Children’s Mental Health Week
This week has been Children’s Mental Health Week, with the theme ‘Express Yourself’, encouraging young people to find creative ways to share thoughts, ideas and feelings and discover activities that benefit their well-being.
Lower School pupils have been expressing themselves through their book collection by taking ‘Shelfies’ and showing their creativity with their ‘Brand of Me’ graphic designs. In Year Seven Drama Club, pupils explored their emotions in the theatrical style of practitioners, Antonin Artaud and Jerzy Grotowski.
RGS Co-curricular clubs and societies have continued during the current lockdown, and Clubs offer opportunities to learn more about Cooking, Coding, Psychology, the Environment and Chess to name but a few. This has encouraged our pupils to take part in activities they enjoy, given much needed variety in their day, and contributed positively to their mental health by enabling them to continue to engage with the wider RGS community.
During remote learning, RGS pupils have been participating in regular virtual Assemblies, which have offered encouragement and guidance from their Head of Year, and online ‘check in’ time with their Tutors. There are also Meditation sessions, delivered by our Relaxation Therapist, Mr Willis, which are open to all Year groups, giving pupils and staff the opportunity to relax and unwind.
We appreciate that all pupils and their families have unique personal circumstances to navigate during this pandemic. As well as knowing that there is always a member of staff available in school whom they can contact if they need support, we wanted our pupils to understand some of the basic psychology behind the various strategies that people now use to maintain positive mental health, as well as signposting them to reliable sources and organisations that may be useful. This will give them the best ways of coping with the current changes to their lives and provide invaluable skills to be successful in life beyond the pandemic and after school.
To this end, pupils are being given information briefings containing practical guidance from our School Counsellor, Mrs Rachel Harling. These briefings have so far considered ‘The Emotion Centres’, ‘Our Tricky Brains’ and ‘Anxiety’ and we look forward to the next in the series which will consider how we can cope better with feelings of anger and sadness. We have shared these information briefings with parents and hope that they have benefitted everyone in gaining a better understanding of how our brain works, why we all behave the way we do sometimes, and what we can do if we want manage our behaviours and maintain positive mental health.
We continue to be so very proud of how well our pupils are dealing with every way in which this pandemic is impacting on their lives and want to assure them and parents that staff are here to advise and support whenever we are needed.
Discover more information and resources from Children’s Mental Health Week here.
Dr Lee Andrew
Assistant Head (Pastoral), Designated Safeguarding Lead