We make WELL-BEING a priority at Fazlani L’Academie Globale, and it matters even more in the wake of the pandemic. Research shows that schools can be places that can develop social and emotional skills vital to learning and motivate students to lead healthy lifestyles.
At Fazlani L’Academie Globale, we ensure the environments that surround students and families provide and promote good physical and mental health. The Wellness Committee comprising ambassadors from the learning community (leadership, parents, teachers, and students), plays a vibrant role in creating classrooms where all students can thrive.
Our “BE WELL” program in Early and Primary Schools aims at creating a culture of social-emotional learning by engaging and empowering students to develop and maintain healthy habits through a kaleidoscope of learning experiences.
The CASEL wheel of five components supports the learning and development of SEL at school.
- Self-awareness is having a clear and accurate understanding of our strengths, and challenges and recognizing emotions.
- Self-management is taking responsibility for our own choices to work towards goals. using self-control, good work habits, and managing emotions.
- Social awarenessis developing empathy, and celebrating our differences as we live in a social world.
- Relationship skillsinvolve building healthy relationships, effective communication, and teamwork as we work with peers.
- Responsible decision-makingis using conflict resolution to solve problems, developing healthy habits, and owning choices.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is at the heart of the school program and helps increase self-awareness, academic achievement, and positive behaviors both in and out of the classroom. Each day in a homeroom begins with SEL Circles that help all children feel loved and encouraged while creating stronger relationships between peers. Joyful July, Awesome August, and Soulful September witnessed mood walks, wellness choice boards, and global collaboration with the Grow with Gratitude program.
A 5th grader expressed, “I have learned to handle my conflicts and emotions because of the calmness routines and Mindful Mondays.”
A grade 2 Parent expressed, “So off late; I am also eating mindfully and teaching my child to express gratitude before going to bed. “Thank you for Soulful September.
The monthly SEL calendar echoes Mindful Mondays, Thankful Tuesdays, Wellness Wednesdays, Thoughtful Thursdays, and Friendly Fridays, which provide opportunities for students and parents to choose from a variety of everyday experiences, to be active, connect, keep learning, and take notice of the world around them and their feelings.
An essential ingredient of SEL at school is professional development. The Friendly Fridays also become virtual coolers for teaching teams as we practice shared SEL routines that are taken back into the classroom. Happy teachers make happy communities.
We have also created a site where we post all the SEL that has made a difference to our classroom practices. The site serves as a window to best SEL practices for new staff and ongoing reflection on creating an inclusive school that supports all learners. The Muskaan Project is another thread of the SEL program and aims to create an inclusive culture. Under this project, the school recently:
The PYP Leadership team led a community summit leading a short module on Social-Emotional learning for faculty in public schools, driving the idea of compassion over content in their schools. The PYP Spirit Day had students engaged with street children from a local shelter and organized a day of fun and games at school.
“SELebrate You” an SEL flea was led by the primary year students for the parent community and teachers from the IB PYP Network in Mumbai. A variety of interactive centers challenged the community to check their emotions and well-being.
Some of the centers are listed below:
- Calming Zone
- A warm cup of words
- Heart Maps
- Edible Emotion Cookies
- A Pinwheel of Hope
- Worry Dolls
- Puppet Theatre
- Magical Mandalas
- Wishing Wall
We need to move away from the idea that SEL is just one class in the day or week, it needs to be embedded in the entire curriculum and become an integral part of all learning and teaching at school.
What does SEL look like in your learning communities and how can we continue to champion SEL in our schools?
Author – Mahera Goel, Principal Early and Elementary School, Fazlani L’Academie Globale, Mumbai