After a year of turbulence and uncertainty, with restrictions and lockdowns, the importance of mental health has been at the forefront of learning, and at the heart of our community here at St Edward’s. This week, our Well-being Nurse and Well-Being Counsellor, Ms Forster and Mrs Brooks, designed a day of year group workshops at both the Prep and Senior Schools, where pupils in Year 3 upwards had the opportunity to participate in well-being related activities.

At the Senior School students were given the task of creating a social media awareness video around a chosen topic such as friendships/relationships, social media/influences, bullying and resilience/self- confidence.

The buzz of ideas filled the room, as students discussed the themes and lots of innovative ideas were shared about how best to achieve optimum impact. Despite the challenging subject matter, students were happy to collaborate and were eager to share ideas and be as imaginative as they could. Throughout, students displayed many HPL values such as concern for society, collaboration and creativity as they talked about how they could bring awareness to their chosen topic.

The resulting ideas for the social videos ranged from TikTok inspired dance routines about bullying to selfie style clips about respect, being kind and the importance of self-worth. Students were eager to share their projects with enthusiastic smiles to Mrs Brooks and Ms Forster who were very impressed by the level of commitment shown by the students during the workshops.

Over at the Prep School, children in Year 3-6 took part in activities geared towards making them aware of positive and negative thought patterns. The pupils were asked to complete ‘positivity shapes’, highlighting good things that they ‘have’, good things that they ‘are’ and positive things that they ‘can’. They also spoke about how easy it can be to allow negative experiences in life to occupy your mind more than the positive things you experience, and the importance of forming the habit of acknowledging and remembering the good.

The children also thought about positive quotes and affirmations that they found helpful, before getting their blood pumping in a game designed to explain the fight or flight response to stress that most of us experience and how we can try to control how we think about these feelings.

The day was a huge success across both schools, increasing awareness of mental health and showing the maturity and compassion our students have for one another. A huge thank you to Ms Forster and Mrs Brooks for co-ordinating the day, and to our students for taking part with such enthusiasm!

Whole Trust | 05/11/2021