By the time you are reading this, we shall be quite a way into 2017- nevertheless, a ‘Happy New Year’ to you all! I sincerely hope it is a peaceful one for you.
Have you noticed now, when you go into supermarkets or stationery shops, the shelves have plenty of colouring books, for both children and adults- ‘mindfulness’ books. There is no hiding from the fact that resources and funding allocated to mental health services have been cut back drastically and there has been a spotlight in the media on children’s mental health.
I wonder how many adults set themselves a new year’s resolution around healthy eating or perhaps drinking less alcohol or giving up smoking! With all of this in our minds, we planned the first week back after Christmas to have a whole school focus on ‘Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’. The children covered in detail aspects of the Personal, Social, Health and Emotional curriculum as well as the science aspects of choosing a healthy diet. During the week Rev. Howard, who is a regular visitor to school and whom the children know well, spent time in every key stage 2 class talking to the children about how faith helps him and others to keep their minds and bodies healthy. In addition we had a new type of day for us- ‘A Day with a Difference’.
This was on the Friday at the end of the week and most of the adults in school put on an activity or workshop that, in a sense, followed on from Rev. Howard’s discussions. It was focused around what we do, as adults, in our spare time and that help us relax and give us pleasure.
We had dog walking (you may have seen us walking through the village through the snow blizzard!), yoga, sewing, drams, singing, craft, meditation, cooking, smoothie making as well as a whole range of other things.
The children had a wonderful time and hopefully they will have taken something from it that will give them pleasure. A special thank you to Co-op and Tesco who provided fruit, vegetables and ingredients free of charge as well as staff who gave their time to run workshops- it was much appreciated.
So much can be gained from being still and quiet and from occupying ourselves in meaningful activities, rather than having things ‘fed’ to us and organised for us- this is something children need to learn to appreciate and perhaps parents and grandparents can help in this.