CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH WEEK - 1st -7th February 2021
Mental Health and Wellbeing is a huge part of Milton Court and we recognise the importance of teaching the children what it is, how to take care of it and its exceptional value throughout their (and our) lives. In previous years we have had a full programme of events for the week in school, focusing on diet, exercise, mindfulness, device-time and sleep. Covid may be hindering how we would usually participate in this important week, but we are resilient and adaptive and we can and will support each other in taking part regardless!
So one thing we can all work on, while we are at home or at school, is our wellbeing. Wellbeing is great for our mental health as it is a state of feeling comfortable, relaxed, healthy and happy. There are commonly thought to be 5 ways we can practice and improve our wellbeing...
1. CONNECT - with our friends, our neighbours, our families. This may look a little different than what we are used to right now because of covid restrictions, but we can be inventive in how we make our connections. Phonecalls, video calls, traditional letter writing (who doesn't like getting mail, right?), card designing and even sending photos or drawings to the people we love. Perhaps you could design a household newspaper sheet with what you have been up to for the week and send it to other family members to read...?
2. BE ACTIVE - everyone has probably heard the term "healthy body = healthy mind", its true! We are made up of our body and our minds, so it stands to reason that what is good for one, will be good for the other too. Taking regular exercise is so good for our mood. Who has been enjoying the Joe Wicks workouts? Have you been practicing your yoga moves at home...?
3. TAKE NOTICE - take the time to notice the beauty in the world around you. Go on a nature walk, are there any signs for changing of the seasons yet...? What animals can you see or hear around you? Did someone make you feel really good or perhaps laugh out loud today?
4. LEARN - well we've got you covered on that! We have been so impressed with the remote learning going on around the Milton Court community. Our newsletter is filled with examples of all the good work the pupils have been doing. This shouldn't just be limited to school work though, they are many things you could be learning while you're at home - a new recipe in the kitchen perhaps, a skill like tying your shoelaces. Take pride in what you have learnt - you are amazing!
5. GIVE - do something nice for someone today. It doesn't have to be tricky or elaborate, it just has to make someone smile and feel good. Even saying a heart felt thank-you for something is usually enough to do that.
Try printing and completing the 5 ways to well-being challenge sheet below this week!
Try using the 'box breathing' technique this week and see if it relaxes you. The idea behind box breathing is that you measure your breath around the square shape. Breathe in slowly through the nose for four seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Gently breathe out through the mouth for 4 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds and then repeat.
If it helps, trace your finger slowly around the picture here as you follow the instructions.
Another great calming technique is 'grounding'. It is a way to get the individual to focus on the present moment using all 5 of their senses, instead of whatever has triggered their stress response.
Take the time to look around and note 5 things that you can see. Note 4 things that you can feel. Follow this with 3 things that you can hear, 2 things that you can smell and 1 thing that you can taste. By the time the individual has completed their list, they should be feeling calmer.
So even though most of us aren't in school, our community is still strong and we can still help each other. Every child has been sent a small pack to encourage mindfulness this week. Expect yours in the post shortly! Every child has been gifted the following...
If you are looking for extra activities to support your wellbeing this week, please see the resources below.
We love to see what you are up to at home, so remember to share your thoughts, experiences, feedback and photos on DOJO. If you have any suggestions to share with the school, we are always happy to hear them too!
A New Term!
Term 2 of the 2020-21 academic year and now that all children have completed the EPIC Bounce-Back-To-School Programme, our own Wellbeing Programme is focusing on relaxation and calming techniques this term.
All children are offered daily Yoga here at Milton Court - we follow the Mini-Me Yoga scheme.
Amazing Afternoons will be delivering a variety of calming techniques, breathing exercises, guided meditations and brain breaks. The children are actively encouraged to try multiple techniques so we can see what works best for them. The valuable knowledge and practice time they receive at school, will benefit them throughout other areas of their lives.
EPIC - BOUNCE BACK TO SCHOOL (September 2020)
When the children return to school this September, their well-being has been at the forefront of our planning. As such, we will be following the 'Bounce Back to School' programme, which has been designed by EPIC (Educational Psychologists and Wellbeing Service) to directly address any trauma the children may have experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The programme runs every day for 6 weeks in school and among other attributes, has complementary activities for parents to do at home with the children. It is hoped this will unite our school community further, give parents further insight into what the children are learning and also provide a truly holistic approach to the socioemotional well-being of the children here at Milton Court.
The Milton Court Wellbeing Programme
We are so proud of our Wellbeing Programme and how it has helped the children here at Milton Court. You will see in our most recent Ofsted Inspection that it is noted the children 'are supported to understand the importance of physical and mental wellbeing'. We truly believe that wellbeing is an important, lifelong skill that is never too early to learn.
Our normal programme schedule can be found below - even our EYFS children get involved! Under development for the 2020/21 year is a 'Mighty Oaks Scheme' that will monitor and target key areas for Year 6s. We ultimately hope this scheme will be of great benefit to them, helping them through their KS2 exams and transition into secondary school.
Also important to note for the new academic year - is that the whole school will be following the 'Bounce Back' programme for Term 1, which has been designed by the Educational Psychologist and Wellbeing Services. We recognise that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the children have experienced an extremely unusual year to say the least. On returning to school in September, our priority is to ensure the socioemotional support and wellbeing of our students and families. More information on the 'Bounce Back' programme will be released to parents shortly.