Our very own Deputy Head of Secondary (Students), Mrs Michelle McKersey, is off to the International Coalition of Girls' Schools conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in June, where she will present on the topic of wellbeing in schools.

Who is the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools, what do they do, and what does MBC get out of being a part of it? 

The International Coalition of Girls’ Schools is the leading advocate for girls’ schools, connecting and collaborating globally with individuals, schools, and mission-aligned entities dedicated to educating and empowering girls. MBC gains a great deal in terms of knowledge and opportunities as a member school of the ICGS including access to the latest research on girls’ education, opportunities for students to attend a leadership conference, professional development and networking opportunities and the opportunity to attend and present at an international conference in Baltimore!

How did the opportunity to attend the conference and present on wellbeing come about? 

I became aware of the conference in Baltimore via communication from the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools which invited member schools to submit a proposal to present. Given the current global interest in adolescent mental health, I felt that the work we continue to do in the student wellbeing space would spark interest from the conference organisers and submitted a proposal.

Why is wellbeing so important to Moreton Bay College, and what does it look like at MBC? Wellbeing is important at MBC because

we know that for young people to achieve personal bests academically, and in their other pursuits, they need to have a positive sense of wellbeing. In other words, they need to be feeling good and functioning well. We have adopted a wellbeing for learning approach which is underpinned by our evidence-based wellbeing framework, Hearts and Minds. This approach recognises that optimising educational outcomes for the learner requires action at the individual, collective and school-system level. At MBC, the learner, educator, parents and College all have roles and responsibilities to Connect, Be Active, Take Notice and Give. These actions foster respectful relationships and an inclusive, supportive learning environment in which our students can flourish. In this way wellbeing is something that situs within, between and among us.

What do you think you’ll take away from the experience, and what are you most excited about? 

So many things! The chance to hear from international experts in girls’ education and to learn what other schools around the world are doing to optimise girls’ wellbeing for learning. Connecting with those experts and other school leaders at the conference will extend MBC’s professional network and open up further opportunities to keep growing our wellbeing strategy. I am most excited about sharing MBC’s story of our research partnership with the University of Adelaide and the recent development of our Student Wellbeing Strategy!

What will you focus on in your presentation? 

The title of my presentation is Wellbeing for Learning: Designing an Evidence-informed Strategy for Students. I plan to talk about MBC’s partnerships with the University of Adelaide and Sue Chandler from Transformative Schools. I will be focusing on why and how a school establishes a partnership with wellbeing experts, the processes of implementing wellbeing measurement through a school-university partnership and the use of data to co-design a student wellbeing strategy.

The 2024 ICGS Conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, USA from 24 June to 26 June, 2024.