Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined as:
- protecting children from maltreatment
- preventing impairment of children’s health or development
- ensuring children are growing up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care.
Child protection is a part of safeguarding and promoting welfare. It refers to the activity that is undertaken to protect specific children who are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm. Effective child protection is essential as part of wider work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. However, all agencies and individuals should aim to proactively safeguard and promote the welfare of children so that the need for action to protect children from harm is reduced.Schools play an essential role in protecting children from abuse. They have regular contact with children and young people so are in a strong position to identify signs of abuse and neglect. International schools have a moral as well as legal duty to safeguard the welfare of our students, as well as those children using our facilities or involved with our programs and activities.
We safeguard children at MIS by:
- creating safe environments for children and young people through robust safeguarding practices
- ensuring that adults who work in the school, including volunteers, don’t pose a risk to children
- making sure staff are trained, know how to respond to concerns and keep-up-to-date with policy and practice
- teaching children and young people about staying safe
- maintaining an environment where children feel confident to approach any member of staff if they have a worry or problem.
Secondary Social Studies Teacher
Designated Safeguarding Lead
I have been part of the Myanmar International School team since 2016 and have recently taken up the role as one of our school’s Designated Safeguarding Leads. Throughout my teaching career I have held a particular interest and importance in safeguarding and wellbeing for staff, students, and their families. Therefore, I have sought out this responsibility at MIS in order to help out our wider school community. To do this, I am continually developing my professional abilities by taking relevant courses, including child protection refreshers, ALLY training, and the prevent duty. It is my goal as a DSL to ensure that those in our school community receive proactive support, training and care.
Safeguarding for MIS encourages the involvement of the entire community to provide a safe and positive place for our students, staff and stakeholders. With this in mind, I’d like to encourage you to contact me if you have any concerns, questions or suggestions regarding any issues relating to safeguarding. You can do so by emailing email@example.com.
At MIS, we are continually maintaining, updating, and using Key Safeguarding Policies. Note that these are subject to changes and updates throughout the school year. You can review these here.
At MIS, we use Key Safeguarding Forms to ensure that referrals made are effective and timely dealt with. Staff members, students, and even parents and guardians are welcome to fill in these forms if they notice a safeguarding issue.
If required, please fill these forms in and return to one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads either in physical, handwritten copy or emailed using firstname.lastname@example.org
Note that these are subject to changes and updates throughout the school year.
A large body of international research suggests that there are 5 key steps to take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these out could help you to feel more positive about your life and situation.
Relationships are an essential part of your mental wellbeing. They help us to share our feelings, support and understand each other,
- Keep in touch with people you love that live far away by setting up a regular phone call / video call.
- Try turning off the tv and spending some time playing a game or building something together.
- Have lunch with someone at work.
- Consider helping your community by volunteering.
- Arrange to meet some friends that you haven’t seen for a while.
- Talk with someone new.
Try to avoid:
- Spending too much time on social media.
- Don’t be over reliant on email, texting or messages to keep in touch with people. Value face-to-face communication.
2. Be Active
Physical exercise is not just important for physical health, it has also been associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety in all age groups. This doesn’t have to mean spending hours in the gym, just try to do more active hobbies that you enjoy, and make them a part of a routine.
- Go for a daily walk as a family or on your own.
- Try using stairs rather than lifts.
- Use online workouts such as Joe Wicks (there are playlists for children, adults and seniors, so there is something for everyone!).
- Try to avoid unnecessary car journeys.
- Pair up with someone as your exercise partner to keep each other motivated on those tough days.
3. Take notice
Just being aware of the present and savouring the moment can help you to reaffirm your priorities and put things in perspective. It is a simple but effective way of caring for yourself. This can be known as ‘mindfulness’.
- As you go for a walk, try to spot new things and look closely at the world around you.
- Try yoga or tai-chi to develop a better awareness of your breathing.
- Put on some music and enjoy drawing, colouring, cooking or something else relaxing.
- See our ‘useful links’ for mindfulness apps.
- Try to really notice things around you: It could be the texture or the taste of your food, the feel of the sun on your face or the trees blowing in the wind. These simple things help us to remain in the present moment.
Try to avoid:
- Focussing on the past and the future. These things make you feel powerless as you have no direct control over them.
Continual learning, no matter our age, helps us to enhance our self-esteem and keeps us connected with our world. The process of learning also encourages good wellbeing skills, such as goal setting, reflection and resilience.
- Try learning or practicing a language.
- Cook a new dish or learn a new cooking technique.
- Work on a DIY (Do It Yourself) project: fix a bike, build a new piece of furniture or fix that broken thing in your house.
- Consider signing up for a course locally or taking an online course to learn something new.
- Try that skill you have always wanted to learn, such as playing an instrument or learning to paint/draw.
Try to avoid:
- Creating more stress for yourself by undertaking exams or taking a timed course if you find these stressful. Try to make learning an enjoyable experience.
Those people who take more interest in others and their wellbeing, also tend to be happier with themselves. Just one act of kindness each week for six weeks has been shown to increase inner wellbeing.
- Take the time to tell someone that you appreciate them, or that you think they are good at something.
- Spend time with someone who needs support or company.
- Offer someone help with a project or job they need to do.
- Volunteer locally to help your community.
- Help a stranger you see struggling with heavy bags or doing something.
- Create a list of activities you could do for each other as a family and challenge each other to do one thing from the list every day.
