BSN Shortlisted for International School Award
Announcement Achievements

From 264 applications in 62 countries, The British School in The Netherlands (BSN) is proud to be once again shortlisted for the International School Awards (ISA). Award winners will be announced on 18 January in a virtual awards ceremony. This year’s application centered on the BSN's 'Healthy Minds' initiative and the phenomenal work in student mental health and wellbeing.

BSN Healthy Minds

As a school with a core value of developing the head, hand and heart of every student, and with the increased awareness and understanding of the importance of mental health, the BSN started the ‘Healthy Minds’ initiative in January 2018. Launched at Junior School Leidschenveen (JSL) by Headteacher Karren van Zoest, ‘Healthy Minds’ is currently led by Rhiannon Phillips-Bianco, JSL Year 5 Class Teacher and Wellbeing and Mental Health Curriculum Leader. Aimed at prioritising student wellbeing and mental health within an intercultural student body, the ‘Healthy Minds’ programme is embedded in everyday routines in the classroom.

Karren van Zoest, Headteacher JSL,

The initiative has demonstrated a clear positive impact on student wellbeing. The strong sense of community and belonging at JSL, and the marked happiness of our students is often commented on by new staff members and parents. Teachers have remarked upon students' knowledge and understanding of strategies to help them manage their emotions; and their ability to do so throughout the school.

The 'Healthy Minds' initiative is based on Positive Psychology principles and focuses on increasing emotional intelligence, developing resilience, fostering positive emotions and teaching coping strategies

Stronger Together: Students, teachers and parents.

The success of the programme depends largely on the active participation from the whole BSN community: students, teachers and parents. A 'Wellbeing Team' has ensured that all staff feel supported in trialing and embedding new ideas. Student 'Healthy Minds Ambassadors' share ideas; and parents take part in regular workshops, thus completing an important triangle of student, teachers and parents.

Sense of Belonging

Rhiannon Phillips-Bianco, JSL Wellbeing and Mental Health Curriculum Leader,

A key element of good mental health is to feel a sense of belonging, which is often difficult for third culture students; and even more crucial at a time when mental health issues amongst young people are on the rise.

The ‘Healthy Minds’ initiative has therefore given high importance to creating a sense of belonging for all students within the school.

Learn more:

5 ways we’ll focus on pupil mental health on reopening | Published on BSN International Leadership Academy’s blog

7 mental health tips for helping international pupils | Published on TES

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