Regents International School Pattaya has become the first international school in Thailand to receive an award recognising its effort in prioritising emotional wellbeing and mental health for all students and staff.
The school has just been awarded the Wellbeing Award for Schools (WAS). This makes Regents the first international school in the country to achieve this honour.
Optimus Education developed the Wellbeing Award for Schools in partnership with the National Children’s Bureau. It focuses on ensuring that effective practices and provisions are in place inside schools to enhance students’ and staff’ emotional wellbeing and mental health. The aim is to change the long-term culture of schools, instilling an ethos where mental health is regarded as the responsibility of everyone in the school.
The ensuing pandemic reinforced the school’s belief in supporting the wellbeing of the community
Regents had been talking to Optimus Education’s Award Place about becoming accredited for the work they were doing on Wellbeing in 2019 before Covid-19 hit the world.
Wellbeing has always been a particular strength of the school. It’s also something that has been placed highly by the school leadership team. Then in 2020, the pandemic forced the school to reevaluate their work to support the wellness of their students and staff in the face of such global uncertainty.
Despite the pandemic, the team at Regents persisted. They came up with the “Be Ambitious, Be Well” campaign. This campaign features exercises to keep the mind and body healthy during the difficult times. This campaign successfully kept the Regents’ community strong and united. However, the school decided to go through with the accreditation process. They aim to establish a clear criterion of excellent practice in promoting Emotional Well-being and Mental Health.
The benefits of improving the approach to wellbeing
Regents has always been a welcoming and supportive community. Therefore, the benefits of improving their approach to wellbeing were very clear to them. They want to make sure that they don’t overlook and leave behind any children. That all students feel supported and know who to turn to. Research consistently demonstrates that students who are content and have strong emotional wellness will succeed in the future. Children who are in supportive environments perform better academically. Moreover, children who are in good health are more able to handle obstacles in the future.
The school modified their professional development opportunities, online wellness checks, teaching and learning methods, and communication through the accreditation process to keep students healthy and engaged. The school also sought honest feedback from all stakeholders on what they needed to improve. They have had workshops for parents, counselling for students, and training for teachers. Furthermore, they established wellness committees across all groups. School staff also made changes to the curriculum to ensure students had the best support possible to succeed in school. As a part of Nord Anglia, the staff had access to professional development opportunities and round-the-clock support.
The school community pulled together
The school community came together in an effort to make emotional wellbeing and mental health a top priority. Students created the slogan “Think in, Speak Out” as part of the initiative. This slogan was promoted throughout the school. Furthermore, the school implemented strategies to be proactive and prevent any issues from arising in the future. They trained staff members on how to recognise those early signs. On the other hand, students were taught various coping mechanisms through their Growing Minds Curriculum.
“Wellbeing has always been a huge part of Regents, we want success for all of our students no matter what they chose to do in life and looking after ourselves and each other is absolutely essential to developing young people to be their best,” stated Ms Amos Turner-Wardell, Head of Secondary in Regents International School Pattaya.
Being recognised with the Wellbeing Award for Schools for the hard work that the school has done to support everyone in their community is a huge success and achievement. Since emotional wellbeing and mental health are everyone’s responsibilities, Regents is eager to continue this effort and encourage schools that may want to take on the task themselves.
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