Children’s Mental Health week (which commenced 6 February) encourages UK schools to focus on making meaningful connections using the theme ‘Let’s Connect’. At RGS Prep we have been running a range of activities for the students to take part in, including planting seeds, making bread rolls, expressing themselves on a graffiti wall and dancing their socks off at a disco.
Each day we have focused on one of 5 contributors to good wellbeing:
- Take notice;
- Keep active;
- Keep learning;
On Monday we encouraged boys to ‘take notice’ by admiring nature, focusing on the sounds they can hear, practicing mindfulness and painting something they had seen. At lunchtime, boys planted seeds, among other activities, with teachers and spoke about their gardens at home.
Tuesday was all about ‘keeping active’. Staff members shared what activities they take part in to stay active. For example, Mrs Self (Head of Wellbeing and Learning Support) shared the following: “My daughter and I went for a 6am run in the dark. It was peaceful and quiet as we stomped around the local streets singing one of my favourite songs that makes me smile, to keep us warm, and make the effort all worthwhile! A bit of exercise in the morning always makes me a happier and more patient person to be around AND I can safely say that my ten-year-old daughter can definitely run faster than me!”.
‘Connect’ was the theme for Wednesday. Activities such as bread making and planting continued at lunchtime, a great opportunity for the boys to chat and form friendships. As a community we are very close-knit and as teachers and students we enjoy having week-daily interactions.
Mr Freeman-Day was very keen to get involved with Thursday’s theme of ‘learning’. Throughout the day groups of boys could join Mr Freeman-Day to help build Lego plants. Continuing with the theme of ‘learning’, we invited S.F Said, author of Varjak Paw, to visit our Year 4 and 6 students alongside students from GHS. All thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and book signing.
Friday’s ‘Express yourself Day’ was the culmination of Children’s Mental Health Week. Boys were invited to wear clothes that express their personality and interests. The corridors were filled with sport enthusiasts, Harry Potter characters, fairy wings, and much more. At lunchtime we turned up the tunes for an ‘express yourself’ disco, a chance to dance freely. Dance can be used as a vehicle for expression. It can help tell a story, convey feelings and emotions, and connect with others and with ourselves. The wellbeing theme of the day was ‘giving’, we are very proud that being polite and helpful comes naturally to our students, so it was no surprise to see lots of doors being held open and hugs exchanged after the brilliant pantomime performance!