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BVIS Hanoi received Well-being Award For Schools from UK for outstanding physical and mental health work

As a long-time advocate of well-being, I am heartened that the BVIS community, like the rest of the world, is recognizing just how important well-being is for us all in our day-to-day lives, and importantly our learning. This focus on well-being may be the silver lining of the cloud we have been under for much of the past two years.

On June 13, BVIS Hanoi received the Well-Being Award for Schools from the National Children’s Bureau and Optimus Education. This award recognises the schools’ excellent well-being and mental health practice among students and staff within British-based school communities and organisations. It is also designed to improve the schools’ culture regarding mental health in the long term. Based on the evidence-based framework, the accreditation process for this award includes reviews of schools’ policies, training sections and counsel for students and staff.  

BVIS Hanoi_Well-being Award For Schools certificate

Well-Being Award for Schools certificate is awarded to BVIS Hanoi.

A nice recognition of the work that has gone on at BVIS – but our work has been much more significant than just achieving an award.

Wednesday morning, I had the pleasure of working with a wonderful group of parents at our final Parent Well-Being Workshop of the year. I shared an overview of how we view and approach well-being, the considerable progress we have made this year and our next steps. I thought it would be good to share some of the areas we covered.

...one of the key factors for (student) performance is the relationship that exists between the student and teacher. Hattie, Visible Learning
BVIS Hanoi_Simon's trip with students

Mr. Simon Mann (Principal) and students particpated in Floating Village project's activities - a community project in Year 9's Geography class (AY 2021 - 2022).

Through placing relationships, connections, and well-being at the centre of our school strategic plan throughout the year, we have collectively supported ourselves through what has been a particularly challenging period. The approach this year has been incremental, starting with our leadership team, moving on to our staff and then to our students, your children. As we reflect on the year, we can see just how important this has been.

  • BVIS Hanoi_ECA class
  • BVIS Hanoi_ECA class
  • BVIS Hanoi_ECA class

Primary students attended an ECA class in May, 2022.

Children listen to your actions, not your words. Anon

This year’s journey began with staff and leaders, exploring our own well-being practices and developing a collective understanding of well-being in schools and contextually at BVIS. We began with teachers and leaders because as adults we need to be ‘walking the talk’ of well-being to make our work with students most effective. This was implemented by placing well-being workshops into a three-weekly CPD rotation, having a well-being performance management target, and using meetings and briefings to promote well-being. In summary, promoting and exploring ways well-being can be part of our daily practice.

Research by Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows a causal link between the classroom environment and the level of well-being reported by students and their academic performance. PISA

Knowing the importance of the environment on well-being, we have had a series of sessions where we involved all staff and collaboratively built a series of climate statements for the whole school. These statements help define the school we want BVIS to be. They focus on relationships and connection, meaning and purpose, our sense of belonging and inclusivity, our feeling of safety, and ensuring engagement in our work. We have begun putting these statements into our daily practice and they will be central to our work next year for your children.

Additionally, since January we have begun focusing on well-being practices with our students, building it into our day and the ways we function in the classroom. Well-being practices are simple, however, building the habitual use of well-being practices is more difficult. The ways we have been building these habits are our morning starts, ‘daily mile’ – running or walking for 12 minutes and using ‘Five Ways to Well-being' (connect, be active, take notice, keep learning, and give). Getting into habits that help us and those around us is our goal.

  • BVIS Hanoi_Morning run
  • BVIS Hanoi_Morning run
  • BVIS Hanoi_Morning run

Primary students took a morning run weekly in Term 3/2021 - 2022.

  • BVIS Hanoi_Primary Sports Week
  • BVIS Hanoi_Primary Sports Week
  • BVIS Hanoi_Primary Sports Week
  • BVIS Hanoi_Primary Sports Week
  • BVIS Hanoi_Primary Sports Week

Students participated in Primary Sports Week in June 2022.

  • BVIS Hanoi_Summer Fair 21-22
  • BVIS Hanoi_Summer Fair
  • BVIS Hanoi_Summer Fair
  • BVIS Hanoi_Summer Fair

BVIS Hanoi' Summer Fair on June 16, 2022.

We are on the road to embedding well-being and we know there is more work required. However, we are immensely proud of the progress our collective focus on well-being has had on us as a community and I will leave the last words about our progress to the Well-Being Award for Schools visiting team.

The evidence was very congruent and much of what was observed and read was clearly driven by the exceptional commitment of school leadership, and showed an outstanding philosophical, educational, and practical understanding of the place and role of wellbeing in schools... Undoubtedly, a major strength is the commitment and passion... about the importance of emotional wellbeing and mental health in education and in schools. This has enabled the school to introduce some processes and protocols which both protect and promote the emotional well-being of the school community. Well Being Award for Schools

Article's author: Simon Mann - BVIS Hanoi's Principal in academic year 2021 - 2022.