In our Friday tutorials this morning, pupils at The Mount, Mill Hill International celebrated ‘Time to Talk’ – an initiative we launched last year during Mental Health Awareness Week. Tutor groups joined up; pupils were given hot chocolate and croissants and were given time to talk.
It might seem strange that we have allocated time in the School day for such an activity but it is all too easy to forget that unless we switch off our screens, unplug our headphones and actually talk and listen to each other, the day can go by without having spent any quality time with one other.
Promoting mental well-being and emotional hygiene is as important as looking after our physical health. In one tutor group I heard a pupil talk about monitoring his ‘self-talk’ – the babble we say to ourselves when we have not done well; we often chastise ourselves without mercy, worse than any teacher! If we start being gentle to ourselves, giving ourselves a second chance and encouragement, we are more likely to be kind to each other.