ISB’s homeroom program is integral in supporting the holistic development of its Upper School students. It is one of the central pillars of our educational program, complementing our academic, service, expedition, and activities learning curricula. The program is built upon the collective experiences and expertise of the homeroom teachers, counsellors, and medical personnel, and is tailored to meet the needs of ISB students. To ensure that it resonates deeply and remains relevant, student voices are also an integral component of the design process.
The homeroom program recognizes the major changes that take place within the academic and social milieu during these Upper School years. The program’s main premise is to imbue all students with an understanding of the physiological, cognitive, social, and emotional evolutions that are occurring and more importantly, the courses of action available to them to ensure positive outcomes. These teenage years see the first critical steps taken in establishing an independent personal identity and it is important for students to understand the various influences that inevitably shape attitudes, behaviors, and actions. Understanding the purpose of these influences and the potential benefits or detrimental outcomes afford students the necessary knowledge to make decisions that are in their best medium and long-term interests.
Although the homeroom program is aimed at supporting emotional, political, social, cultural, and academic growth, its central curriculum emphasis is affective and primarily aimed at complementing the learning that is taking place within and beyond the classrooms. The program engages students to:
- understand and appreciate diversity;
- be inquisitive, reflective, and open-minded;
- embrace opportunities and challenges to ensure personal growth;
- enhance resilience and self management skills;
- ecognize the value of discipline and commitment;
- be compassionate, ethical, and change makers;
- grasp the importance of balance and well-being;
- support the notion of community and build healthy and trusting relationships;
- develop self confidence and appreciate the worth of optimism.
Students will also be guided through areas such as: time management, academic honesty, authentic learning, and exam preparation. Additionally, the homeroom program also has a discussion component, which allows students to explore a range of important issues to ensure that they are better informed about the complexity of the world around them. Topics include: the refugee crises, illegal organ trafficking, the future of education and schools, the influence of the media (including social media), world poverty and climate change to name but a few.
Needless to say, the homeroom program is designed to support students as they traverse through these significant and at times challenging Upper School years to ensure that when they leave ISB they are fully prepared to contribute positively to society.