Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope that you are well and that you have had a lovely weekend. I had a really busy weekend. I nipped to Norfolk for the day, caught up with my old deputy head, went for dinner with a family that I have known for more years than I care to remember and started writing my Christmas thank you cards. . . I know it is ridiculously late but at least I am doing them. . . slowly. I hope you managed to relax and enjoy whatever you did.
So this week is Children’s Mental Health Week and Highclare Prep School’s Well-Being Week. . . coincidence I hear you ask. . . nope, just excellent planning on our behalf! We are focussing our week on the theme of Respect and Relationships. The children will be doing a myriad of activities in school, both inside and out of the classroom, to raise awareness and a greater understanding of both of these topics. I am sure that the children will keep you fully up to date on what they are doing daily and I will ensure that plenty of photographs are posted on our social media sites. Our days are named this week, so if your child(ren) comes home talking about Movement Monday, Think About it Tuesday, Wild About Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday or Friendship Friday, you will know they are referring to Well-Being Week!
As you know, emotional and mental fitness are so important to us in the Prep School and it isn’t something that we just pay lip service too. It is important for our whole school community – the children, the staff and you as parents. We need to look after ourselves to enable us to look after each other. We need to know that it is ok not to be ok and we need to be able to talk to a trusted person and express our feelings. It is easy for us as teachers, friends and parents to identify a child’s physical needs: we know when they are hungry, we give them delicious and nutritious food. If they are cold or going out in extreme weather, we dress them appropriately. We ensure that our children go to bed at a reasonable hour, as we all know how vital sleep is for us all. However, a child’s mental and emotional needs may not always be as obvious to us or as easy to identify. For some adults, the idea of mental health and emotional well-being in children can be a really scary topic to talk about and this is ok to feel this way. However, one thing that we as adults cannot do, is brush this topic under the carpet and hope it goes away. Good mental health allows children to think clearly, develop socially, learn new skills and make good academic progress. Additionally, good friends and encouraging words from adults are all important for helping children develop self-confidence, high self-esteem, and a healthy emotional outlook on life. At school, we promote talking about feelings and emotions. We actively encourage the children to challenge how they are feeling and to take ownership of their attitudes and emotions. We also ensure that the children know that they can ask for, and will get help, if they need it. By doing this and enabling our children to have a deep understanding of their personal well-being and mental health, we will hopefully be raising well-rounded, determined and extremely resilient individuals who are able to embrace the challenges that they will face growing up and through the rest of their lives. We are also making it ok and normal to ask for help, for those times in the future when they are faced with extra tough times. We have all been there.
So keep talking to your children, have those difficult conversations if needed, show them it is ok not to be ok, let them see you cry, respect their emotions, show them healthy relationships and enjoy the small things together.
I know it is a little bit of a cliché but it is so true – our children grow up so fast, don’t miss out on this. Take a few moments each day to really enjoy them and to appreciate the amazing little humans you have raised! They are truly wonderful specimens and with all of our continued love, support and nurturing, they will ultimately be the best that they can be. They will be happy and well-balanced, what else could we ask for?
Quote of the week: “If you are too tired to speak, sit next to me, because I, too, am fluent in silence.” – R. Arnold
Well-being tasks for this week: These tasks for are for a Friendly February. This month let’s focus on reaching out to connect with others and doing our best to be a good friend. Our acts of kindness and connection ripple out and impact so many more people than we realise – and they also boost our own happy hormones too! In stressful times people around us may be feeling the strain, so let’s try to keep calm, take time to listen and show compassion.
Tuesday 8 February – Share how you are feeling with someone you trust
Wednesday 9 February – Thank someone and tell them how they made a difference in your life
Thursday 10 February – Look for the good in others, especially when you feel frustrated with them
Friday 11 February – Send a caring note to someone who needs a boost
Saturday 12 February – Focus on being kind, rather than being right
Sunday 13 February – Smile at someone to brighten their day
Monday 14 February – Tell someone that you love why they are so special to you
Jokes of the week:
Why did the man run around his bed? Because he was trying to catch up on his sleep!
Why did the math book look so sad? Because it had so many problems!
Can a kangaroo jump higher than the Empire State Building? Of course! The Empire State Building can’t jump!
What do you call a sleeping bull? A bulldozer!
Sleeps til Santa: 319
5 things that I am grateful for or looking forward to this week:
Can you try this simple exercise in gratitude and positivity?
1. I am looking forward to taking part in our school Well-Being Week
2. I am looking forward to driving to school in lighter mornings
3. I am looking forward to watching a documentary that I have recorded.
4. I am grateful for Soreen breakfast bars first thing in the morning!
5. I am grateful for my health
Have a super week and take good care of yourselves and each other,