This week is Children’s Mental Health Week and we have been working as a school community to bring the importance of well-being and mental health to the fore.
In PSHE the children have been engaged in a range of activities to help them feel comfortable in their own skin and to recognise their own qualities and personality – the things that make them special.
One of the key themes has been to understand that feelings can make you feel both good and bad and that this is normal. When we feel like this there are people we can talk to and things we can do to help ourselves. We emphasise the importance of ‘Share our Worries’ which is a key feature of our school behaviour code ‘The Grimsdell Way’, but in addition we have recently introduced a lunchtime mindfulness club where children are learning basic meditation and breathing techniques to give them a strong sense of self and calm.
Over the half term children are being encouraged to put themselves in a positive light and write down the things that make them special onto a snowflake. These snowflakes will be placed on a tree in the foyer so that we can celebrate ourselves and each other.
Whilst we do have access to a highly qualified school counsellor we believe teaching children to look after their mental health starts with building good habits and creating a culture that embeds these in each child. Proactive steps are needed to create an ability to recognise and name feelings, know how they can support themselves and know where and how to get help from others if they need to.
Our strong focus on creativity and enjoyment within the curriculum also helps to promote a general enjoyment of both learning and life. Children develop outlets for self-expression as well as healthy hobbies and exercise routines that are good for the body and soul.
It is never too early to pay attention to mental health, a special week with a strong focus is one way to achieve this but we continue to build on the many strands that make wellbeing and an understanding of Mental Health, part of the fabric of our ethos and pastoral care.