Ms. Emma Barnes
Elementary Counsellor, Suzhou Singapore International School

Emma Barnes’ experience spans the fields of public health, education and psychotherapy. She constantly redefines her practice, based on the needs of students, staff and families. Currently the Elementary Counsellor at SSIS, Emma views international school counselling as a community-based, multidisciplinary service, supporting families to co-deliver the services. Emma has been involved in a number of resettlement programmers, working closely with refugees, displaced children and expat families. Emma has a B.Ed. and gained EYP status at the University of Norwich where she lectured in Early Years Education and Mental Health. She has an Advanced Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and qualifications in Supervision and Special Education.


Acknowledging Transitions for Children in Early Years – Prevention is the Best Medicine When Supporting the Wellbeing of Staff and their Families

Transitions are challenging, even when change is welcome. Leaders must recognize each new year is a transition for everyone and acknowledge the impact it has not only for staff directly, but indirectly through their young children. Friendships and support circles shift, connections to the community change, and respected colleagues are replaced by those untried. Every group has unique transition needs, and children in Early Years are may struggle to express themselves. We owe it to our staff to embed wellbeing into our orientation and induction programs. By taking a constructivist and humanistic approach, considering the wide range of roles our staff members play, and supporting their wellbeing through a differentiated program, we can meet their needs.

This session explores key topics related to supporting transitions in international school communities:

  1. A preventative approach to transition and change – what the research tells us
  2. Wellbeing of Staff as Colleagues
  3. Wellbeing of Staff as Humans

A positive start to the year sets the stage for a strong year. Participants will explore application of the Maslov pyramid of needs and a holistic, humanistic approach to support incoming and returning staff and their families. We will unpack the stages of change and transition, concluding with an action plan to review and refine existing induction and orientation programs. Practical take-ways will include sample activities and resources to support review of existing induction and orientation programs.

* This Workshop will be co-hosted by Ms. Renee Rehfeldt & Ms. Emma Barnes

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