the Parent Wellbeing Blog would build upon our successful Friends of MCM Coffee Mornings which engaged parents in conversations on how we can work together in this field. Appropriate because we are restarting these mornings, now that we are able to relax SOPs and welcome parents back on site. The following topics were discussed at previous Coffee Mornings and have been the subject of Wellbeing Blogs written over the last couple of years.  

  • 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 
  • How we support the emotional & mental health of our pupil body and train our pupils in looking after themselves  and others 
  • Climbing, scuba diving & the College farm as 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  
  • Coping with examination stress and managing deadlines
  • Staying safe online & identifying the risks and opportunities within modern technology

As you will see, there has been no shortage of relevant issues that we have shared 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 about things that you can do at home to help embed these life skills.  

When we made a strategic commitment to Wellbeing we did not realise that we would have a pandemic hit us in the middle of the ‘development journey’. Events around COVID obviously placed a huge strain on families, individuals and resources but the grit and resilience shown by so many of our pupils and staff is truly remarkable. Such a mindset has helped the College to emerge from the depths of the COVID lockdown in an extremely strong position. This has been apparent in a number of recent events, including:

  • Over recent weeks when we have seen the outstanding IB and IGCSE results our pupils achieved. This has been reported on the website but is certainly worthy of mention as the results come after a turbulent and trying two years. If ever grit and resilience were put to the test, it was in the summer examinations and our pupils passed with flying colours.
  • Two weeks ago in our induction for new staff, which we were able to run in person, welcoming staff and families into our community so they feel ‘at home’, know the College, the local area and have lots of friends and support around them.
  • Last week on our first day of term when we welcomed so many new day and boarding pupils across the whole College. We have been delighted with the way they have settled in to school life and made new friends. This is largely thanks to our current pupils and staff who have extended such a warm welcome.
  • The first of our 10th Anniversary talks, an inspirational evening of conversation with the College Chairman, Tunku Ali, who engaged the whole audience in his answers to questions from two prefects: Oliver Wright and Kaitlyn Strika. There were also many contributions from the floor.

There are many, many more events that could be listed and the Twitter feed, newsletters and website will have further success stories. Throughout the two years of the pandemic, our Researcher in Residence (Diane Trif), a graduate from the world’s leading university in Positive Psychology (University of Pennsylvania) was busy gathering evidence in order to provide a framework for Flourishing@MCM. Diane’s work is superb and we are delighted that she spent her time looking into this fascinating field and left us with such a strong foundation on which to build. Diane has documented many aspects of her work in previous blogs and more detail can be read on this area of the College website

This year we will again share with you what we are doing to prepare your children for the challenges ahead and outline what you can do to work with us. I hope you have enjoyed reading the articles of the past and enjoy those which will be posted throughout this exciting academic year.

Mr Magnus Cowie 

Deputy Head Pastoral

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