To celebrate Children’s Mental Health Week, we have been taking steps to be ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’ throughout the School, from Toddlers to Year 8.
Toddlers: Benefits of Blowing Bubbles
We all love bubbles and that is certainly true of the youngest children in our School. In our Toddler & Parent Group, the children enjoyed exploring the bubble-filled water tray, staying amazingly dry while blowing and pushing the foam across the water. Elsie’s little sister, Clara, demonstrated a great technique and even had a go blowing the paint bubbles with a paper straw. Ruben enjoyed seeing the bubbles overflowing his bubble cup and then made his very own print with a little help from Mummy. Blowing bubbles is a wonderful way to develop facial muscles and control for early speech.
A Feel-Good Week in Pre-Prep
Children’s Mental Health Week has been packed with positive activities in the Pre-Prep. We began the week by welcoming back author and illustrator Karl Newson, the creator of our very own Growth Mindset characters (to read more, visit https://www.taverhamhall.co.uk/author-inspires-children-reach-stars/).
After watching the Pixar animation ‘Inside Out’, where the characters are a little girl’s emotions, the children made stress balls and their own worry stones. The next day Thomas S (Year 2) asked if he could make another stress ball; “I gave mine to my brother. They’re great!”
In a Wellbeing Music Assembly with Head of Pre-Prep Mrs Allison Skipper, the children had a jolly time singing songs of their choice, and then pupils were joined by Early Years for a calming mindfulness walk, finishing with some meditation. Headmaster Mr Mike Crossley and the children were surprised to find Mrs Janine Daws (Teaching Assistant and Mental First Aider) fast asleep in Assembly on Wednesday! To help Mrs Daws feel more energised in the future, they all enjoyed video clips and a story about good bedtime routines. Fergus G-G (Year 1) said: “You shouldn’t watch iPads at night because you won’t sleep!”
After a Yoga lesson, Mollie H (Year 1) said: “I enjoyed the mummy duck pose!” and Eddie W (also Year 1) said: “I liked being a kitten!”
To portray their ideas on how to keep healthy inside and out, the children made two silhouettes, which are displayed around the Pre-Prep. We all had great fun in our Show and Tell Assembly where the children brought in something that makes them happy. Reception teacher Mrs Ruth Fry brought in her pup Teddy and Year 1 teacher Mrs Penny Banks entertained everyone with her saxophone.
All of the activities were caught on camera and video across the week and the children delighted in watching back the footage in a reflection Assembly on Friday. Many thanks to Mrs Daws for coordinating a very successful week.
Happy Days in Prep
Building positive mental health is always an important focus in the School, but this week has been a great opportunity to enjoy a whole host of wellbeing activities. In Monday’s Assembly, Mrs Sam Hearn (SENCO, Head of Accelerated Learning and one of our six Mental Health First Aiders) introduced the theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week, ‘Healthy: Inside and Out’. Pupils were able to share the ways in which we stay healthy through eating a balanced diet, taking regular exercise and sleeping well. Mrs Christine Franklin (Deputy Head Pastoral & Welfare, Designated Safeguarding Lead) demonstrated the power of positive thinking, through a fun version of the Telephone Game.
Throughout the week, pupils have been thinking about ways in which they can improve the quality of their sleep. Everyone has written a Sleep Pledge on a sticky note, which they have stuck to the duvet of a bed, displayed in the Inner Hall. One Year 6 set used their fabulous computer skills to create their own Mental Health posters, which have been on display around the School. Well done, Year 6s!
On Thursday at break time, pupils took part in a range of activities designed to encourage everyone to think about keeping mentally and physically fit.We all enjoyed creating fruit and vegetable pots for our break-time snack. Some pupils took part in a Skipathon, a great idea of Mrs Marie Hood (Head of Girls’ Games), which was run by Mr Tom Hoare (Head of History) and a team of Year 8 helpers. Other pupils created their own Calming Stones, using pebbles kindly supplied by Mr and Mrs Littleboy. The pebbles have relaxing essential oils rubbed into them, which pupils can keep in their pocket and use whenever they need to calm themselves down. Pupils also took an opportunity to relax in the Time4U Room, listening to relaxing music, with Mrs Franklin on hand to offer a mindfulness meditation session.
In Friday’s Assembly, we watched a mini movie showing the highlights of the week, and Mrs Andrea Peters (Accelerated Learning Assistant) and Mrs Hearn rounded the week off with their Mindfulness Walk, which is on offer to pupils every week on Monday and Friday lunchtimes.
A big thank you to Mrs Hearn for leading this special week and to all the staff who assisted.