Senior School News

A Sense of Belonging

Eight weeks, give or take a couple of days off and we have made it! What a week to end on with our annual Well-being Week being another roaring success. Our Year 7 exhibited their perfect countries to Year 6 (who gave them a grilling and terrified the poor Year 7s!) whilst our Year 8 and 9 continued to explore their identity through the Autobiographical project. The Year 10 continued to explore their identity and Year 11 Drama students basked in the glory of a fantastic performance of Teechers last week along with working out how governments can respond to the next global economic crisis. Our Year 12 worked on their independence, preparing some nutritious meals and Year 13 discussed how to be kind to themselves even when the grades they get were not as expected.

The idea of ‘belonging’ has been at the forefront of my mind this week, simply because it has been Well-being Week and belonging somewhere plays a big role in having a ‘sense of belonging’. Having sat with this, pondering over what it is, allowed me to have a small epiphany, a realisation of the importance of this simple notion. My initial thoughts are, I belong, obviously, I have a family and a home, I feel loved and safe. But when I think deeper, I realise to have a sense of belonging is so much more than immediate family and a place you can call home. I came across this definition of belonging and it resonated with me, allow me to share it with you:

‘Belonging means acceptance as a member or part. Such a simple word for a huge concept. A sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food and shelter. Feeling that you belong is most important in seeing value in life’.

BSM for so many of us is more than a school. It is a home, an extended family, a support network, a place to connect and make friends. Read that again… how wonderful…how special. Human connection is not only healthy but an essential part of each of us being successful in life, having a purpose and a meaning each day. I hadn’t realised that a sense of belonging was so very important until recently. Being away from ‘home’ with no extended family around can be daunting and scary and at other times a blessing(!). Either way, the normality of life away from home can be tricky to navigate and yet here I am 14 years later, living a life that is far away from my norm, why? Well, I think this is down to feeling like I belong here. Whilst not ‘home’ in the traditional sense of the word, BSM graciously offers me six opportunities:

  1. To feel safe, secure, loved and protected
  2. To engage with peers and the wider community
  3. To build positive and trusted relationships
  4. To demonstrate empathy by supporting others
  5. To develop connections through shared interests or experiences
  6. To value and embrace diversity

Cumulatively, these opportunities help to foster a home away from home, a community to be part of. Interestingly, each of these points involves others. Our need for social connection is a crucial contributor to well-being, having purpose and belonging. I speak as an expatriate but I know this to be true whoever you are. Life is a funny old thing at times, throwing us curve balls from time to time and keeping us perpetually on our toes but I also know that life is better when it’s lived with others.

Find the time over the next week to connect with friends and reconnect with those you often think about but get caught up in time and forget to send a message to (yes, I am one of those people too, you are not alone!). Half term is a well needed break to recharge your batteries and spend time with those you love. I would challenge you to bask, albeit it just a few minutes, in the wonderful feeling of belonging to this BSM community, it is truly a wonderful thing.

Have a fantastic half term and I look forward to seeing you all soon.

The week after half term is Week A.

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