At the annual ISA Awards this month, Rugby School Thailand was delighted to receive the award for ‘Community Wellbeing’. This award celebrated the School’s ‘Big Talk’ ‘Small Talk’ initiative, which the judges commended for its success in maintaining supportive links with the parents of RST’s youngest students during remote schooling.
These renowned international school awards are hosted by ISC Research, with a panel of expert industry judges who review hundreds of initiatives from schools across the globe.
RST’s ‘Big Talk’ ‘Small Talk’ initiative was created in response to Voorbereiding parents needing additional support during a long spell of remote learning in Thailand. Simply offering an online ‘open door’ to converse at any time wasn’t gaining traction, so instead, Hannah O’Brien, Deputy Head Pastoral for Voorbereiding, and Sarah Shuttleworth, Head of Voorbereiding, developed a specific online parent hub; a safe space at a dedicated time each week, where parents could connect with the School. ‘Big Talk’ was designed to offer space to share larger issues, such as family issues, learning challenges and welfare; ‘Small Talk’ offered space for parents to connect with the School community and chat about smaller everyday experiences, or just say “hello”.
Through this online hub, the Voorbereiding staff were able to listen to parents, find solutions together, and ultimately engender positive change through a collaborative process. Reducing disruption during this challenging time enabled staff to keep stress and anxiety for children and parents to a minimum, helping to protect the wellbeing of the community.
To see our wellbeing efforts being extended to parents at such a challenging time was indicative of the pro-active and passionate staff we have here. I’m very proud of everyone involved in this award-winning initiativeBruce Grindlay, Principal of Rugby School Thailand