From the Deputy Director Wellbeing
Important Covid-19 update – please read:
There has been a continued rise of Covid-19 cases at ISM this week, with year 9 having a significant number of these positive cases.
As soon as the first case was detected, this year group was put on Distance Learning until the end of the academic year. All year 9 students have now been tested prior to the summer holiday.
One case was reported in Primary this week and that class has also been tested.
The Delta variant is now confirmed as circulating. As we now embark on a long summer holiday, do be aware that the symptoms of the new variant can often be related to the common cold. If your child shows any of the common symptoms of Covid-19 (cough, difficulty breathing, rapid breathing rate, temperature of 38 degrees celsius or over, loss of sense of smell and/or taste, diarrhea) OR symptoms now identified with the new variant (runny nose, headache and sore throat), please contact either your Doctor or the Covid Centre (92.05.55.00).
I can confirm that ISM will be expecting all of its students to be PCR-tested (saliva or nasal) prior to their return to school in September. Whilst not mandated by the Monaco government, we want to safeguard our whole school community to ensure the smoothest and safest start to the academic year 2021-22. These tests should be done 72-hours prior to the start of term and forwarded to me.
Wellbeing Reflections and Moving Forward
As we come to the end of this academic year, I write with great pride as to what ISM has achieved in ensuring your child’s wellbeing goes hand in hand with their academic success and achievement.
Wellbeing has been, and will continue to be, one of ISM’s driving forces, in line with its mission and values from Early Years and through the whole school to the IB years. We aim to provide outstanding pastoral provision that enhances students’ mental health and wellbeing.
The introduction of our new PSHE programme this year has provided a key curricular infrastructure across the whole school, allowing us to teach a programme that focuses on personal wellbeing and development through a curriculum that allows our students the knowledge, understanding, attitudes and practical skills to live safe, healthy, productive lives and meet their full potential. This curriculum is regularly reviewed by the Safeguarding and Wellbeing Committee and is in line with ISM’s PSHE Policy.
Our student-teacher relationships remain key to the support that our students feel whilst at school. The recent student survey suggests that the overwhelming majority feel safe and secure at ISM and that they feel supported by their teachers.
Our students have been lucky to have a full year in school, and for that we have all been grateful. Our Digital Learning platform has allowed for our students to transfer with ease to online learning when the need has arisen. Yet it has been important to continually support their emotional needs as they have navigated another challenging year. This was particularly important for our year 11 and year 13 students who had their external examinations cancelled.
Our Anti-Bullying Ambassadors are all fully trained and have already planned events and activities for the first half-term after the summer holiday. Congratulations on what they have achieved this year, despite the challenges faced with Covid restrictions. Their work with Alex Holmes OBE is certainly something that is developing their communication and collaboration skills, and our Ambassadors are very fortunate to have Alex as their mentor and coach.
Our Peer Mentor and Student Leadership programmes will relaunch in the new academic year and we hope that restrictions will have eased, allowing meaningful cross-school initiatives to take place.
As with all summer vacations, the long weeks allow for you to connect with your children. Please monitor their online behaviour, remembering that hurtful comments can harm a child’s wellbeing, and often children do not have the emotional maturity nor strategies to effectively deal with what they are seeing.
We will have a fresh calendar of Parent workshops in the new academic year. If there are specific topics you would like to see the ISM address, then please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
The growing field of Positive Psychology in Education is a great interest of mine. It is important that we embrace and develop our understanding of how positive education can offer an approach that blends academic study with life skills such as self-awareness, emotion regulation, healthy mindsets, mindfulness, and positive habits, grounded in the Science of Wellbeing, to promote character development, optimal functioning, engagement in learning, and resilience. These topics will play a part in our Parent Workshops and I look forward to these sessions as a school community.
I end by wishing you all a restful, peaceful, reflective summer that brings continued family closeness and connectedness. This has been a wonderful academic year, yet not without its Covid challenges. As we continue to strive for excellence in the field of Wellbeing at ISM, the support of our school community has been second to none, and I thank you all for playing your part. It is important to hear your thoughts and comments, however, as we will never be complacent in our approach. We know there is always room for improvement.
Please do stay in touch, and email me at any time to discuss any of the above or anything to do with your child’s Wellbeing.
Mrs Lindsay Mackenzie-Wright – Deputy Director Wellbeing