The week beginning 6th February was Children’s Mental Health Week and the theme this year was ‘Let’s Connect’ The children explored this theme in their classes throughout the week as well as joining in with an assembly about the importance of connecting with others to help our wellbeing and mental health.
During Children’s Mental Health Week, the children in Reception thought about acts of kindness in our classrooms. Ideas included using kind words, helping with the tidying up and playing nicely with our friends. All of these things will make our school a happy and safe place to be. During the week we listened to stories linked to being kind and talking about our emotions, including Cbeebies Bedtime Stories “The Colour Monster” read by Amy Dowden.
We took part in some yoga and relaxation activities along with some mindfulness colouring.
In Year 1, the children enjoyed completing the different Taskmaster tasks throughout the week. They were given the tasks and resources with little direction as to how to complete them and were excited to be able to be creative and figure out a solution. The children made a rainbow, created a new outdoor game and carried out an act of kindness. It was great to see the children connecting with each other through working as a team. The children also looked at the 5 ways to wellbeing to remind them of the tools they can use to improve their mental health.
In Year 2, we thought about how we could make connections with each other in our classes. We talked about ‘Connect’ being one of the 5 ways to wellbeing and how we can try to connect with others around us. All the children were given a template of a person and they filled it with drawings of things about them such as their favourite hobbies, their family and their pets. They then discussed with their partner the ways in which they were connected by having things in common and the ways they are different.
In Year 3 we celebrated Mental Health week focusing on the theme of ‘Let’s Connect’. All the pupils across the year got together in the hall and were randomly put into small groups of people they might not normally talk to. Pupils had to interview each other which questions such as ‘who likes dogs’ and ‘who enjoys swimming’. Once they had connected with new friends, they went back to class to colour in their designs, feeling mindful and connecting with themselves.
During mental health week we explored new ways of supporting our wellbeing. In year 4 we took our learning outside and explored the ways in which the outdoor environment can support our mental health.
We took a stroll through the school garden and listened to the sounds of the outdoors while practicing ‘bubble breathing’, a great technique for when you are feeling overwhelmed.
Our task: (Nature self- portraits)
After our calming activities we began to collect leaves, sticks, pine cones and anything we could find that had fallen naturally on the ground.
We took our collection of outdoor resources inside and began creating our Nature self – portraits. The children loved exploring new ways to create all the features of their faces.
Once we had created out self-portraits we created a class gallery!
We displayed our work and gave each other compliments. The children loved giving and receiving compliments to each other!
Here are some of the things the children said after the activity:
Ebony – “It made me feel appreciated to have compliments from people I do not normally play with.”
Aidan – “I felt really proud and happy to give others compliments.”
In Year 5 we enjoyed dancing as an activity to improve and look after our mental health. The theme of let’s connect really fitted well with dancing in groups and as part of a whole class, the children and adults really enjoyed it.
For the second activity, the children were given the task of designing a rainbow, they could use any media they wanted and these ranged from watercolours to tissue paper! The task allowed the children to get creative in a calm, tranquil setting.
During Children’s Mental Health Week, the Year 6 were exploring lots of ways to connect with each other during their residential trip! However, whilst in school they did enjoy taking part in mindfulness painting and colouring as well as there being many opportunities for them to reflect and focus on their wellbeing.