Thinking about the wellbeing of our children feels more important than ever right now.
It is our aim at Alban City School to prepare our children to cope with life’s adversities and give them tools and strategies to help prevent difficult experiences leading to poor mental health outcomes.
Our focus is on the prevention of poor mental health, which is why we have chosen to adopt the Five Ways to Wellbeing. Many of you will have already heard of this as it has gained a lot of popularity in the media recently. There’s plenty of research that points to the five ways as being key in developing and maintaining good mental health as well as offering protection when difficult life events occur.
Children’s Mental Health Week 2022
Year 5 children have been taking part in the ‘Penn Resilience Programme.’ This programme helps the children develop the skills that empower them to be more resilient in dealing with situations both in and out of school. They develop skills in emotion control and emotional awareness, problem-solving, assertiveness, peer relationships, and decision making.
Some of the Year 5 children have shared their experiences of the programme.
“We have been learning about ‘self-talk’, ‘always thoughts’ and role-playing different situations. It’s been getting me to think about my thoughts, and I think it helps those with less confidence in the class.”
“We play games at the beginning of the lesson. The games are to boost our confidence. You win based on luck.”
“We have notebooks, which have problems we can work out. We think about situations and say what is the worst, the best and the most likely scenario. It makes you want to talk more if you have a problem and you know how to solve it.”
What are the Five Ways to Wellbeing?
We can boost feelings of wellbeing by finding opportunities to connect with other people and even pets. This feels even more important right now, which is why we have made it our top priority.
Learning new things has been found to have a positive effect on our wellbeing. Encouraging children to find out new facts, take up a hobby or improve their skills in an existing interest will all be beneficial to their wellbeing.
Slowing down and taking the time to notice what is going on around us, even for a few minutes can make a difference to our wellbeing. For some people mindfulness exercises are helpful but others might prefer something more active. Even focusing on hitting a ball up and down on a racquet counts!
The links between exercise and good mental health are well documented. Whilst it is harder with sports clubs and facilities being temporarily closed, we still need to encourage everyone to be as active as they can.
Small acts of kindness can have a huge impact on our sense of wellbeing. You just have to see the smile on a child’s face when they have helped a teacher with something to see how true this is!
We will start by focusing on ‘Connect’. Each year group will post what they are doing on their blogs but please keep checking this Wellbeing page for more news and information.
Miss Lord and Mrs Smith