Oasis International School - Kuala Lumpur prioritises student's social and emotional intelligence throughout their programs.
The social and emotional intelligence concept is not a foreign concept; nevertheless, it is one of the most critical factors for any leader. However, apart from the physical health implications, the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed mental, emotional and social challenges. A research study focusing on students who are in high school and beyond suggested that the Covid-19 pandemic has imposed a tremendous emotional burden on students at all academic levels and threatened the state of their mental health.
Therefore, social and emotional intelligence is vital. This applies to life in school as well as life after school. A student needs to maneuver their well-being later in life when they are in universities and later employed. Therefore, the younger the child, the more time to develop skills to recognise, communicate, and cope early on. Oasis International School, Kuala Lumpur (OIS) adopts a framework that works progressively catering to ages 4-18. Lessons at OIS aim to teach a student how to interact and build understanding in a social context.
The inclusive method teaches students to self-regulate, manage and resolve conflicts. The lessons at OIS are designed to promote communication and collaboration. Students learn and exhibit themselves confidently to be successful, thus allowing them to become socially and emotionally intelligent. The term ‘common sense’ can easily be swapped out with social-emotional intelligence. 'Common sense' is being able to understand how things work interpersonally in a real-world context. To contextualize, an example would be a student who excels in academics but cannot read the room or someone who is unable to relate to the outside world.
But on the opposite end of the spectrum, a student with ‘common sense’ may have little academic aptitude yet have the ability to read a room and understand it. With the lesson plans at OIS, the school aims to create an academically balanced student who thrives both academically and socially. As a result, students can apply their learning and relate to the world around them where students learn in a more project centred approach, and this is geared towards learning in a more practical aspect.
OIS is an international school using the U.S. Curriculum. Therefore, age groups are divided into Elementary, Middle and High School. In Elementary, the school adopts cognitive behavioural therapy, called the Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation framework identifies four colours–blue, green, yellow, and red–to help students identify their feelings and level of alertness. The school conducts assemblies for the elementary group known as the Eagle's Nest, which are carried out in the morning and afternoon.
Staff members at OIS are equipped to work with students to explore areas based on their feelings and level of alertness; this is to develop a child's ability to express their emotions. The school offers the Friendology programme, which teaches the students different issues that an elementary school student would face, cultivating emotional awareness by covering character traits such as positive peer relations and coping and identifying with emotions. This practice develops the prevention of bullying and supports students when dealing with anxiety.
For Middle and High School students, they use a small group peer and teacher setting called Hubs. Through Hubs, they’re able to develop peer-to-peer relationships and build student-teacher relationships. The topics covered in Hub include mental wellness, stress management, empathy, and the ability to accept and understand different perspectives. The students gather in small groups and are monitored by the OIS faculty members.
CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning) standards are embedded throughout the curriculum. CASEL aims for students to self-manage and become socially responsible by building self-awareness, relationships, and decision-making. For seniors, a seminar is designated on self-awareness and building positive self-esteem such as coping mechanisms, emotion processing and relaxation skills.
The curriculum is chosen and pursued with the goal of producing the OIS Student Learning Outcomes (SLO). One of the four student learning outcomes at OIS is to appreciate the unique qualities of the diverse world and celebrate shared values. Students are measured through checkpoints to gauge how they are progressing in these outcomes; this helps staff members gauge and intervene appropriately based on student needs. For example, in Upper Elementary, students engage in topics and discussions in order to learn to hear someone else's point of view and express their opinion. Students are assessed not only on presentation skills but also listening skills.
Despite the restrictions of the pandemic, the school continues to virtually operate PE classes and some extracurricular activities. For example, Apologetics is a featured after-school activity that has students review different worldviews, audit their own worldview, and then learn how to not only articulate their personal worldview but also listen to others, whether they disagree or not. These practices enhance student’s critical thinking and communication skills. Additionally, there is CLI Club (Character Leadership and Innovation Club), which is an OIS teacher-led mentoring program for students to set goals related to OIS core values: Character, Leadership, and Innovation. These clubs have a small group approach and have the students working with a mentor. These two examples highlight the opportunities given to students to develop communication skills which will be beneficial when students embark on life after Oasis. Another example for younger students in early elementary school is Legos Free Play. Legos Free Play is an activity that enables students to create and express their imagination in order to build creativity and expressions.
Whenever restrictions ease, OIS looks forward to re-launching their Fine Arts and Sports Program, as these programs build skills like hard work, critical thinking, time management and teamwork. The school uses the FAIL (First Attempt In Learning) approach to encourage students to take risks. OIS believes that if students are allowed to fail without any judgements, it builds resilience. This emphasis is present in sporting activities and classroom projects.
During the pandemic, Oasis International School operates virtually. The school has actively supported parents in nurturing their child's social and emotional intelligence to ensure a students’ well-being is monitored closely. It is essential to note that a child's social and emotional learning could improve with the learning experience. Interested to know more about Oasis International School - Kuala Lumpur? Click here for more information about the school and contact them.