Cultivating Wellbeing, Belonging, and Meaningful Relationships across school communities

Holistic Approaches to Safeguarding and Community Building in International Schools under local context

Whole School

This comprehensive workshop explores the interconnectedness of safeguarding, wellbeing, and relationship-building within the context of international education in the host country. Using China as a host country example, by reflecting on the “Are you OK?” approach to safeguarding and its impact on caseload, culture, and communities, particularly in the Chinese context, participants will gain insights into effective safeguarding practices tailored to the unique cultural and societal influences in China. The session will also delve into strategies for fostering a sense of belonging within local Chinese educational environments and emphasize the importance of forming deep, meaningful relationships with Chinese host country nationals. Through holistic approaches, educators working in China will be better equipped to create supportive, inclusive communities that prioritize the wellbeing and safety of all individuals while navigating the specific challenges and opportunities presented by the Chinese cultural context.

Session Goals:

  1. Explore practical strategies and engage in hands-on experiences to create a positive classroom and school environment that fosters meaningful discussions and enhances community members’ self-awareness.
  2. Understand the importance of curating a sense of belonging for all members of a school community, recognizing its impact on safeguarding caseload and overall wellbeing.
  3. Learn how to effectively combine local and international best practices within the unique context of each school to develop a proactive approach to safeguarding.
  4. Redefine the concepts of “global” and “local” in the context of international education, particularly within the host country (e.g., China).
  5. Recognize the significance of inviting stakeholders from across the community to engage in open conversations and build sustained relationships.

 

  • Discover ways to meaningfully engage with the local/host country community first, and then build upon that foundation to reach the next global level.
  • Gain insights into effective safeguarding practices tailored to the specific cultural and societal influences of the host country (e.g., China), reflecting on the “Are you OK?” approach and its impact on caseload, culture, and communities.
  • Develop strategies for fostering a sense of belonging within local educational environments and emphasize the importance of forming deep, meaningful relationships with host country nationals.
  • Equip educators working in international schools with holistic approaches to create supportive, inclusive communities that prioritize the wellbeing and safety of all individuals while navigating the specific challenges and opportunities presented by the host country’s cultural context.

You Chen

You Chen has taken on a new role as the IDEAS (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism, Social Justice) Whole School Staff Lead since last year, where she is working to promote a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the school community. With her infectious sense of humor and commitment to creating a positive workspace culture, You Chen has quickly become a valued member of the team who adapts IDEAS work from a local perspective.

Melody Chen 陈薇颖

Melody has been working in the IB PYP field for 8 years as Curriculum Coordinator, Chinese Subject Leader and Student Development Coordinator. Melody loves learning and leading the school forward by organising meaningful learning experiences, activities and assessments to provide better learning experiences and more opportunities for students to develop.

Natasha Dennis

Natasha is currently the Director of Student Services at Dulwich College Shanghai Puxi, as well as the Child Protection Officer. Previously, Natasha has worked in the education and social care sectors in the UK, working with children with special educational needs and disabilities, and with children and young people who need priority mental health support.

During the time at Dulwich College, Natasha spent two years as the Lead Safeguarding Trainer for the College. This role includes developing the safeguarding training program that was delivered at the College, and developing resources and support for other Colleges in the group. As CPO, Natasha works within the safeguarding team, primarily managing any safeguarding concerns that arise. Working within safeguarding can have challenges, especially in contexts where there are limited external resources, so it has been a passion to develop a culture within the College community of trust and safety to support children and families with difficulties that may arise. As Director of Student Services, Natasha oversees the AEN, EAL and Counselling provisions within the College, and supports leadership teams and teachers with pastoral care of children. Natasha is keen to leverage the knowledge, skills and understanding from these roles into proactive safeguarding practices and approaches, and share these with the wider community.

Amy Liu

Amy Liu, an English teacher and teacher librarian at Guangzhou SCA School. With a Master’s degree from Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a PGDE, Amy brings a wealth of educational experience. With over 12 years in IB PYP schools across Hong Kong and mainland China, Amy has witnessed the transformative impact of the IB curriculum on student growth. Recently, her focus has shifted towards student wellbeing, actively engaging in initiatives since 2018. Amy’s passion lies in creating nurturing environments where students thrive emotionally, socially, and academically. She looks forward to collaborating with fellow educators on enhancing student wellbeing within their learning community.