The Meaning Of Well-being

What is your school doing to enhance your child’s well-being? We take a closer look at the initiatives undertaken by The Millennium School, Dubai

The well-being of students and staff is hugely important at The Millennium School, Dubai (TMS) – so much so that it’s written into the school motto; ‘we choose to care’. Following the Well-being Census by Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), TMS has made a conscious effort to strengthen its well-being journey for all involved.

Over the past two years, the school introduced ‘morning mindfulness’ – two minutes of meditation to give students and staff time to connect with their inner selves. The initiative has been a tremendous success, reflected in a recent survey conducted by TMS student leaders, which revealed that 73 per cent of students strongly agree that the initiative should continue, as they find it helps to calm them as well as boost their concentration and focus.

Last year, the school rolled out a similar initiative for middle school students; ‘happiness hour’ permits children to play board games on campus. Students shared their experiences with other schools and within TMS itself, resulting in seniors also requesting a ‘happiness hour’ every month.

To further promote students’ well-being, the Counselling and Learning Support Department also held several workshops exploring various topics such as anxiety and stress management, the importance of sleep and nutrition, and the ill effects of substance abuse.

Student Initiatives

TMS student leaders have played a particularly active role in promoting well-being, kicking off with a workshop with ‘well-being champions’ made up of one student from every grade. These workshops explored how well-being could be further enhanced at their school. Based on their findings, as well as their analysis of the Dubai Well-being Census 2018, the students put together an action plan that they shared with the management board. Student leaders also conducted several talks on the topic of bullying and how it can be prevented at TMS, which adopts a zero-tolerance approach to bullying.

In addition, the school hosted a ‘values matter’ workshop with the aim of helping both students and parents to improve their communication channels. This was extremely well received and the findings have been shared with the wider school community.

In terms of staff well-being, the school formed a 10-member committee with representation from all faculty departments. Named ‘Joy Radiators’, the committee has, in the past year, organised popcorn and movie mornings, Zumba sessions, Eid celebrations and a well-being day for staff. Further plans include organising a workshop on growth mindset and stress management for staff members, as well as weekly mindfulness and yoga sessions for the entire school community.

Happy teachers create a happy school where great learning occurs and, for us, the well-being of our community is extremely important. We have undertaken numerous initiatives to enhance the well-being of our students and staff members. Recently, even our parents have taken this forward by organising mindfulness sessions for the school community on Thursday mornings. We found that concentration and behaviour improved thanks to our well-being initiatives, and staff morale is high.

Ambika Gulati, Principal of TMS, Commenting on the success of the school’s well-being push.