Understanding the link between data and wellbeing

Understanding the link between data and wellbeing

At International Schools Partnership schools, our students and their progress are central to all we do. We encourage our employees to continue to adapt their teaching and learning practises, as well as take part in CPD opportunities.

Key staff from ISP schools in the Middle East recently took part in an inspirational workshop with Matthew Savage. The internationally acclaimed education consultant is most known for #themonalisaeffect®, which supports teachers in using standardised, student-level data to both see and know their students, so they can further support the developments of student aptitude, achievement and attitudes.

“It was a pleasure to work with the team at ISP. I love sharing with schools my ideas and insights on data and assessment, as we work together to seek better outcomes for the children and young people in our care, and this was no exception,” said Matthew. “Every piece of data we can gather is like a jigsaw piece in the puzzle of each child, and if we are to know and see them for who they are, we have to complete that picture!”

A total of over 150 staff spent a collective 25 hours learning first-hand how they can use each child’s data story as an important tool to inform their teaching and learning, as well as how it can benefit student well-being. He reminded them that as teachers in international schools, they are teaching a dynamic group of young people, many of whom are third culture children. Matthew also said: “Children and young people are already complicated – messy and contradictory bundles of synapses and hormones – which is why I have always loved working with and learning from them. But Third Culture Kids (TCKs), without the roots that ground their peers, can wear masks even thicker and more convincing in order to ‘fit in’. Often, therefore, their data story is especially important.”

He also reminded teachers of the important role they play in helping to shape the lives and futures of the young people they are teaching. By better understanding the three areas of data – aptitude and abilities; achievement and progress; and attitudes and wellbeing – as well as the external influences on students, teachers can have a positive impact on both student wellbeing and student outcomes.

“Matthew Savage is considered one of the leading educationalists of our time. His work on ensuring children “belong” within their own education journey is fundamental to them meeting and exceeding their potential.  With the negative effects of the current pandemic on both children’s education and wellbeing there has never been a more important time for schools to keep understanding our students central to our work,” said Abigail Fishbourne, School Improvement Partner, ISP.

At ISP schools, wellbeing is not an add on, it is a fundamental part of the commitment we make to meeting the needs of all of our students.  Following the workshops, our schools are revisiting their pastoral and academic data stories and looking to enhance their provision for all our pupils.

As Matthew would say, we need to really see and know our children to be in the best position to support them belonging within our schools. It is only once they truly belong, we can support them to maximise their potential.

ISP staff welcomed the information Matthew shared and said:

“My biggest takeaway from today’s training is placing the wellbeing of children at the centre of what we do, should drive the decisions we make. Using a variety of data sources is essential and, it is our responsibility to understand that data should be seen as a flag, not a fact and start important conversations.”  – Ms. Althea Edmondson, Head of Elementary School at Nibras International School.

“Being old school, using data is not my strong point, but ensuring every child loves coming to school and is safe, happy and learning is. For the first time in my 24 years of being a Headteacher, I can now see how these two really can be aligned!” –  Wayne Howson, Principal, The Aquila School

Matthew Savage loves data almost as much as he is passionate about wellbeing and committed to #deij; and he loves working with schools across the world to join these dots. Architect of #themonalisaeffect®, and host of The Data Conversation podcast, Matthew has worked with thousands of educators across hundreds of schools in more than 60 countries, helping them to ensure every single child be known, be seen and belong. Formerly Principal of an outstanding international school in the Middle East, Matthew now lives on the Isle of Skye in Scotland with his wonderful wife and atypical dog.