Despite receiving substantial support from her dedicated teachers, and making good progress, a Chinese boarder suddenly had a change of heart regarding a particular subject they were studying and wanted to drop the subject. The team within the school felt deflated, feeling their efforts had been wasted, but supported her decision after further consultation with her. However this happened several more times, each time after the school holiday where she had been staying with her guardian who was her uncle, originally from China, now living in the UK
What We Discovered
When called in to help, following a chat with the student, it was found that her parents were extremely strict. They wanted her to focus on business in her future life, with chosen subjects supporting this and good grades demanded in these relevant subjects.
Art was seen as an unimportant subject despite the student excelling in it and enjoying it. This view was firmly backed up by her guardian who, every holiday when she stayed with them, told her it was necessary to drop Art in order to focus on other subjects such as Business Studies. She returned to school every term with this message. However, her teachers built up her confidence once again, persuaded her that Art was a valuable subject, and explained how it was important to study a range of subjects.
This was an ongoing cycle of her confidence being knocked, deciding to drop the subject, before having her confidence rebuilt by school staff.
We facilitated communication between the school, guardian and parents in order to come to an agreement; the student would remain focused on subjects such as Business Studies, with additional help provided, but would also continue art as an additional subject, with a slightly reduced timetable.
We explained to her parents and guardian the importance in the UK of a varied curriculum and being able to demonstrate a range of interests – particularly with upcoming university applications in mind. We also reinforced the school view that the students happiness, subject enjoyment and wellbeing was central to the learning ethos.