The British School of Bucharest was, for the second time this year, the host of a COBIS Conference

How can teachers and other school staff support children in developing a happy and healthy mindset? What are the blocks and barriers to well-being in schools? What about the children’s fears and emotions? But, most importantly, how should we talk to children?

After a COBIS Conference on the subject of Marketing and Admissions organised at BSB last March, we were proud to host a further COBIS Conference on 9th and 10th November on the topic of ‘Wellbeing in the Digital Age’. Fifty delegates from COBIS schools from countries as far away as Brazil and Ghana came together to share their strategies in facing the complex and difficult issues associated with the ‘digital age’.

Philip Walters, Headmaster of BSB commented “We are honoured to host this Pastoral Conference with such a challenging theme, ‘Wellbeing in the Digital Age’! It brings together amazing teachers, inspired speakers and challenging issues, in order to find out the key through wellbeing, so it creates an interesting plot to debate. In this era of technological development and rapid change in communication, schools need to understand developments and trends whilst also equipping children with the skills necessary to embrace innovation and adapt in the future. The relentless ‘24/7’ nature of social media, the prevalence of technology and the accessibility of extreme material is leading to many children and adolescents struggling to find their place in the world. They are faced with images, ideas and content that their parents and teachers have likely not directly experienced. As educators, we have a responsibility to develop our understanding of these issues in order to provide an effective pastoral system and support networks”.

Speakers included Organised Crime Investigators, Forensic and Criminal Psychologists, Authors, Trainers and Consultants in educational issues and Online Safety, Social Media Awareness and Child Protection specialists. All contributed to make this Pastoral Conference enlightening and valuable. Many educational aspects were considered and debated with great energy and enthusiasm, with the outcome of practical solutions. Above all, care for children and a huge desire to support them in this complex area was very evident.

Many thanks to all of the participants and speakers for joining us in recognising the vital importance of robust pastoral care systems. We look forward to meeting you all again soon!