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Ball games, dancing? ISB parent meetings not from the playbook

By Nick Yates, ISB Communications

Ball games and dancing may not spring to mind when thinking of the average parent-teacher meeting, but that’s what families got at the International School of Beijing (ISB) recently.

ISB’s latest round of coffee mornings with the Head of School and the Elementary, Middle, and High School principals has just concluded. These events had a strong focus on social-emotional learning – ensuring students are healthy in body and mind alongside striving for academic achievement. These pictures from the coffee morning for Elementary School (ES) parents show guests engaging in some fun replicating the healthy learning activities of their children.

ISB’s Social and Emotional Curriculum was officially launched for the current 2021-2022 academic year. It targets the development of…

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social and Cultural Competency
  • Nurturing Relationships
  • and Purposeful Action.

The curriculum is primarily implemented through mentoring and homeroom classes, but students also get opportunities to practice social and emotional learning in all disciplines.



At the start of the ES Coffee, parents were asked to “dance-mix-share.” They danced and circulated around the room as they greeted each other, in an exercise designed to build community, set a positive tone, and encourage interaction.

They also formed into smaller groups for a ball game like those commonly enjoyed by ES students in morning meetings. Class cohesion is built through active participation in such activities.

During a wide-ranging presentation on how ISB’s youngest students experience school, ES Principal Clarissa Sayson explained that social-emotional learning is a process involving children and adults applying the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to…

  • make responsible decisions
  • understand and manage emotions
  • set and achieve positive goals
  • feel and show empathy for others
  • and establish and maintain positive relationships.

Guests at the Middle School and High School coffee mornings heard how the Social and Emotional Curriculum is applied all the way up to Grade 12. ISB community members can review the presentations from these events here – and they should be prepared for more fun and games next time they come to campus to discover their children’s challenging and joyful learning for themselves.

ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.

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Community Co-curriculars