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How Kellett School is tackling the issue of student stress

Our kids live in a complex world and parents in Hong Kong are well aware of the issue of student stress. Kellett School, The British International School in Hong Kong, has a range of initiatives to tackle this and actively develop student well-being from Reception to Year 13.

student stress: Kellett School students have loved the 'Feel-good Fridays' initiative
Kellett School aims to develop resilience in its students. Picture: Jayne Russell

The school’s commitment to addressing student stress saw its Well-being Team established four years ago to focus on the emotional and medical needs of students. The aim of the team is that students develop a positive mind-set, resilience and satisfaction with relationships and other areas of their life so that they function effectively for their age and maximise their potential.

Head of the Well-being Team, Justin McLaughlin, explains: “The idea in forming the team was to ensure that if any student in the school had any issues, they could be identified and a plan implemented to rectify the problem. The team however is not solely reactive. We look at what students may potentially face in their school or personal lives, exam stress, or social pressures etc., and we try to prevent, or if not, ease these situations so that they can have less of a negative impact on the individual.”

The strategies are not something only for older students, either – the school is passionate about laying the foundations and giving students the tools to be confident and resilient from the very start of their school career. For example, prep school students take part in eight-week mindfulness courses, as well as having visits from yoga specialists.

Earlier this year saw the establishment of ‘Feel Good Fridays’ across the whole school. Feel Good Friday activities took place in and outside of the classroom and themes related to upcoming school events or global health and well-being initiatives.

Student stress: Kellett School students have loved the 'Feel-good Fridays' initiative. Picture: Jayne Russell
Kellett School students have loved the ‘Feel-good Fridays’ initiative. Picture: Jayne Russell

“’Feeling Green’ coincided with Earth Hour, and students learnt about recycling and the environment, and as a fun activity, students brought in recyclable items and constructed towers in the atrium with the highest tower winning,” Justin says. “In the lead up to exams, ‘Feeling Relaxed’ was great to calm any nerves and also teach students how to meditate and relax themselves if they ever feel stressed.”

Justin says resilience and well-being is essential in today’s education system for both academic and social development. Kellett School aims to provide a safe, supportive and respectful learning environment to foster this sense of well-being which leads to a reduction in student stress.

“Schools share this responsibility with the whole community,” Justin says. “Not only do confident, resilient children, with a capacity for emotional intelligence, perform better academically, but these skills can also contribute to the creation of strong social bonds and supportive communities and the maintenance of healthy relationships and responsible lifestyles.”

Kellett School is holding an open day on Saturday, September 23 and welcomes prospective families to visit their Pok Fu Lam and Kowloon Bay campuses. Register here.

Pok Fu Lam Prep Open Day: 10am–1pm

Kowloon Bay Prep & Senior School Open Day: 11am–2pm

Kellett School, The British International School in Hong Kong

Pok Fu Lam Preparatory | 2 Wah Lok Path, Wah Fu, Pok Fu Lam | 3120 0700 

Kowloon Bay Prep and Senior | 7 Lam Hing Street, Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong | 3120 0700 

kellettschool.com

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