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Leading British international school, Rugby School Thailand (RST), has been awarded the Community Wellbeing initiative of the year at the ISA Awards this week. These renowned international school awards are hosted by ISC Research, with a panel of expert industry judges who review hundreds of initiatives from schools across the globe.

RST’s ‘Community Wellbeing’ award was for the School’s ‘Big Talk’ ‘Small Talk’ initiative. “It’s an honour to win this, especially given the calibre of the other shortlisted initiatives,” said Bud Rowe, RST’s Wellbeing Officer, who collected the award on behalf of the School.

ISC Research commended the ‘Big Talk’ ‘Small Talk’ for its success in maintaining supportive links with the parents of RST’s youngest students during remote schooling. During that time, the School had become aware that Pre-Prep parents needed additional support, however, simply offering an ‘open door’ to converse at any time wasn’t gaining traction. Instead, Hannah O’Brien, Deputy Head Pastoral for Pre-Prep, and Sarah Shuttleworth, Head of Pre-Prep, developed a specific online parent hub; a safe space at a dedicated time each week, where parents could connect with the School. ‘Big Talk’ was designed to offer space to share larger issues, such as family issues, learning challenges and welfare; ‘Small Talk’ offered space for parents to connect with the School community and chat about smaller everyday experiences, or just say “hello”. 

Through this online hub, the Pre-Prep staff were able to listen to parents, find solutions together, and ultimately engender positive change through a collaborative process. Reducing disruption during this challenging time enabled staff to keep stress and anxiety for children and parents to a minimum, helping to protect the wellbeing of the community.

“To see our wellbeing efforts being extended to parents at such a challenging time was indicative of the pro-active and passionate staff we have here. I’m very proud of everyone involved in this award-winning initiative” said Bruce Grindlay, Principal of Rugby School Thailand.

This global award recognises Rugby School Thailand’s growing international reputation and reach, and follows from the School’s 2021 success in the ‘Digital Technology in Learning’ category.