Senior School News

Weekly Bulletin – Senior School

Dear BSM Senior School Families,

I hope you are well and this week has been productive and positive. I must say the summer has suddenly kicked in and this for some will have affected you and your children. However, we are getting very good at adjusting to new situations and so I’m sure recalibrating to warmer weather will be another of those small adjustments.

This week has seen the introduction of our bespoke Year 11 and 13 programmes of study. A big thank you to the staff and the students for their thoughtfully created lessons and wonderful contributions. Those of you who have children in Year 11 and 13, please check in with them and see how they are getting on. If you are interested in what sorts of things are being offered in Year 13, have a gander below:

An Introduction to The Liberal Arts Language, Literature, Film lessons.  A carousel of introductory lessons covering: Language, Literature and Film Studies : 1) Intertextuality and Global Issues: the enriching relationships that exist between seemingly disparate texts. Classics world of Literature: Sample ten brilliant masterpieces Creative Writing: Story Telling 
French for beginners/Conversation Business Chinese for beginners History of Taiwan after 1949
Passion project a la carte (learning Japanese, leadership course…) Digital Marketing Economics – The Global Economy NOW
Social, emotional and logistical transition to life after BSM History, International Relations and Politics Health Psychology 
Pre Med Physiology/Biotechnology Chemical Engineering and Materials Zoology
Drug development, Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry Epidemiology – The Dynamics of Infectious Diseases Understanding Einstein: The Theory of Relativity
Advanced Calculus Mathematics Mechanics. The principles, and behaviour of solid objects when they are subjected to external actions such as forces Decision Mathematics uses the techniques of discrete mathematics to solve real life problems in many areas
Zoology. Human parasites and/or coastal invertebrates Computer Science/Film Introduction to engineering mechanics
Theatre Making                                    Digital            Art & Design (Logo, Character & Environment Design)

Whilst this lockdown has been frustrating and at times brutal to my well-being(!) I have much to be grateful for and one of the silver linings has been to use some of my time to dive into topics I am interested in. As most of you know Well-being is one of my favourite topics and one which I love reading and hearing about. Last week I shared the Yale course I enrolled onto and this week I’d like to share a few thoughts on resilience. 

Resilience came up in conversation over dinner earlier this week when we were explaining to the kids the concept of ‘the snowflake generation’. A term used to describe ‘young adults from 2010’s who were perceived to be less resilient and prone to taking offence from others’. When asked if they were snowflakes… I had to think about how I would answer. 

I’m pleased I took some time to respond because it allowed me to really think about the situation we are in and how it may affect us and our children. In the midst of a worldwide pandemic we find ourselves thrown together for hours on end, nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, with time on our hands like never before. We have limited to no access to anything that would distract and entertain us, keep us connected, fit and engaged. So what do we have?

An opportunity, that’s what we have! Whether resilience is ‘considered an outcome, a process, or a capacity, the essence of resilience is a positive, adaptive response in the face of significant adversity’. Here we find ourselves in challenging circumstances that are uncertain, unsettling and which we have no control. When we pick apart the challenges we and our families are facing right now, there are stacks. Take a moment to think of at least five challenges whether that be going out, seeing friends, participating in sport, unable to travel, etc. I will add here that we are more fortunate than most and we are all thankful for what we do have, but it is all relative and our challenges are real to us. The article I read gave four distinct factors that contribute to young people having the capacity to respond and bounce back; to be resilient:

  1. ‘The availability of at least one stable, caring, and supportive relationship between a child and the important adults in his or her life.
  2. Helping children build a sense of mastery over their life circumstances. Those who believe in their own capacity to overcome hardships and guide their own destiny are far more likely to adapt positively to adversity. 
  3. Children who develop strong executive function and self-regulation skills. These skills enable individuals to manage their own behaviour and emotions.
  4. The supportive context of affirming faith or cultural traditions. Children who are solidly grounded within such traditions are more likely to respond effectively when challenged by a major stressor or a severely disruptive experience’.

I would encourage you to find those learning moments with your kids, not all the time that will drive them (and you!) crazy, but times that you can explicitly demonstrate how the factors above can build resilience.

In answer to my children’s question ‘are we snowflakes?’ my answer is a resounding ‘no’. I believe this situation offers my kids (and yours) the opportunity to grow in resilience, to learn and adapt, to find the joy in the small things and above all self-regulate in challenging times. This time will pass and when it does we will be stronger because of it.

Stay safe, stay in and stay sane lovely families and I hope to see you all soon.

Next week is Week B.

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