It has been wonderful seeing all the students enjoying their time at Northbridge International School Cambodia during this first week. I have had the chance to find out what our returning students experienced during the holidays, as well as learning more about who our new students are and how they are settling into our school community.
I have also had the privilege of meeting with many of our parents and talking about how we can partner together to strengthen our students’ learning over this year.
This has led me to consider what are some of the key actions that parents can take which will have an impact on their own child’s learning, and I would like to share these with you so we can build together this year.
Early to Bed, Early to Rise
I recently watched a Ted Talk titled Sleep is Your Superpower on the importance of sleep for our mental and physical health. After listening to what the latest research says about the importance of sleep, I grew even more concerned over the sleeping habits of many of our students.
Primary students should be having between 10-12 hours of sleep a night to allow their brains to be ready to learn the next day, and allow their bodies to be healthy and strong. I encourage all of us as parents to take this message to heart and structure our children’s days so that they can have enough sleep to support their learning and development.
It is very easy to find reasons to not eat with our children and have them either eat in another room, at another time, or in front of a device or TV.
Although this may seem convenient, it has a negative impact on many areas of our children’s development as family discussions around a dinner table not only lead to healthier food choices, but also significant developments in language usage and strengthening of family relationships.
If you would like to read more about the benefits of eating together, here is an interesting blog focused on this.
Time to Learn and Time to Play
One of the learner profile attributes that we have recognised as an area of growth for our students is the attribute of being Balanced. This is defined by the IBO as:
There is a growing body of research that shows the importance of having balance in our lives because the skills, attitudes, creativity, and emotional well-being that are developed in being involved in a variety of activities are important for not only our own success in life but also for equipping us to solve problems into the future.
It is because of this understanding that Northbridge has a range of LEAP activities available for our students so they can grow in many different areas.
Children also need time to lead their own learning and playing as this not only gives them a chance to enjoy their childhood, but also an opportunity to learn how to manage their own time and freedom.
If we want our children to grow up as leaders and entrepreneurs, we need to foster their belief in themselves and allow opportunities for them to take agency. This will not happen easily if a child’s schedule is too busy or if each moment is carefully controlled by adults.
Ms Bissy wrote a blog around student agency last year, and I encourage all of our parents to spend time understanding this important concept and its role in developing leaders and innovators.
I trust that as you commit to supporting your child in these three areas - ensuring they get enough sleep, family discussions around mealtimes, and protecting your child’s free time.
Your child will have the opportunity to grow and develop not only as a thinker and learner but also as a person who has meaningful connections with others, who is able to remain a life-long learner full of curiosity, and who will make a positive difference in our world.