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Mental health and wellbeing in the Junior School

Mental health and wellbeing in the Junior School

Good mental health and well-being has always been a high priority in the Junior School, but never more so than in the last 12 months.

The girls have had to adjust to learning online and to the challenges of a very different in-school experience, where normal social interaction has been limited. When we returned to teaching on Teams this year, we were able to broaden our whole school pastoral contact.

Eco-council played an active role in our Fairtrade Fortnight and School council continued to meet virtually, feeding back on online learning and planning ideas for future charity fundraising. We held regular whole school assemblies, and off-timetable days were included to ensure that the girls could get some creative downtime. 

As a school, we are mindful that well-being is actively promoted in all areas, not just PSHE lessons. To that end, some lessons may begin or end with a breathing practice to focus and calm the mind. 

In lockdown, Year 6 girls really enjoyed creating their own bullet journals (pictured above). Among the activities of these journals were: setting short–term goals; planning time to do things they loved, recording inspirational quotes; keeping a tracker to remind themselves to drink lots of water and much more.

The theme for children’s mental health week this year was ‘Express yourself’. This was about recognising the importance of showing who you are and how you see the world, in a way that can help you feel good about yourself. On one day, the girls wore an item of clothing inside out. The point of this was to show that you do not always know how someone is feeling on the inside by looking at them on the outside – a simple message supported by activities in PSHE lessons that week.

One of our High Performance Learning characteristics is hard-working Holly's resilience.

We are proud that St Mary’s Junior girls have been resilient and adapted so well to all that has faced them this year. Our girls know that it’s important to focus on the positives in life; caring for themselves and others

‘If you want to feel good, do good.’

Ms Freebairn

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