Pathways To Learning... Since 2005
Hong Kong Registered School 566985

In-Person or Online

Course Finder

HK Inside News and Views

Building a Strong Foundation: Promoting Student Well-Being at Stamford American School

By Lisa Olinski ( Director, Admissions and Marketing ) Stamford American School

As adults we are aware of the impact on our emotional well-being on our work, so we can’t be surprised that the same is true for our children whose primary job is to be a student. At Stamford, the Second Step program supports students both academically and in developing essential socio-emotional skills that they will need to navigate through life.


  • The program promotes skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, and conflict management all of which are needed to develop a strong emotional foundation.
  • This program has shown to increase pro-social behavior by 50% and gives students practical strategies to make good choices by fostering awareness of others and empathy.
  • The program helps children to cope with situations such as bullying; this means not only supporting their peers by being responsible bystanders but also how to refuse bullying.


Beginning from Pre-Primary (age 5) to Grade 8, students have a dedicated lesson each week where they go through various scenarios related to a topic which addresses a central theme. Practical exercises allow students to problem solve through the situations with the support of teachers and peers.

In the elementary years, (Pre-primary to Grade 5) the main goal is building a strong foundation in four main areas: skills for learning, empathy, emotion management, and problem solving. At each grade level, the students will explore these central topics through age appropriate content. For example: as part of the fourth theme problem-solving, Pre-primary and Grade 1 will learn about fair play; Grade 2 students learn about playing fairly on the playground; Grade 3 students discuss peer exclusion and Grade 4 and 5's learn how to cope with peer pressure.

As children enter middle school, the program shifts to skills needed to navigate successfully into adulthood to ensure preparation for more complex challenges. Middle school students explore mindsets and goals, values and friendships and, thoughts, emotions and decisions. In Grade 6 students learn about setting Goals, Grade 7 learners will learn about embracing challenges whereas grade 8 students look at overcoming failure.

Even as adults many still struggle with some of these skills, so ensuring strong guidance at this age is critical, “In middle school children are developing their identities and also navigating towards adulthood, supporting them through this pivotal phase is vital to ensure emotional well-being and success in high school and beyond.”, Ashley Perkins, Counselor, Stamford American School.

Once children are in high school, the program becomes very personalized, as they move into a one-to-one advisory program to discuss preparation for college and beyond. However, the advisor drives students to take on more responsibility for their well-being so upon graduation they can be successful.

“At Stamford supporting students in and out of the classroom every step is a top priority, academics are important, but a strong socio-emotional foundation is also needed to ensure a successful and happy future.”, Mia Nortje, Counselor, Stamford American School Hong Kong.

To learn more about Stamford American School, visit: https://www.sais.edu.hk/


Dulwich College Singapore

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

Share Now!