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A holistic approach to school wellness online

Long before Haileybury Pangea launched its first virtual class in January 2023, a great deal of thought and debate had gone in to how to best promote student wellbeing in an online setting.

NEWS 3 Nov 2023

Fast forward to the latter part of the year and student wellbeing is alive and thriving in Haileybury Pangea and a series of initiatives have helped unite and connect students – no matter where they are geographically located.

A key part of the success in building connection and a Haileybury Pangea community has been encouraging each student to find their voice and make their own contribution to the online school. Students also have access to a range of tools and supports to further build confidence and resilience so they can venture beyond their comfort zone.

“We talk a lot about balance at Haileybury Pangea – ensuring a mix of academic, social and physical activities throughout the week is important, particularly when working in an online environment,” says Joanna Baker, Head of Campus Haileybury Pangea.

“We provide pastoral support through our tutorial program and we also run specially-designed units focused on wellbeing skills. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach – we support students to be proactive in managing their own wellbeing and seeking guidance when needed”
Joanna Baker, Head of Campus Haileybury Pangea

Haileybury Pangea’s flexibility and fluidity mean students develop self-regulation and self-motivational skills. They make decisions about their learning and wellbeing every day, learning what does and doesn’t work for them in terms of managing their time and energy.

Geoff Orton, Digital Learning Leader Haileybury Pangea, highlights a number of opportunities and events that nurture student wellbeing and connection, such as a 24-Hour Challenge where students pledged to go without something they value for 24 hours. Students chose a wide range of items to sacrifice including social media, coffee and Netflix!

Special assemblies, Science Week and Languages Week have also been ways to connect.

“We’ve recently added ‘Student Chat’ and ‘Questions and Support’ to each of the class teams and in 2024, we will have our first Haileybury Pangea School Leaders,” says Geoff.

“The Tech Team recently met our students, too, and they are sharing a ‘package’ every two weeks where they share tips and a meme of the week. Students are encouraged to ask them questions and share a meme, too.”

A recent ‘package’ included important dates for student diaries, a tech tip of the week, and tips on how to take semi-professional headshots at home.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve included much more student voice into our orientation programs, too, and we now have students explaining a day in the life of Haileybury Pangea and sharing their hints and tips on how to get started”
Geoff Orton, Digital Learning Leader Haileybury Pangea

For Joanna, one of the most important signs of a strong culture of wellbeing is the quality of the interactions between students. She says it’s been delightful to see students connecting with each other and forming friendships that extend beyond the classroom.

“Whether in an online chat or a weekend meet-up, we’ve seen students take the initiative to forge these connections and support each other throughout the year,” she says.

“We are also seeing students step up – some of our Year 10 students volunteer for mentoring and leadership roles supporting younger students in the school and that kind of student-driven culture is exciting to see.”