A Focus On Well-Being
At The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), our commitment to nurturing well-being is not just to our students, but also extends to our parents, faculty, and staff. We have developed a holistic approach to protect, maintain, and nurture the physical, emotional, social, and mental health of our community.
In December 2020, ISKL’s Well-being Committee launched the first-ever ISKL Community Well-being Calendar. This calendar featured a variety of free activities and selected workshops for parents, students, staff, and faculty members, with the aim of keeping our community connected and engaged throughout the school holidays. A weekly activity program was established and populated with two or three activity options per day, including fitness workouts, cooking classes, chess tournaments, eSports competitions, guitar lessons, and meditation sessions.
As our nation entered another phase of the Movement Control Order in January 2021, the Committee leaped into action once again, to put together a renewed calendar of online activities, so that the ISKL community could remain connected, albeit virtually.
Aside from the activities offered, there were also several workshops held specifically for parents, faculty, and staff. These workshops covered topics such as self-care and holistic health, led by two of our very own ISKL parents, Tracy C. and Kavita S. It was fantastic to have parent volunteers who offered their time and knowledge to support our community.
ISKL’s Director of Student Services, Trina Cobbledick, said, “We launched the Community Well-being Calendar because we wanted to maintain the connections within our community despite being apart. These virtual activities were a fun way to get active, learn a new skill, or simply spend time with others. The well-being of our ISKL community is a high priority to us and we are continuously working hard to develop programs and plans that can offer this necessary support.”
Across each division, ISKL students are supported by a school-wide approach to well-being that includes a team of school counselors, educational psychologists, medical professionals, and learning support specialists. In addition to classroom lessons and grade-level advisory programs, our extensive counseling program also includes topical workshops for students and parents, one-to-one and small group counseling, transition support and university admission, careers, and beyond-school guidance.
Our commitment to nurturing well-being is not just to our students, but also extends to our parents, faculty, and staff. The school regularly hosts programs and workshops that focus on topics such as parenting in a digital age, supporting a transition, and wellness strategies at home.
Recently, our Elementary School counselors hosted a workshop for parents, focusing on how to provide feedback during the child’s continuous learning journey, in order to ensure a productive and fruitful learning experience for each child. In this workshop, our counselors Chris Wright, Emma Gedge, and Lynn Kogelmann, shared valuable tips, including how to evaluate feedback using the THINK method, (Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, and Kind?), how to form constructive feedback, and how to set an example by also readily receiving feedback from the child.
This is just one of the many workshops that were rapidly developed to assist students, parents, faculty, and staff, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s disruptive effect on the education sector. There were many other workshops and guidance sessions that covered a variety of topics, including how to help your child during a transitionary period, supporting learners at home, tips on staying positive, and parenting in a digital age.
ISKL’s Head of School, Rami Madani, said, “The years of Early Childhood through High School are all critical periods for developing positive attitudes, skills, and knowledge around health and wellbeing. Our counselors also provide an invaluable support network in helping teach and nurture these skills. I deeply believe that embracing wellness is a key skill that needs to be explicitly taught, modeled, and practiced so that our students are able to make good choices for themselves, others, and the environment. This belief starts in Elementary School with the Melawati Way, which encourages students to ‘Take Care of Yourself, Take Care of Others, Take Care of This Place’ and continues throughout Middle and High School.”
In these challenging times, there has never been a greater need for looking after our well-being, both individually and collectively as a school community. How we look after ourselves as well as each other remains a key component of our holistic approach to education. This approach applies across our community and our goal remains the same – to help and support each of our community members develop the skills they need to navigate the challenges life presents, and lead a healthy, balanced, and fulfilling life both now and in the future.