I hope you are well and 2023 has got off to a positive start. It is refreshing to have so many events happening in which we can watch our wonderful children engage, enjoy and excel. The purpose of this Wellbeing Blog is to make you aware of a wellbeing partner we have recently teamed up with; one we are confident will be extremely helpful to our pupils, staff and parents.
We are always on the look out for leading wellbeing resource providers worldwide so we can discuss possible partnerships with them. One such organisation we came across is ‘Komodo’; not the large lizard, but the company from New Zealand which is committed to helping schools use data to positively impact on the wellbeing of its pupils. We have investigated many wellbeing tracking tools and journals and trialled lots of these. At the end of our investigations and trials we are convinced that Komodo has the tracking tools that are most suited to us and their ethos is strongly aligned with our Body, Mind, Spirit, Community framework for Flourishing@MCM.
We are, therefore, delighted that they are the main sponsor to our International Wellbeing Schools conference on May 23rd and 24th. At this conference we will welcome other leaders in the field of wellbeing to share their ideas and approaches. The conference brief is:
How research and reflection can provide the foundation for flourishing schools; including insights from students, school leaders and prominent figures within education. Bringing together leading schools in Wellbeing from ages 3-18, across day and boarding to share innovative and inspirational initiatives
Being able to host such a conference is so pleasing as such events have been ‘COVID casualties’. We look forward to welcoming our speakers from the UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia, and also delegates from all over South East Asia. As an internationally recognised Beacon School in Wellbeing we believe we have a responsibility to share some of the great work done by our staff and pupils. This conference provides an ideal opportunity to do so and to learn from other leading schools and educational figures in this field.
A school’s commitment to wellbeing relies on parents being aware of what the school is doing and why this is being done. The purpose of this blog is to raise parents’ awareness of this commitment and one of our key partners, Komodo. You have a brief history of our wellbeing commitment, accessible through the library of wellbeing blogs in this area of the College web site.
The overlap with the content of our Wellbeing blogs and that of our wellbeing partner, Komodo Learning, is remarkable: a clear ‘meeting of minds’ and shared approach to the fundamentals of flourishing. The link to the Blogs from Komodo is here.
You will see the common threads of our wellbeing blogs woven over the last couple of years and those from Komodo. Some of these are listed below. I am sure you will identify with many of these and see the relevance to you and your family:
- The profound benefits of sleep.
- The importance of student voice across a school community. Making sure it is heard and influences decision making at every level.
- Gratitude as a virtue for individuals and for healthy and happy communities.
- Recognising the therapeutic benefits of ‘play’ at all ages: pupils, staff, parents and grandparents.
- Healthy body, peaceful mind: the importance of a balanced exercise programme to psychological health.
- Tracking wellbeing: what to track and how to track it.
The shared commitment to a holistic approach to wellbeing was also evident when the Komodo management and wellbeing research team visited MCM last term. They were very keen to join up with leading schools within wellbeing and identified MCM as a key partner within this. Over the course of this term we will be piloting the use of the Komodo wellbeing platform with our Years 3, 7 and Lower Sixth. This will enable us to evaluate the resources and plan out the full implementation over the next academic year.
Throughout the two years of the pandemic we benefited from our Researcher in Residence (Diane Trif), a graduate from the top university in the world in Positive Psychology (University of Pennsylvania) analysing a mountain of data and helping us build our own framework for Flourishing@MCM. In Komodo we have a partner that will enable us to further develop this framework to benefit our pupils, our staff and our parents. In a parent wellbeing blog early next month, Ms Ngakane, Ms Rydlewski and Mrs Brown (Heads of Wellbeing in Senior School, Prep School and Pre-Prep, respectively) will provide further details to you on the wellbeing schemes of work this term and further links to Komodo resources for parents.
Mr Magnus Cowie
Deputy Head Pastoral