Case Study: Medbury School, NZ
For this article, we have interviewed John Ogston, Director of Boarding at Medbury School, one of New Zealand's leading private primary schools for the education of boys from Years 1 to 8.
Located in Christchurch, Medbury caters for dayboys and boarders with a long history of educational excellence. Medbury aims to unlock every boy's potential through an individualised education programme, a world class curriculum and traditional Christian values.
From relying on staff’s ability to pinpoint behavioural changes to a systematic, evidence-based strategy that guides wellbeing interventions: at Medbury School in Canterbury, introducing Komodo provided concrete evidence on the areas that needed improving.
As part of Medbury’s wellbeing strategy, they are committed to a variety of educational programmes, including teaching emotional intelligence, proactive approaches to addressing bullying, and the NZ Health curriculum following Te Whare Tapa Wha. An on-site counsellor provides support and advice to students during private consultations, to parents via dedicated newsletters and to staff at staff meetings.
However, before implementing Komodo, Medbury had no student wellbeing monitoring solutions in place and the school had to heavily rely on teachers’ observation, reflection journals in class and regular communications with parents. A behavioural change or shift in students’ general state of wellbeing had to first get noticed before any support could be provided to those in need.
John and the Medbury staff were ready to explore a more thorough approach that would:
- Enable students to share their thoughts and feelings in a reliable way, designed by experts and backed up by psychologists
- Clearly highlight the areas of concern for tailored interventions
- Provide ongoing support on best practices, strategies and ideas implemented by other respectable schools.
Since signing up to Komodo, Medbury’s Boarding House has been:
- Surveying all year 5-8 Boarders on a fortnightly basis through custom surveys designed with the input of the Director of Boarding, Senior Management, the School Counsellor and Komodo staff
- Constantly following up with students in need flagged by the survey results and engaging with students on a daily basis thanks to the platform
- Having staff meetings every week to discuss the data the Komodo surveys present
- Actively addressing any decrease in wellbeing levels identified via Komodo to discuss current achievements, concerns and possible solutions directly with students
- Recording the outcome of these conversations within the platform for full visibility across the whole staff body and best support.
We asked Medbury’s Director of Boarding, John Ogston, to share his feedback on their experience with Komodo. Here’s what John said about our solutions:
Shed light on unexpected concerns
Some of the issues the boys have raised using the Komodo platform staff were unaware of, and with the insight of the survey results, were able to address.
Started the right conversations
Boarding staff meet weekly to discuss the data the Komodo surveys present. All students who have shown a noticeable dip in their wellbeing meet with the Director of Boarding to have a chat and discuss what is going well, what may be worrying them, and discuss with the student solutions as to how we can help improve their wellbeing. The outcome of this discussion is shared on the Komodo platform so all staff can see the results of the conversation and support the actions put in place.
Students can easily ask for help
I have had no student gripes as it is quick and user-friendly to complete the surveys. Plus, they can select the staff member they wish to check in with. Many of the staff have been added to the platform so if the boys’ wish to speak to a particular staff member, but are reluctant or shy to ask, they can request a specific staff member for a chat.
Students enjoy having a 'non- intimate' tool to use to share their thoughts and opinions. It has been hugely beneficial to have boys taking the opportunity to share what is going well and also what is causing any concern. As we know, students can sometimes be reluctant to come forward with any concerns.
Our staff loves Komodo!
I have had nothing but praise from staff as it is easy to use and the boys' survey feedback is specific and clear on what needs to be acted upon. Komodo is currently only used in our Boarding House; however, we can see that using it school wide would significantly improve the way we monitor wellbeing.
Being able to rely on regular, evidence-based student self-reported data has vastly contributed to improve Medbury’s overall approach to student wellbeing. Using Komodo has enabled Medbury School to better support students with their wellbeing journey.
Would you like to learn how Komodo can help your school too?