WHY CHILDREN THRIVE AT SHREWSBURY - DARWIN SERIES EVENT
An informative panel discussion took place at Shrewsbury International School Bangkok, Riverside, involving prominent experts on child development and mental health provision for young people. The event took place alongside Shrewsbury educators who steer school policy development in this area. This initial discussion is part of a series. The first of which will focus on early development, play learning and younger children. Darwin series events will continue next term, and the programme will develop further next year.
During the panel discussion, attendees and those watching the online feed learnt that actions were taken by adults both at school and home can permeate every aspect of a child’s learning and have a great impact on children’s emotional wellbeing and overall health and development. Speakers made a point of highlighting good practice across our community.
The importance of mental and physical wellbeing in children is often undersold and talks such as these allow parents and teachers to think more deeply about how they can engage students to reach developmental and emotional milestones. Students can also learn healthy social skills and how to cope with stressful environments and transitions. Children who are unable to process emotions in a healthy way may struggle with social skills in adolescence and can also develop neuropsychiatric conditions and disorders later in life.
Dr Wittaya Wampen, a psychiatry specialist and assistant director of corporate strategy at Praram 9 Hospital, espoused the importance of active listening as a tool to help other people feel better. Nick Loudon was delighted to assert that all Shrewsbury’s pastoral leaders use active listening as a tool to care for their students.
“Focus on three key elements; Pay attention and do not judge, summarize when you listen and explain what you understand,” he emphasised.
Shrewsbury Head of Outreach and the afternoon’s moderator, Greg Threlfall, said the panel discussion proved that Shrewsbury’s concentration on evidence-based practice ties in well with leading medical professionals' approach.
“We are hugely thankful for the insights of Dr Pon from Chulalongkorn Medical Faculty and Dr Wittaya Wampen. We consider it important that we raise the profile of the conversation around mental health, emotional and physical child development. We are all part of a child care community, and all have a role in the process. Our educators Mr Nick Loudon and Ms Jade Sharman also shared practical strategies that we can use at home and in the classroom.”
Owing to this event's success, there are plans for more lectures from visiting experts on a range of topics. In addition, Shrewsbury Outreach is organising a collection of student presentations, Darwin Discussions, Q & A’s, and Darwin Debates - A plethora of academic enrichment activities led by students, faculty members and curriculum leaders across the Senior School.