MCM Prep School Wellbeing Program 2022

At Marlborough College Malaysia we recognise that wellbeing is multifaceted. As such, we have designed a Wellbeing program that is diverse and holistic. We aim to support pupils to “Flourish” during their time here. This term comes from Martin Seligman who is considered a founding father of Positive Psychology. 

 

Seligman proposed that wellbeing is not simply being happy. In fact, happiness is often a fleeting emotion and chasing moments of pleasure can often lead to less fulfilment. He suggests that to improve our wellbeing we should put energy into these areas: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Accomplishment, Meaning and Purpose (Seligman, 2011).

 

Last year, our Researcher in Residence, Diane Trif, explored these foundations in Positive Psychology within the context of our School. Through her pupil-led research, she found that our children better identified with the following terms when considering what is most important for us to “Flourish”.

 

  • Mind 
  • Body 
  • Spirit 
  • Community 

 

This year, in the Prep School we are making some changes to build our Wellbeing curriculum around these four areas. This is more closely aligned to the Wellbeing program in the Senior School. pupils will cover lessons relating to the Mind, Body, Sprit and Community each Term. The content of these lessons draws upon concepts from both Positive Psychology and the British PSHE program of study. Careful consideration has been taken in deciding what is relevant to our pupils, and what will provide them with the skills to excel in their future endeavours. 

 

 Another adjustment we are making is that we are embedding some hands-on, practical activities into Wellbeing lessons. For example, if pupils are learning about a balanced diet, they will have the opportunity to prepare a healthy snack. When pupils are learning about the value of exercise, we will encourage them to get physically active and reflect on how this makes them feel. 

 

 We recognize that the digital world is becoming ever more important and our pupils need to be equipped to navigate a complex online world. For this reason, we are also integrating digital citizenship lessons into Wellbeing. For this, we will utilise Common-Sense Media which provides evidence-based resources to help educate young people about how to navigate the digital world.

 

Lastly, we are introducing wellbeing journals. These will provide pupils with a safe space to reflect on topics and put their thoughts on to paper. 

 

What are we doing in Prep School Wellbeing lessons this Term? 

 

At the start of the Academic year, pupils have been reflecting on their strengths and using these to set meaningful targets. These will be reviewed during the Lent Term. This process encourages pupils to become self-aware and take a purposeful approach to their development.

 

 In addition, we are working on a Prep School project where pupils are collaboratively creating an artwork called “Building Blocks to Flourish”. Each year group has been given a different set of character strengths and a large block to decorate in the theme of that strength. Once completed, the blocks will be placed together to remind our community of the traits we should exercise to reach our full potential.

 

Year 4

 

Spirit 

As part of the “Building Blocks to Flourish” project, Year 4 were given the character strength of “Kindness”. Pupils were encouraged to create artwork based on love and forgiveness. Their creations will be added to the Year 4 building block. 

 

Body

 Pupils will be exploring healthy habits. Within this unit, they will consider what a healthy and balanced lifestyle looks like, and how habits can be used to help and hinder us. They will start to apply their learning by initiating some new habits and reflecting on their progress with these. 

 

Mind

Year 4 will start to consider what mental health is and how they can express their feelings. This will involve exploring some vocabulary related to mood and emotions and will help pupils develop their social emotional learning. 

 

Community

 Pupils will start to consider what a community is. They will explore questions such as “What makes a community?” and “What role do you play in your community?”. Here, they will also complete their first digital citizenship lesson where they will delve into what makes a strong online community. 

 

Year 5

 

Spirit 

 Year 5 began the year by considering how they can become more responsible. They considered how their decisions can lead to positive and negative consequences, and practiced making the right choice by discussing different scenarios. They were given the theme of “Positive Choices” for their contribution to the “Building Blocks to Flourish” project. 

 

Body

  Pupils will look at what a healthy and balanced diet looks like and the importance of being well nourished. We will utilize the kitchen in the Prep School so they can create a healthy snack. Pupils will also explore the importance of sleep, and reflect on their current sleep routines. We know that a lack of sleep significantly impacts our thinking skills which is a barrier to learning. 

 

Mind

 Year 5 will learn about identifying different feelings in themselves and others. They will consider some useful strategies about how best to manage their feelings. 

 

Community

 Pupils will learn about the values of positive relationships and some skills that will help to promote healthy relationships with peers and family. For example, showing respect, empathy and active listening skills. 

 

Year 6

 

Spirit 

Pupils completed a VIA character strength online survey which supported them to explore their top character strengths. They used these to generate SMART targets for the upcoming Term. Year 6 designed artwork related to “Teamwork, Fairness and Honesty” for the Prep School “Building Blocks to Flourish” project.

 

Body

Pupils will consider why exercise is important before generating fitness plans for a range of people with different lifestyles. This will help pupils to think about different ways we can stay active in sustainable ways. Lastly, pupils will get active and reflect on how this makes them feel. 

 

Mind 

Year 6 will be exploring the concept of “peer pressure” with tips on how to manage situations when they feel pressured to do something. Within this topic, they will practice how and when to say “No”.

 

Community

 Pupils will consider matters relating to money. For example, pupils will explore their values relating to money, some tips for saving money and things to consider when being critical consumers. For example, how to make a choice on what to buy in the face of misleading advertisements. 

 

Year 7

 

Spirit 

 Pupils explored their character strengths and used these to set targets for the Term ahead. We encourage pupils to reflect on their character over time, as we know their strengths are likely to change as they develop and mature. Year 7 were given the words “Responsibility, Perspective and Leadership” for the “Building Blocks to Flourish “project. 

 

Body 

 Year 7 consider how to look after their health by building on ideas they have learned earlier in the program. For example, they explore how physical health can affect mental health and why sleep, diet and healthy habits are integral to wellbeing. 

 

Mind 

Pupils start to practice how best to communicate their feelings through exploring different scenarios and role play. pupils will discuss how social media affects them and how to find balance in a digital world. 

 

Community

Pupils will learn about healthy relationships and they will reflect on what their values are in relationships. Lastly, they will think about how you can earn and build trust within relationships. 

 

Year 8

 

Spirit 

Year 8 started the year by reflecting on themselves. They completed a mini “About Me” project before exploring their character strengths and setting themselves some targets they would like to achieve in their final year at the Prep School. As part of the “Building Blocks to Flourish Project” Year 8 were given the values of “Grit” and “Love of Learning”.  

 

Body

Pupils will explore the impact and dangers of caffeine, smoking and alcohol on their physical and mental health. Within this topic, we will consider how we can make positive choices if they are being pressured to try these substances. 

 

Mind 

In this unit, pupils think about how they can better manage their own mental health by achieving balance and reducing mental health stigma. 

 

Community

 Year 8 will be involved in a Prep School community project involving creating tools and resources that aim to reduce stigma relating to mental health and encourage other year groups to seek support. 

 

Overall, we hope this overview of what is being explored in Prep School Wellbeing lessons during the Michaelmas Term is helpful. We will provide updates about what we will be covering in future Terms as the year goes on.  It is our wish that pupils acquire knowledge and skills beyond their academic studies that will help them to develop into well rounded, resilient and balanced individuals. Through doing this, we are confident that they will flourish.

 

Alexandra Rydlewski | Head of Prep School Wellbeing

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