In line with the BISP wellbeing curriculum that centers around empathy, we chose to direct this year’s focus on mental health and the relationships that students forged with themselves and others. There is a growing amount of recognition surrounding the dangers of today’s increasing connectivity and stress in relation to students and we deeply explored such issues in the context of our own community. What we were most concerned with was the normalisation of feelings and their turbulence – while cognisant that this was not a problem that could be solved by a simple process; we believe that our efforts towards encouraging greater awareness and empathy amongst the student body was a pivotal step in creating a better community for all.
Also central to our involvement in the school community were the interactions we had with other year groups. When we first started off as Head Students, a point of concern was the relative lack of inter-year relationships when it came to wellbeing. To encourage them, we connected with various year groups, forging close bonds by sharing anecdotes of our experiences as leaders of the school and helping students – as young as the wellbeing leaders of year 6 – to realise that they too could step up as one too. Particularly memorable to us was our talk with the Year 9s about the virtues of staying true to oneself amidst the expectations that students are subject to, both academically and not.
Through all these interactions with brilliant students and our involvement in the many assemblies throughout the year, we were both able to better reflect on ourselves as a part of this community and are truly humbled to have played a role in the lives of BISP students.
What a year for our wellbeing groups – throughout the entire year, they have worked tirelessly both at the centre stage and behind the scenes to better student experience at BISP. In addition to interacting with other year groups together as the representatives of the student body, such as with the year 12s about their own experiences, each group has made great progress in furthering the mission behind each strand of wellbeing – engage, relate, shine, and events.
Responsible for instilling character strengths and bettering student learning at BISP, Engage’s milestone this year was a student-led workshop in which teachers gained a greater insight into the student perspective. Since the workshop, an increasing number of teachers have taken up Engage’s advice, thereby achieving a more effective form of teaching. On the students’ side, the school’s student planner was also redesigned to better accommodate greater convenience and understanding of the various character strengths. Concerned with empathy and forming compassionate relationships, Relate has celebrated numerous days throughout the year, including World Kindness day, Anti-bullying day, International Women’s day, and Mental Health Awareness day, helping to elevate the awareness and sensitivity with which students approach these issues. Shine’s approach to tackling matters of personal health this year has taken form in making changes to the food available in Bake and the school’s refectory, including the addition of greater choices for vegan and vegetarian diets. In the case of the former, emphasis has also been made against plastic use, leading to more environmentally friendly options. Events has greatly surpassed standards and expectations through their organisation of school events such as the Halloween Disco and the long-awaited Christmas Fair, the latter of which involved collaboration with the PTA (and raised 10k baht in the raffle alone!).
- Colour team
This year, we have made incredible progress within our colour teams. Headed by a dedicated team of senior captains, we have held a multitude of events throughout this school year, which include the Tug-of-War, the english games, an obstacle course, and recently, the TikTok challenge, to name a few. Consistently, there was a great turnout in each event, which involved everybody; from the Year 7s right up to the Year 13s (and even our teachers), everybody participated, working together to ensure their colour team’s success. In a system where education is divided into age groups, it is rare to see seniors and juniors working together towards a common goal, but the colour team captains have succeeded, and through these events, relationships between older and younger students were forged and solidified.
This year’s Golden Mile was one of the best we have seen, in many ways. In each runner running for their team, and in every student supporting their teammates from the sidelines, team spirit burned at an all-time high. The interconnectedness that we saw amongst year groups truly did justice to the Student Leadership Team’s objective of bringing together all students, regardless of age or year group.
The colour teams also underwent a complete restructuring. The colour team captains set out to make colour teams more than just the sparse yearly events that they are known for. Hence, they came up with new events, bearing in mind the positive impact each specific event would have on the students; they implemented a new scoring system, which made each event part of a year-long championship cup; and most importantly, they created a structure within the teams which saw students from each year stepping up to volunteer for leadership positions. The aim of these new co-captains was to improve communication between each level, while offering leadership opportunities to younger students.
All in all, the colour teams have seen great success in not only sporting achievement in our talented athletes, but also in contributing to a community where sportsmanship and teamwork is valued.
– Written by our Head Students