Senior students face uncertainty as they tackle their final years amid the pandemic. Discovery Bay International School’s student wellbeing programme continues to help them (and parents!) navigate this challenge.
The warning signs our kids aren’t coping
According to the DBIS team, students respond differently to stress and will display a broad range of coping strategies and, indeed, warning signs when circumstances become overwhelming.
“What is common is a shift in behavioural characteristics,” explains PETER ROBERTS, Deputy Head of Secondary at DBIS. “For some, these signs can be more apparent, such as emotional outbursts, but for many there are often subtle differences in behaviour.”
Peter says that some of the warning signs families should look out for in their children include:
- becoming increasingly withdrawn, less vocal, and more closed off;
- negative trends in academic performance;
- disengagement in learning (especially if they are typically active participants);
- attendance issues; and
- relationship strains between friends and social groups.
Six student support messages
JASON BRODERICK, Head of Wellbeing at DBIS, says, “Being present and available for your child can, and will often, be enough to help them navigate times of uncertainty. Make your support known to them and aim for consistency. Relaying the right messages consistently can alleviate some of these pressures.”
Jason says that the following messages can help maintain perspective and focus:
#1 “These examinations are one part of your learning journey – regardless of the outcomes and the process.”
#2 “Your hard work throughout the course will not go unrecognised – your efforts are not wasted.”
#3 “You are not alone. Last year’s cohort faced similar challenges and many of them have gone on to achieve their goals.”
#4 “Schools, and indeed universities, are fully aware of the challenges and will work to ensure that no students, regardless of the route towards grade awarding, are disadvantaged and that their efforts are fairly rewarded.”
#5 “You have support available, family, friends, teachers! Reach out – we are a strong and flourishing community for a very good reason.”
#6 “We are proud of you and will be proud of your achievements. If you have been a committed learner and worked to your potential, then we can ask no more.”
This article first appeared in the Spring 2021 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.