UN sustainable goals
For starters, we have implemented the 17 UN sustainable goals within our curriculum. At the beginning of every school year, every class chooses one UN sustainable goal that they will be working on throughout the school year. What we mean by working on, is the class as a whole with the help of their teachers of course, does research projects about the chosen goal, learn in detail what this is goal is truly about, create solutions how we as a community can help in achieving this goal and so on. At the end of the school year, the class sums up what they have learned and the pupils are ready to go into the new school year and learn about another goal. Other than this way of introducing our pupils to the UN sustainable goals, we have Assembly time. This takes place every Monday morning and it is an opportunity where the whole school comes together. Throughout the school year, we have distributed the 17 UN sustainable goals. Teachers and with the help of pupils organizes presentations which correlate the goals with various special days throughout the year. For example, we connected the first UN sustainable goal- No poverty, with World Food Day. In this way, and until the end of the school year all children will have gotten the chance to hear about all the UN sustainable goals.
Another enrichment that we have at Bright Horizons are our Erasmus + projects. We are a multicultural community and what better way to meet and learn about other cultures then through these projects. In previous years we have even taken part in student exchange programs where our pupils got the chance to go to Cyprus! We find Erasmus+ projects very beneficial because not only do the pupils get to learn about new cultures, the Erasmus+ project topics are always very relevant to school life. Some are based on technology, eco-life, social skills and so on. Through these projects we get the chance to learn new skill sets, get to hear various experiences from other pupils around the world and our pupils get the chance once again to develop and widen their skills sets.
Having a lesson outside of the class? Sounds great! Learning is something that should be fun and going for field trips are always fun. Taking into consideration that field trips are great ways for pupils to learn something out of the classroom, we love to give them this option and give them an adventure. Our field trips are always planned ahead of time and even though sometimes dates are changed due to various reasons, we have learned that children truly enjoy to visit museums, go to the theatres, have guest speakers at school and spend the day learning in a different way. It is a great way to correlate everything that they are learning inside the class, with something outside of class. We try to always organise field trips that are connected to what the children are learning throughout the year. For example, if children are learning about various animals and habitats, a field trip to the zoo would be a perfect fit. Or, if they are learning about life under water, a trip to the aquarium would be very beneficial. Exposing children to these kinds of opportunities is also a way for the children to expand their knowledge of a certain topic, seeing something in a book and seeing something in person can truly make a difference.
Our pupils of the 21st century live a very different life from those of generations before. Times are changing, as are their needs. It is the school’s obligation to provide the children with the needed support and guidance that the pupils might need in these times. This is why we have added the Mindfulness program to our curriculum. From the beginning days of the primary education, a child goes through many stressful situations. First day of school, making their first friend, forgetting to do your homework, not doing your best on a test, all these scenarios are stressful. This is where Mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is a program that we have implemented in all our age groups, starting from or youngest pupils in Year 1 and all the way to our oldest pupils in Year 8. Through various workshops and seminars, our pupils learn new and innovative techniques as how to deal with current situations and challenges in their lives. For example, our pupils in Year 1 learn about Kindness, what it is a friend, how to communicate nicely and so on. While our older pupils learn about stress control, breathing activities, how to handle emotions and other relevant topics. Another great thing about Mindfulness is that it is flexible. It truly caters to the needs of pupils. Most schools know that during the months of May and June the pupils in Year 8 are preparing themselves for enrolments into their chosen high schools, in return this process might be stressful for some. With the help of Mindfulness, we get to help our pupils and show them the various techniques they can use to handle and lower their stress levels.
One of the primary goals of Mindfulness is to help our pupils learn to live in the current moment, to feel their current emotions, to see all the various details that surround them and to be able to express themselves freely. We nurture these values and for that reason we see a great success amongst our pupils with the Mindfulness program.