Just before our half-term holidays at The Academy School we worked together on Children's Mental Health Week following the UK 'Let's connect' theme.
There were a range of activities such as meditation, breathing exercises, circle groups, growth mindset and resilience strategies and opportunities for students to take time to consider mental health at the impact on our social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
Support for children’s mental health is ongoing at The Academy School through our PSHE lessons, workshops, curriculum-based work, assembly themes and the support of our wellbeing and KiVa team.
For Children's Mental Health Week, art students discussed different ways art can support us with mental health. Year 10's did visual gratitude journal. It has been proven that keeping gratitude practice improves our perception of happiness, and those days when we struggle to come up with examples is when we most need it. Year 9 enjoyed colouring mandalas which is often used to alleviate stress and increase focus.
Ms Nathan did a partner functional fitness session in the Senior School to place importance on getting outside and exercising and the impact that can have on our mental health.
Exercising with others can create a sense of community and can be a way of connecting with friends and strangers. Reception 1 took part in outdoor yoga to learn how to exercise their bodies, control their breathing, regulate their emotions, and become closer to nature. Ms Laura showed Year 3 how exercise and relaxation can affect how we feel. She gave a wonderful lesson that demonstrated how each of us can be more in control of our own emotions.
Business Studies students in both KS4 classes and the IBDP programme took time to look at the potential linkage between the products supplied by social media and a possible rise in teenage mental health issues across Europe and elsewhere. Several strategies were suggested to help students to audit their social media content and to model appropriate behaviours to avoid potential stress and anxiety. Our school counsellor also did sessions for students on positive online behaviour and safety online.
During music the children learned how music, sound and rhythm connects us. By maintaining the rhythm of the drums there was a positive connection within the circle. Using different parts of their bodies to make music was a great way to express themselves.