Wellbeing and Remote Learning at Harrow International School, Beijing

“This is a time for everybody to be adaptable.”

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During their tenth week of online learning due to COVID-19, the Director of Positive Education at Harrow International School in Beijing, Brooke Buchanan, took the time to speak with the Institute about how the school has continued its Positive Education programme online, through the Institute’s Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC).

 

Harrow Beijing stands proudly on the shoulders of its parent school, Harrow School London. As one of the school’s Personal Tutors, Brooke Buchanan attended a professional learning courses lead by the Institute in Hong Kong in 2017. This course inspired Brooke, who then worked with a team to introduce explicit Positive Education lessons in the school.

 

Positive Education just connects with me as a teacher.’ Brooke says.

 

When asked about the school’s remote learning journey, she states, ‘This is a time for everybody to be adaptable, and at the start – like everyone else – we had to find our feet. This is new territory for everyone. You’re going to come across challenges. Keeping the community connected and supporting one another is so important.’

 

When it became evident that students would be engaging in remote learning for a protracted period of time, the school decided to distribute student and parent questionnaires. Questions addressing factors such as sleep, exercise, and time spent on laptops and homework enabled teachers to then design the best possible online learning experience for their students. This feedback also helped teachers to support student wellbeing and identify areas of focus within their Positive Education programme.

 

This is also such a learning experience for us and we just have to adapt. We have used student questionnaires to collect feedback on online learning and their wellbeing. We are also using parent feedback to gather as much information about their child’s setting and what they are experiencing at home.’

 

The questionnaires revealed that synchronous, real-time interactions were particularly appreciated by parents and students, during this period of remote learning.

 

Educators at Harrow Beijing have been able to bring elements of PEEC into the school’s pastoral care system and tutoring time. During this time, they focus on supporting students’ mental health, emotions and relationships, and emphasise the importance of connection.

 

We are grateful to have access to PEEC and have been able to adapt and take ideas from the curriculum to support students during this period of online learning.’ Brooke says.

 

Feedback from students shows that the school’s pastoral care time is what students look forward to most every day. Brooke explains that, ‘It’s a chance to relax from online learning and connect with their peers. We share and discuss inspiring videos, practice mindfulness, complete activities from PEEC and are able to talk and laugh together’. With the daily life of students around the world still affected by restrictions, it’s important that educators keep focusing on students’ wellbeing – whether they are teaching remotely or in the classroom.

 

The Institute of Positive Education has created a series of free Remote Learning Resources for Primary and Secondary students that are powered by our Positive Education Enhanced Curriculum (PEEC). We have also created a range of limited-edition remote resources for our freely available sample lessons. These resources incorporate a range of activities from the curriculum, which have been adapted to enable educators to deliver lessons in an online and interactive way.

 

PEEC is a research-based explicit curriculum that has been developed to help teachers lead dedicated Positive Education classes where students can learn the evidence-based wellbeing skills that contribute to living a healthy and fulfilling life.

 

The curriculum is aimed at students from Early Learning (four years of age) through to Upper Secondary (18 years). It offers over 280 developmentally appropriate lesson plans and has been designed in consultation with experts in the field of Positive Psychology.

 

For more information on PEEC or to download a sample, visit teachpeec.com.