This year, our Junior School guidance counsellor, Mr. Sean Rollosson, has developed a collection of short films known as 12 Tips for Making and Keeping Friends. Based on a lesson of the same name from The Bully Free Classroom by Allan Beane, each film explores a useful tip for students when it comes to friendship. They include important lessons, such as the value in reaching out and getting involved, not showing off to others, and being a good listener. Mr. Rollosson plans on introducing the videos into workshops with the Junior School students and has been presenting them at school assemblies each time a new film is made. In January, he showed them to new students joining ISH. If they chose to, their buddy could join them and then discuss the films with them afterwards. This encourages students to interact more openly with each other, and allows them to feel more welcome in the classroom environment.
In this article, we have included Tip 5: Let People Know You Are Interested in Them, which looks at one-sided conversations and what happens when we focus too much on ourselves instead of others. Mr. Rollosson and the students have managed to make the film informative, yet still fun and full of humour, in a way that children will find relatable. When asked about the inspiration behind creating such a project, Mr. Rollosson explained that "We adults can't solve students' friendship issues for them and we can't choose our children's friends, but we can help them find strategies for making friends and handling conflicts". After realising throughout his career that the most common cause for students to seek his help was friendship problems, he decided that, especially at an International School like ours, where students come and go fairly frequently, they would benefit from some form of additional support. So far, there are six films in total and the project is halfway complete. Tip 6 even includes some guest appearances from Junior School staff. Mr. Rollosson and his wife Houria, his film-making partner and editor, are currently working on Tip 7: Say No to Peer Pressure, which will also include surprise guests, so make sure to keep an eye out both here and on our other ISH social media if you wish to see it.
Well done to Mr. Rollosson, Houria, and all of the volunteer staff and students involved. This is a wonderful initiative for our school community.