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Head’s Lines: Say Hello to our Counsellors.

A safe relaunch of ECAs, we stick with our School Calendar plans, and we dive into the importance of wellbeing.

It was great to have the school fully open last week. The excitement from the first day of reopening continued throughout the week, and I was really impressed with how both Primary and High School responded to the challenges of social distancing and wearing their masks throughout the day. The happy, smiling faces of children and young people across the school showed how much they appreciated being reunited with their friends and teachers in a real-life setting.

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Term 2 Extra-Curricular Activities Programme

This week we start our Term 2 Activities Programme at both the High and Primary School.  As a result, we can look forward to a great number of students engaging in sports, skills, and service activities after school. The fact that we have been able to launch this fantastic programme encompassing team training, drama, dance, art, and musical opportunities is a true blessing, and I can’t wait to see how our students build on all their amazing  talents throughout the term.

Sticking with the School Calendar
Thank you to everyone for helping St Andrews get started in such a positive way and especially for following all the guidelines we have in place to keep everyone safe. This coming week, please be aware the school will not be closed on Friday 12th February, even though the Government has declared that this day will be an optional holiday institutions and businesses could take to support local tourism. It will be far more beneficial to our students if after a very intense 6 weeks of hard work both in the virtual school and face to face in school, we stick to our calendar’s original plan of having a one week half term break starting from Monday 22nd February.

Wellbeing at St Andrews
The global COVID pandemic has certainly caused an indescribable amount of stress for everyone across our community and, really, the world. There are still many uncertainties we still face in the future regarding our families, but there is hope that the gradual roll-out of vaccinations will finally bring this very difficult period in our lives to some sort of closure.  Across our school there have been countless meetings, especially within the Senior Leadership Team, concerning the well being of our school community.  We must acknowledge and strive to mitigate the apparent and unseen effects that the pandemic has inflicted on our children and teaching staff who both have had to work in very difficult and altogether unfamiliar ways over the last year.

Our school is very fortunate to have a team of counsellors led by Ms Amy who have been advising us on how to ensure that the effects of the pandemic on especially our children and young people are understood and that we give them opportunities to talk and deal with issues they continue to face.

This first week back on our campuses coincided with Children's Mental Health Week in the UK. There has never been a more complex time for our children, and the uncertainties that have come with the global pandemic have touched the lives of our community in a host of ways. It's more important than ever that we do all we can to support our students and their families with their wellbeing and emotional health.

Some examples of how this support is happening is through dedicated circle time in Primary School and extended tutor time in High School in combination with wellbeing sessions every Friday. The pastoral teams across the school are keeping up to date with the latest research and guidance on how best to support our students, such as guidance from the Anna Freud Centre for Wellbeing and UK Mental Health Resources for Parents and Schools.

We know that creating consistent, supportive and structured days are very important for our students' wellbeing right now. In the next few weeks there will be continued emphasis on making sure our students know who they can connect with if they are finding things difficult or simply need a place to talk. Please reach out to your child's teacher, Head of Year or the Counselling  Team  if you have any concerns.

Our New Counsellors
To make sure everyone is aware of the help that’s available, Ms Amy would like to introduce the members of her expanded Counselling Team. Joining Amy, Twinkle and Rachel are Jade and Kate. It's been a successful journey of growth for counselling at STA starting with one whole school counsellor in 2014 to now a core team of five with many additional specialists also connected. 

Ms Jade

Ms Jade will be supporting the High School Counselling  Team; Jade is a graduate from an international school in Bangkok and has a background in fitness, holistic wellbeing and counselling. Jade is in the process of her finals for her Masters in Counselling. In addition, Jade is a passionate sportswoman and has recently qualified in reiki healing.

Ms Kate

Ms Kate is our new Primary-based Counsellor. Before arriving in Bangkok with her family, Kate served as both manager and supervisor of a much sought after social work team in the UK. Kate brings with her a wealth of experience in specialised mental health support, safeguarding and supporting families. Holding a MA in Social Work alongside coursework in counselling and therapeutic interventions, Kate is excited and enthusiastic about being able to connect with the STA community.

It's not just the students that need support right now. In the Counsellors Corner of this week’s newsletter, you can find an article exploring ways to support parental well being in this current time. It's important to ensure each of us has the opportunity to pause and reflect during these stressful times.

Please also remember that the Counselling Team has created a Google mini-site called STA TimetoTalk within Moodle which offers a hub for information and support.

School Calendar
Our school will follow the recently updated school calendar that has been shared with our school community and which is available on our school website. For your convenience, you can find the updated school calendar for 2020-2021 here.

For parents with enquiries, please contact support@standrews.ac.th. Or call the Primary School at +66 2 381-2387-8 or the High School at +66 2 056-9555.