Schoolchildren mark the importance of mental health and wellbeing

Date published: 08 February 2021

With most children still working from home, Children's Mental Health Week 2021 proved to be one of the most important ever.

Alexandra Park Junior School marked their days with activities at home and at the site itself.

All children learned about the five ways to wellbeing: Be active, keep learning, connect, focus and give notice.

Each day, the school used their online learning platform to post activities, links and thoughts for the children to think about.

There has been some amazing work done towards being active, with most of the school bubbles heading to the park every day for the Daily Mile. 

PSHE Leader Samantha Nicholson-Hickling said: "Mental health and mental wellbeing has always been important at our school.

"It's part of our motto that the children should be happy in order to learn and achieve their best.

"During the pandemic it has been hard for everyone to look after their mental health and I think as a school we've done really well in providing for the children and their families.

"We provide weekly physical activities in the form of our Beat the Teacher challenges.

"We also provide a chance to connect with each other during our Teams class socials. 

"Little things like this give our children a chance to breath and step away from their computer screens.

"Right now we have to bemindfulof the amount of time they are spending on screen due to online / virtual learning."

During this period of school closures (bar pupils who are vulnerable or the child of a key worker) the school have prioritised mental health by providing time each week in school for children to come off timetable to take part in activities such as Cosmic Yoga. 

This year, many resources have been provided by Place2Be, a children's mental health charity who provide counselling and mental health support for schools.

They believe no child should have to face a mental health problem alone. 

Mrs Nicholson-Hickling added: "The support and work Place2Be do is invaluable to our school communities.

"From training for teachers to in-school councillors, I have seen first hand the benefits and hard work of this charity.

"I cannot thank them enough for their work in schools, especially during the pandemic.

"They have provided valuable support and training to staff who are stepping into unchartered territory, making it possible for us to support our students while also feeling supported ourselves."

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