students looking at small specimens from under logs
2 children working together

Nurturing Minds and Building Bonds: Children’s Mental Health Week

Posted: 8th February 2024

At Greenfield School, we believe that happiness is the precursor to success and therefore the wellbeing of our students is at the forefront of our priorities. Every year, we wholeheartedly embrace Children’s Mental Health Week, a significant event organized annually by the Place2Be charity. Celebrating its 10th year, this week was dedicated to the theme “Your Voice Matters,” encouraging each child to express their individuality and emphasizing the importance of speaking up about our mental wellbeing. The vibrant and enriching activities that unfolded throughout the week created an atmosphere of positivity, self-expression, and unity.

“Dress to Express” Day

Our journey into Children’s Mental Health Week began with a burst of creativity on “Dress to Express” Day. Fundraising for the  Place2Be charity that came up with Dress 2 Express day, the day allowed our students and staff to celebrate their unique identities, champion diversity, and showcase individuality. The variety of imaginative outfits – from sportswear, fun costumes, cosy onesies and sparkling outfits – set a tone of acceptance and appreciation for the differences that make each of us special.

Forest School Sessions

Recognizing the therapeutic benefits of nature and fresh air, pupils enjoyed peaceful Forest School sessions. The serene atmosphere of the shaded woodland provided the perfect backdrop for wellness activities and exploration; fostering a deeper connection with the environment.

Activities Focused on Preserving Wellness

Children from Years 1 to 6 focused on a variety of texts which encouraged recognition of feelings, emotions and behaviours. These texts enabled the children to explore how mental health can impact daily life, the advice they could share with others and who they should reach out too, ensuring they recognise ‘My Voice Matters.’

  • Pledge Posters: Our students explored five essential ways (the ‘5 Ways to Wellbeing’) to look after their mental health: be mindful; connect with others; be active; get creative; and give to others. Through unique pledge posters, they committed to incorporating each of these practices into their daily lives, fostering a sense of responsibility for their mental wellbeing.
  • Feeling Proud: Reflecting on personal achievements, the students created “Feeling Proud” posters to discuss with each other. This activity not only celebrated individual accomplishments but also encouraged a positive mindset and a sense of self-worth.
  • Gratitude Letters: The power of gratitude was harnessed as students wrote heartfelt letters to those who made them feel happy or valued. This activity strengthened connections and highlighted the importance of kindness in our community.
  • Stress Busters and Mood Boosters: Students took charge of their emotional wellbeing by creating their own set of stress busters and mood boosters. From simple exercises and meditation to dance parties and scavenger hunts, these personalised strategies empowered the children to manage stress and elevate their moods.

Arts For Mental Health

Family Wellbeing Challenge

In the spirit of fostering a sense of community, the children took part in a Family Wellbeing challenge, based on the themes of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, set across a variety of subjects such as art, dance, music, PSHE and drama, encouraging them to share activities with their families. This initiative not only encouraged them to prioritize their mental health but also created an opportunity for families to come together, share their experiences, and inspire one another in the journey toward household mental wellness.

As part of the challenge, each student received a ‘Family Wellbeing Challenge’ poster, which became a canvas for families to document their collective efforts in nurturing mental health. The aim was to encourage open conversations within families about the importance of wellbeing and to create a supportive space where everyone’s voice is heard.

Activities included spending quality time together, embracing new hobbies, or exploring mindfulness practices. Children discussed their family game nights, outdoor adventures, creative craft sessions and gratitude practices.

Ultimately, the Family Wellbeing Challenge not only succeeded in strengthening the bonds within our school community but also in reinforcing the idea that mental health is a shared responsibility. By involving families in this initiative, we aim to create a culture where open dialogue about mental wellness is encouraged, and everyone plays a role in fostering a supportive and nurturing environment for each other.

Prioritising Childhood Mental Health

Staff Wellness Workshops

Recognizing the importance of a holistic approach to wellbeing, our dedicated staff also participated in wellness workshops. From yoga and sound meditation to coffee catch-ups, mindfulness sessions, and even dance sessions, the aim was to create a supportive and rejuvenating environment for our educators.

Greenfield Staff Challenges

As Children’s Mental Health Week at Greenfield School comes to a close, the echoes of positivity, self-expression, and unity linger in our halls. By embracing the theme “Your Voice Matters” and providing a myriad of activities centred around mental wellbeing, we cultivate a supportive environment for our students but also strengthen the bonds within our school community. The lessons learned and experiences shared during this week will undoubtedly contribute to a culture of empathy, resilience, and wellbeing for years to come.

Categories: News

It is so reassuring to see a school address issues like this so well, so that the children get used to talking about their feelings and worries at a young age.

Parent of children in Year 1 and Year 4, 2021.

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