The Monthly was first proposed as an idea by the three founding editors-in-chief, Anoushka Subin, Leenah Asim and Kaviesh Kinger as a student-led publication that would publish its first issue in November 2020.
The fledgling magazine team was made up of approximately 20 students, but grew over the course of the year to 39 students as of December 2021. The integration of the magazine into an important component of student-life and pupil voice at the British School of Bahrain meant that it was able to include local, global and school news in one place.
Originally designed as a newspaper, the purpose of The Monthly was to report on school news, as well as dabble in interesting concepts in the global arena – with “Defending Democracy” being the theme of their first issue.
Alongside it’s expansion, the purpose of The Monthly also grew to include various committees producing everything from STEM articles to op-eds. They all work together to provide students with a way to educate themselves on the numerous facets of the rapidly evolving world today- reporting on celebrity culture, political movements and technological developments.
The current editors: Charlotte Rodney, Kaviesh Kinger and Anoushka Subin, all enjoy the social sciences, frequently exploring law, economics, politics and society in their monthly Editor’s Note- while also editing and leading the magazine team.
They are keen student leaders that currently undertake active roles in the British School of Bahrain’s student leadership initiatives. They often demonstrate their ability to understand the need of today’s youth to explore their voice, opinions and interests through publications such as The Monthly.
Here, the editors write about their experiences of setting up the magazine:
“In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, our hallways in the British School of Bahrain remained relatively silent as our student community was split up into remote learners and in-school learners. An absence of school events, exciting educational endeavours and more (as a result of regulations), had limited our school’s ability to foster enthusiastic spirits.
One of the reasons The Monthly is so important, not just to us but to our school, is because it brought together our whole school community. Our initiatives gave students something to connect over- whether that was reading our articles, submitting pieces of talented achievements or participating in our Essay Competition.
“Managing almost 40 students, a website, social media and regular issues meant organisation was absolutely essential.”
Our Valentines Day Cards had over 400 requests, and demonstrated to us one of the key demands of students everywhere- to feel like a community. While The Monthly brought students together, it also taught me a plethora of lessons as a founding editor-in-chief for almost two years.
Managing almost 40 students, a website, social media and regular issues meant organisation was absolutely essential and extensive planning was a staple in any initiative. Through creating efficiency, our issues were able to gather legitimacy from students and staff alike- which sent a ripple of academic exploration to students.
As The Monthly gained a reputation for academic articles, we saw our school directly changing- with students wanting to explore interests outside of their curriculum. Our applications for positions began to fill up quickly, and requests for unique article submissions, projects and ideas continue to enter our inbox. The content we produced became a central part of our student community, not only garnering excitement but invigorating academic exploration.”
“Experimental is often the word that comes to mind when I think of the beginnings of The Monthly. Considering that our school hadn’t had a school newspaper in over four years, never mind running a completely virtual newspaper in the midst of a pandemic, it’s launch was definitely exploratory – albeit thoroughly planned out.
Whilst the word “experimental” is often viewed in a negative manner, I think that the unprecedented launch of our school’s newspaper was a symbol of the kind of risk-taking which defines the ambition of our generation. That is something that I will always be proud to have been a part of.
“We no longer need to even meet in person to launch one of the most successful school magazines in Bahrain.”
Now, as one of the co-editors in chief, I feel as though I can really appreciate the true dedication and commitment which each person has to put in, in order for us to produce an issue each month. It stands to reason that The Monthly stands for more than just the abundance of information we collate each month: It celebrates the individuality and talent of each member of the team and the strength of pupil voice.
Without everyone’s unique perspective, we would not be able to produce new and interesting content each month. That is what I believe makes The Monthly so unique and interesting. We are the image of how Generation Z can take teamwork into the 21st century. After all, we no longer need to even meet in person to launch one of the most successful school magazines in Bahrain.”
“When the idea for The Monthly was first born, it was first and foremost an educational tool for students at the British School of Bahrain to learn more about the larger global issues and increase pupil voice. We recognized that most students received their knowledge from major news channels and platforms such as Instagram.
However, it was evident that although they were aware of mainstream news, students did not comprehend the immediate effect that large-scale problems had on our lives. We were able to help students to make the connection through, for example, in our “A World in Crisis” issue, where we were able to find links between the British School of Bahrain and the importance of environmental conservation.
By focusing on showing students that world events have a direct impact on them, we are able to spread awareness and deeper understanding in young minds.
“The Monthly is very student-led foundation and teacher involvement is minimal.”
The Monthly is built upon a very independent student-led foundation and outside of teachers being an interviewinee, involvement is minimal with our finished issue only being approved each month by the head of seniors. I don’t believe that The Monthly would have been what it is today if not for the independence and incredible determination and competence shown by the students who are a part of the team.”