The Australian International School (AIS) has a globally recognised curriculum and fab modern facilities, and enjoys plenty of academic success. Now, though, it’s upping the ante, with the launch of a student emotional wellbeing “check-in” programme called C.A.R.E.S.
C.A.R.E.S (Connections, Attitude, Relationships, Engagement and Safety) is a specially developed programme that uses cleverly designed surveys to capture a snapshot of each student’s emotional wellbeing at given points during the school year. The focus is on ensuring children are in an ’emotionally good place’.
We asked the AIS team for an overview.
Tell us about your C.A.R.E.S programme.
CARES is a whole-school approach to identifying, monitoring and addressing social and student emotional wellbeing through regular self-reflection with reporting tools. It involves using specially designed student emotional wellbeing questions to identify areas that are developmentally appropriate for students to reflect on and report against.
Who devised it, and why?
It was a collaborative project by the members of our senior leadership team and wellbeing team. They identified that there was lack of data for measuring our student’s emotional wellbeing on a regular basis. Once we identified this need, we went to work to create a gold standard tool that was tailored to the needs of the students.
As a school, we need to identify the issues that our kids are facing. We required a tool that was going to assist them with their social and emotional wellbeing, while also feeling safe and supported in the AIS community. So, we decided we needed a regular “check-in” – twice a term, for starters.
We did have a system in place; it was known as PASS (Pupil Attitudes to Self and School) and was conducted annually, but we found the data tended to be outdated by the time we received it. Students had moved on from their issues or situations or they remained unsolved, as we didn’t know about them.
How did you create the programme?
Using the Australian Wellbeing Framework, PASS and the UK National Wellbeing Survey as guides, we created a framework that has been tailored to meet the needs of our students, and prioritise student emotional wellbeing as well as academics at AIS.
The survey data is now being used to proactively plan and guide our STRIVE curriculum and target specific and relevant issues so we can best support our students in their daily school life.
How does C.A.R.E.S actually work?
It provides students with an opportunity to ask for help when they usually wouldn’t – we are already picking up students who have traditionally fallen through the cracks. Ideally, we want it to develop so it can act as a tool for our staff and parent community, while also being live on our school dashboard to support students further.
Using the live Data Dashboard, the programmes enables us to frontload, upskill and inform our teachers, parents and school leaders to ensure we’re providing the appropriate academic and wellbeing scaffold for our students to be the best versions of themselves.
In short, we want to identify the students who are needing further support but also acknowledge the students who are flourishing in our school community.
New at AIS
Aside from this additional commitment to supporting student emotional wellbeing, the school has also celebrated some great academic achievements recently. One student achieved the highest possible Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) of 99.95 in 2019. And AIS was listed 21 times on the Higher School Certificate (HSC) Distinguished Achievers list in 2019.
Enrolling for 2021
You can now book an online consultation to discuss January 2021 enrolments with the AIS admissions team. Just use this booking form.
6653 2958 (Admissions) | firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some ideas on where to live in Singapore and areas that will be convenient for AIS.