THANK YOU to the MSS Swimming Carnival Volunteers

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Dr Deborah Priest

AISM is very fortunate to have many parent volunteers. On Tuesday 18 August, an enthusiastic group of parents supported the teachers at the MSS Swimming Carnival by being time keepers and helpers throughout the day. Their support enabled the teachers to closely supervise the students and for the carnival events to be finished on time.  We are grateful also to the parents who sold frozen juice sticks to the students and visitors to keep everyone cool. Thank you!

Teaching our Children to Listen to their Inner Champion

This week I read an interesting article by Child Counsellor Lynne Walder who is the Director of Polkadot Coaching and Counselling in New Zealand. I have shared some useful messages and ideas from the article below.

Lynne said, “in this increasingly fast moving and unpredictable world, where rapid social change is the norm, academic qualifications will no longer be enough to compete and succeed in life. There is an increasing need for developing social and emotional skills in our young people.” She believes it is vital for students to be able to develop a positive mental attitude, set goals, build resilience and grit and develop a growth mindset.

An important part of the Visible Learning approach to teaching and learning at AISM, is to provide daily opportunities for students to develop these important life skills. For example, when a student does not achieve the grades he wants in his semester assessments, instead of giving up, or indulging in negative self-talk, he will be more inclined to begin setting some new goals and make a new plan to ensure better results next time.  The focus is on an action-response as opposed to dwelling on a sense of failure. To support students in this endeavour, it is very helpful if parents can also encourage their children to maintain a positive approach through academic and personal challenges.

In discussions with parents, it seems we agree that the development of each students’ emotional intelligence (E.I or E.Q) matters. Lynne noted that, “not only do children with anxiety and aggression have difficulty focusing and learning, they also tend to be victims or perpetrators of bullying.” She goes on to say that bullying has been shown to be “deeply rooted in a lack of emotional intelligence”. Hence, more and more educators are looking at ways for children to develop these skills in their formative years.

With increased access to inappropriate adult material and connectivity on the website, it is vital for parents and educators to equip our students to self-regulate and be aware of their actions and responses in the virtual world as well as the physical world. In particular, students need to have a clear understanding of WHO they are, WHAT they believe in and HOW their actions impact on others. Lynne wrote that “students who are emotionally healthy are in control of their emotions and behaviour. They're able to handle life's inevitable challenges, build strong relationships, and lead productive, fulfilling lives. They bounce back when things go wrong, …. and can manage stress without falling apart.” This is what we all want for our students.

These life skills have now been credited with being the major determining factor for success as an adult. Lynne reminded us that:

Research shows that I.Q accounts for 20% of a person’s success in life, and E.Q accounts for the other 80%.

She went on to say that “a successful emotional curriculum takes a whole-school approach. It includes educating teachers, administrators and parents, for many of whom these skills will be new.” At AISM, in addition to a rigorous curriculum and whole-school pedagogical approach, we strongly believe in developing children’s E.Q.  The camp programs, the wide range of co-curricular activities, the cultural excursions, enrichment opportunities, sport’s program and celebrations held throughout the year, all combine to facilitate a range of opportunities for students to develop their personalities and character. This broader commitment to our students’ development will not only set them up for success as a student, it  will also set them up for success well into the future.

Car Park Update

This week we received some improved perspective drawings to give us an indication of what our new car park will look like while we wait for local council approval to commence the works. I know we are all looking forward to our new facility.

You will notice at the new guard house that we have provision for a number of “turnstile” entrances. On Monday, staff members commence the first stage trial of our “tap in/tap out” attendance process by using their identification cards at various Tap Pads around the school. In the future, parents and students will use their own identification cards to do the same at the entrances to the School. In this way, we can print one report and know who is on the school campus.  Students in the lower Junior School will use wrist bands that are currently being individually sized and prepared for each student. We will share more news of this as we move to Stage 2 of the rollout.