Section 1: “I don’t know what’s up but I don’t feel right”
“I need someone to talk to, but don’t know what to say”
“I am struggling to feel motivated or do day to day tasks, but don’t know why”
Sometimes we feel sad and we don’t know why. Sometimes we worry a lot and we don’t know why. Sometimes we feel certain ways for no reason we can think of, but it’s important to know that this is normal and everybody at some point in their lives feels this way. It is normal to feel this way at some point in our lives. Growing up is difficult, with exam stresses, changes in our lives and our bodies, and learning to work and live with our friends and families.
Please never be afraid to ask someone for help.
Section 2: “I am worried about someone”
“They haven’t been themselves recently”
“I think it would help if they spoke to someone”
If you are a parent worried about your child, a student worried about a friend, or if you are worried about one of your colleagues, it can be difficult sometimes to know what to do. There are people at MIS that can help you.
We have recently taken some steps to ensure that wellbeing is an explicit part of our students curriculum at all levels. One key change is the introduction of ‘Global Perspectives’ to the Primary School. You can find out more about the subject at; https://www.cambridgeinternational.org/programmes-and-qualifications/cambridge-global-perspectives/
Below you can see the topics that year groups cover across the school.
Below is a trusted list of apps and websites for a range of mental wellbeing purposes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for specific support, we would be happy to help you find targeted links.
BASE – Helps children struggling with depression and anxiety track their emotions and pinpoint the times when emotions feel at their highest.
Breathe, Think, Do Sesame – intended for parents and caregivers to use with their young children (ages 2-5) to help teach skills such as problem-solving, self-control, planning, and task persistence.
Breathing Bubbles – Breathing Bubbles is an app that helps kids practice releasing worries and focusing on good feelings by allowing kids to select the emotion they are feeling and how strongly they are feeling it. Kids can choose to handle their emotion by releasing a worry or receiving a joy as Manny the Manatee walks them through deep breathing and visualization.
Calm – Calm is the perfect meditation app for beginners, but also includes hundreds of programs for intermediate and advanced users. Guided meditation sessions are available in lengths of 3, 5, 10, 15, 20 or 25 minutes so you can choose the perfect length to fit with your schedule.
Calm Harm – Provides tasks that help you resist or manage the urge to self harm
DreamyKid – This app offers meditation, guided visualization and affirmations curated just for children & teens. It uses proven techniques that teach your kids methods to guide them towards a happier life through mindfulness.
MindShift – Helps teens and young people cope with anxiety by teaching them how to relax, develop more helpful ways of thinking, and identify active steps to help take charge of anxiety.
Positive Penguins – Aimed at 8-12 year olds, this app helps children understand their feelings and challenge negative thinking.
A self-help app which includes a personal toolbox, negative thought buster, colouring exercise and information.
Smiling Mind – Smiling Mind is designed to help people pressure, stress, and challenges of daily life. This app has a fantastic section on Mindfulness in the Classroom and is suited for kids ages 7-18.
Stop, Breathe & Think – The preteen phase can be very stressful, with a potential teen transition, peer pressure, school routines and schedules playing havoc with your child’s mind. This award-winning meditation and mindfulness app can act as your child’s mental well-being coach. The app allows your child to first assess how he is feeling. Then, it lets him choose appropriate meditation techniques and widens his thinking to make peace.
Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) is a renowned non-profit media organisation, devoted to speaking and conveying ideas in 18 minutes or less. TED showcases motivational speakers from different walks of life. The talks are motivating, interesting and have no age criteria. The TED app has over 2,000 TED talks to explore from. It is an ideal app to soothe and pep up a fragile teenage mind.
Youper (for social anxiety) – aims to help people understand their social anxiety and control it
Anxiety UK – Helps those suffering with anxiety disorders.
No Panic – Helps people who suffer from panic attacks, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders and other anxiety related disorders.
OCD Action – Information and support for Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and related disorders.
CBT Online – CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) self-help site
Students Against Depression – Offers information and resources as well as tips and advice from students who have experienced it all themselves.
Youthhealthtalk! – Video interviews of young people-s real life experiences of health and lifestyle. There is a section on young people talking about depression and eating disorders.
B-eat – Eating disorder charity. Has online support groups and a helpline for anyone under 18.
COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has affected all of our lives in many ways, and taking care of ourselves at this time can be more challenging than usual. The changes can affect our feelings, leaving us feeling anxious or worried. To keep yourself well in these times, here are some useful tips. You can also feel free to contact us at any time.
- Look after other people:
- Helping others makes both you and them feel better.
- Try to reach out to people that you think might need some company.
- Look after your body:
- Establish an exercise routine at home
- Eat healthy food
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid too many sugary foods and takeaways.
- Look after your mind:
- Use our wellbeing pages to find links and apps that will help you
- Reach out to loved ones or to the MIS team if you need to talk.
- Plan time to relax and ‘switch off’
- Create a routine:
- Make a plan for your day and stick to it.
- Plan to get time to relax and to sleep.
- Don’t drink too much coffee or tea.
- Avoid screens in the evening to help you sleep better.
- Do things you enjoy.
- Separate work and fun time at home.
- You could play board games, puzzles, drawing or playing music.
- Yoga and breathing exercises can help you to relax.
- Enjoy nature.
- If you can, go outside and exercise once a day, but remember to wear a mask and stay 3 steps away from other people. If you have a garden or balcony, consider looking after some plants and enjoying the beauty and peacefulness of nature.
Consider life during and after COVID by planning for different scenarios. This link has a range of activities that you can do as a family in ten minutes, covering a range of COVID-related topics.