Each time that it comes to the point in the year when I am asked to write a Mingalapar entry, I am always amazed at how quickly the term has passed us by. It seems only a short time ago that staff were arriving in Pattaya, myself included, to complete their two-week long quarantine before beginning induction training and then welcoming students to the 2021-22 academic year. Fast forward four months and we are about to finish for the winter break!
A Successful Term
As we all know, this term has again been conducted online and against a challenging global and regional background. Despite the challenges, we have managed to achieve a great deal in the four months from August to December - during this time our Secondary teachers have delivered over 2,750 learning opportunities for our students!
In August we welcomed students back and hosted our annual Meet The Teacher Day. In October we held settling in PTCs across all year groups. Students in Years 7-9 and those in Y10 and Y12 have undertaken CAT4 assessments and all students in Secondary school have recently completed their mid-year internal examinations. In the months of September to November we welcomed parents to a range of Parent Partnership Clinics about subjects as diverse as sleep, revision and assessment.
We continue to prioritise wellbeing, with 10min coolers between lessons, supported study lessons and Wellbeing Wednesdays - each Wednesday afternoon our students engage in a range of activities centered around the house system before attending or delivering an assembly as part of our PSHE curriculum. We have a range of further wellbeing initiatives scheduled for T2 that we feel will benefit all of our students.
During the winter break I would encourage students to take a step away from screens and to continue to prioritise their wellbeing. The holiday period is a great opportunity for students and staff to recharge their batteries and get a well earned rest. Why not consider engaging in one or more of the activities below:
Disconnect to reconnect - turn off the laptop, Ipad or phone and spend some quality time with family and friends. Why not try a board game?
Read a book, the original hard copy kind.
Cook a meal for your family.
Help their parents/guardians by completing some chores around the house.
Make parents/guardians breakfast in bed.
Sleep in one day (not everyday!).
Reach out to an old friend that you haven't spoken to for some time.
New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s resolutions are also a great way to prioritise wellbeing and set personal goals. According to yougov.co.uk, 12% of people in the UK made New Year’s resolutions in 2020 but only 26% of those people managed to stick to them. According to a Forbes article (see here) you have a greater chance of sticking to your resolutions if you:
Break Down Your Goals - start with the end in mind, work backwards and set manageable and achievable steps.
Appreciate The Process - achieving anything worthwhile isn’t easy. Forbes recommends keeping a gratitude journal where you can record why you are thankful and the reasons why it is important to keep going.
Create A Support System - share your goal with family and friends. Maybe create a shared goal so that you can work with others and hold each other accountable.
With the above in mind, why not spend some time as a family setting and sharing New Year’s Resolutions? Students might have one that relates to school, one that relates to family and one that relates to their personal wellbeing or health.
Despite the inevitable challenges that we have ahead, the students and wider community at BSY can serve as a beacon of optimism for us all. The joy that our students bring to their teachers, parents and community is something we can all draw positivity from as we move into 2022.
Have a great winter break and a lovely start to the New Year.
Head of Secondary