Our Secondary Wellness Project Kicks-Off!
This semester we kick start our Lower Secondary wellness project, the first of its kind at Yew Chung International School of Beijing. Ms Alana Martin, Lower Secondary Learning Community Leader, explains how this will transform the support on offer in Secondary.
Please introduce the wellness project
With the help of our school counsellor, Ms Rachel George, we have put together a curriculum of workshops for students in Lower Secondary that will cover topics such as managing stress and anxiety, mindfulness, resolving conflict, and personal health and well-being. Students are then going to produce G100 projects based on something that has inspired them about the course.
We have named the whole project “You Are OK”, and have designed a logo and driving question to focus our work.
What inspired this project?
During her research, Rachel was unable to find resources in Beijing for expat teenagers looking for support or someone to talk to. While in many cities there are charity helplines for children and online counselling services run by volunteers, we couldn’t find anything of the sort in Beijing. We therefore felt an urgent need to fill this gap in our school.
What is the purpose of this project?
First and foremost, it’s to provide students with extra support. Students of secondary age face all kinds of pressures, especially those on the international circuit. We want to provide our students with practical information, advice on coping with change and show them there is pastoral care available whenever they need it.
Secondly, in turning this into a G100 project, we hope to spread helpful information throughout the school. We’re looking for G100 projects that will open up conversations between students and between year groups, providing a network of support and information.
We are also exploring partnerships with local Beijing publications and organisations. In doing so, we hope that our students’ projects will be able to spread even further into the community.
What do you hope students will get out of this project?
We want to fight the stigma around teenage worries and problems. In opening up conversations I hope that students will feel that they have someone (be it a teacher or a friend) who they can reach out to. I hope that they will never feel alone, and I hope that they will see that they are surrounded by trustworthy, caring individuals who are here to listen. It would be great if this feeling can spread around the school with the help of the G100 projects.
How does the Learning Community model help with a project such as this?
It’s great that these workshops and the G100 project will be shared with students across the three years of Lower Secondary. It means that we can build a supportive network across the whole of middle school and enable students to connect with each other in the process. We are also able to involve many more members of staff and benefit from their experience in different areas. Finally, for a project as important as this, the more students we reach the better! It’s great that three different year groups can benefit from these workshops.