3 schools putting student wellbeing first

Imagine a place where education isn’t just about books and grades but a journey of personal growth and thriving success. This is precisely what schools dedicated to fostering a holistic educational environment offer—a choice that can truly transform your child’s life. These schools prioritise not only academic excellence but also the well-being and future success of their students. 

Studies have shown that students in holistic schools develop better analytical skills, physical health, lingual & linguistic skills, and social-emotional skills. 

Choosing a school dedicated to holistic education means providing your child with an enriching experience where personal growth, academic achievement, and a supportive community go hand in hand. 

Hills International College is taking a unique approach to student wellbeing by introducing trained therapy dogs onto the school campus. Source: Hills International College

Hills International College

As you step into Hills International College, you’ll find more than just an educational institution; you’ll discover a vibrant community in a safe and serene corner of Jimboomba, Queensland. The College offers a comprehensive education from Prep to Year 12, defined by its unique offerings in an environment where language, culture and activities are shared.  

Its Volleyball programme, for example, takes place on a new multi-purpose court, supported by weekly training to improve specialised skills, game fitness, coordination and knowledge. Its Secondary School’s broad range of elective subjects spans from Digital Technology and Design Technology to Japanese and Music — complemented by various school-based apprenticeships, traineeships, and vocational education training options.  

Whether it’s academic, athletic or artistic, all pursuits here put student wellbeing first. Hills is a place to belong. An experienced Head of Wellbeing coordinates a team of dedicated pastoral care and support staff. As it’s a small school, these experts and teachers can give more personalised attention to each and every student. 

One of the newest and most heartwarming additions to the College’s wellbeing programme is its team of trained therapy dogs: May, Rosie and Skye. Having completed rigorous training programmes alongside certified staff handlers, these furry companions have seamlessly woven themselves into the Hills community. They are not just pets; they are essential companions, enhancing the daily wellbeing of students and staff alike. Their comforting presence is a living testament to the College’s commitment to fostering a holistic educational environment that prioritises the mental and emotional health of all school members. 

Want to know more? Visit the school’s website or book a tour today.  

UWC, USA supports students to develop as individuals and prepares them for university and beyond. Source: United World College, USA

United World College, USA 

Few schools offer an education that unites people, nations and cultures the way UWC-USA does. Here, over 200 students from more than 90 countries live, study and adventure together in a change-making community that aims to make a difference in the world. 

“I’m proud that for many years that we have recruited refugee scholars and have been successful in supporting them to become advocates for peace and to become leaders in their own communities,” says Her Majesty Queen Noor of Jordan, President of UWC. 

Such impact is thanks to the school’s Constructive Engagement of Conflict programme, designed to give students the tools to work across cultures, languages, and ethnicities to build teams and partnerships desperately needed to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Each year, students contribute over 17,000 volunteer hours to community service, pushing them to build peacemaking skills, conflict resolution, goal-setting and collaboration. 

Located on the edge of the Pecos Wilderness, UWC-USA provides the ideal setting for students to learn how to lead in the outdoors and build a strong sense of stewardship for the natural world through the Wilderness Programme. They also learn sustainable agriculture and contribute to the community, as seen in their activities, clubs and service opportunities. 

Pair the school’s values-based social engagement with rigorous IB academics, and students here emerge with a stronger sense of self and all they need to lead a meaningful life. Their IB credentials are not only accepted at more than 600 universities and colleges in nearly 50 countries; every year, many impress admissions officers at Ivy League and other highly selective universities with their intellectual curiosity, solid academic fundamentals, and capacity for living in a diverse environment too. 

Graduate Andrea Parry can confirm this: “This is the education I have been seeking my entire life. The open-mindedness to diverse perspectives, critical thinking, and personal challenges are perhaps the key qualities underlying the mission of the UWC movement.” Click here to learn more about how students at UWC-USA are working to become agents for change. 

Learning at BISP cultivates the social, emotional, physical and cognitive dimensions of students. Source: British International School, Phuket

British International School, Phuket

The British International School, Phuket is an English-medium, co-educational, day and boarding school in Phuket, Thailand. Everything BIS Phuket does is designed to make learning enjoyable and to give every child the opportunity to develop a sense of confidence in themselves. The school delivers high standards of teaching and learning to an international community.  

Here, faculty members teach an extensive and stimulating curriculum covering a wide range of subjects and skills. With a model for holistic learning aimed to develop the whole child, students are instilled with a lifelong love of learning through active engagement from early years to primary and secondary school.  

BIS Phuket students pursue a rigorous and challenging course of academic study that prepares them for success in the most competitive colleges and universities in Asia and beyond. Their solid preparation can be seen in their impressive results — in 2022, 96% of its IB Diploma candidates passed, beating the global average of 86%. Classes of 2018 to 2022 can be found at the likes of Monash University, King’s College London, University of Toronto, and National University Singapore. 

While they’re thriving in their next steps, many graduates often say they miss their school and campus loads. BISP’s facilities are enviable, with art rooms, science labs, workshops, a sports hall, a gym and so forth — all set on a 44-acre campus. Their awards are just as admirable: golds in the British Physics Olympiad 2021-22 and international representations for golf and swimming, among many others. 

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International