News and blog

Why learning to express yourself is central to a St Mary's education

Why learning to express yourself is central to a St Mary's education

The beginning of February marked Children’s Mental Health Week the seventh annual campaign led by the charity Place2Be, which aims to shine a spotlight on the importance of young people's mental health. This year’s theme focused on finding different ways to express yourself.

As The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of Place2Be, highlights in her campaign launch message creativity is a powerful ally in terms of maintaining good mental health - not just for children, but also for the parents supporting their children throughout lockdown.

As The Duchess of Cambridge describes, the key is finding a creative outlet that makes you feel good about yourself. At St Mary's we see the creative and performing arts as a central and vital part of everyone's education for this very reason. Art, photography, dance, drama, creative writing, textiles ... all these subjects offer different routes to expression, communication and building self-worth and confidence. It is important that every young person has opportunities to explore all these creative outlets, giving them every chance to find 'the one' (or two, or three...) that really fits them, as individuals.

In our Junior School curriculum, creativity and expression are nurtured from an early age and this builds throughout Senior School and into Sixth Form. As they grow, some girls will choose to follow a creative path in their academic studies, achieving exceptional results in these subjects. Others will naturally choose a different path, perhaps in STEM subjects, or the humanities (of a combination of paths!) depending on their interests and future ambitions. However, by this stage in their academic career, all St Mary's girls have experienced a broad range of creative opportunities and many continue to pursue these expressive outlets alongside their studies, through drama productions, musical performances and creative clubs - there is always a place for creativity!

Across our St Mary’s community, we spent Children's Mental Health Week exploring what it means to be expressive and how important it is. We explored this theme in different ways, through assemblies, in tutor time and also by sharing curated resources and activities that girls and their families can enjoy together at home.

Children's mental health week resources