T3W6 – 28 April 2023
This week I had the pleasure to attend a PEP session led by one of our student scholarship recipients. Naina Suwakumar our Athletics scholarship holder shared her experience with parents and teachers. This was an inspiring session and for those in the audience, I am sure that you too could feel Naina’s passion and sense of belonging.
One question Naina was asked was, “What does it mean to be a Sabre?”. These 8 simple words provoked emotion, and deep thinking from Naina.
To articulate how it feels to be a part of something bigger than yourself is hard for most adults but to see one of our proud Sabres students stand in front of adults and express her feelings was a wonderful experience as Head of School. I was proud to hear her reflections and I personally know that her thoughts are shared by many of our students here at SSIS. Sabres don’t just represent on the sporting field, you can see them playing in the school orchestra, expressing themselves through art, and pushing themselves in the classroom. Sabres are everywhere at SSIS!
At its core, being a Sabre is about belonging. The idea of looking for belonging can be a daunting task for a young person. It may be even more challenging for those young people from international school communities as it is not uncommon that their friends may change due to the nature of our global network and their parent’s commitments around the world. This is where being a Sabre can really make a difference. Belonging is that feeling of being accepted and being somewhere you want to be with a sense of fitting in, based on your ability and who you are.
As a Head of School who’s worked with young people from international backgrounds for many years, I know that belonging is one of the issues that many international students and families can struggle with. I believe that is where sports and other co-curricular activities can play a crucial role. Sports and CCAs are important vehicles for integration, for developing young people and communities and for inclusion. Belonging to something bigger, like being a Sabre enhances social, psychological, and physical capital and being a Sabre can also be a tool for social inclusion and happiness both in and outside the classroom.
When I go and watch sporting and cultural events, I am looking for that Sabre spirit and when I see it, I often say to myself:
“They are with their “tribe”, their people, their friends. This is where our children belong. Right here, at home, in the Sabres colours.”
So, what does it mean to be a Sabre, well for many of our students it means everything!
Finally, I would also encourage all families to come and support our Sabres whenever you get the chance. I am sure that you too will see that sense of belonging and that true Sabre spirit.