Good morning, Prep School family,
I hope you are all well and that you have had a fun weekend? I had a super weekend – I had Arthur and Amelie for a sleepover. They had both been asking if we could go to a fancy restaurant for dinner for a few weeks so this weekend, Mr Bennett and I relented! We went to the most delicious tapas restaurant and both children were a pure delight! Amelie loved her fish goujons and broccoli and Arthur dived into the mushroom risoni, baby chorizo, flatbreads and smoked haddock scotch egg! A very sophisticated palette for a seven-year-old! We all finished the meal with some churros – nothing like a sugar spike before bedtime! We also went to see Mr Bennett’s family in Derbyshire. His grandad has just turned 90, so we went to share in the celebrations with him. The weekend consisted of eating, cuddles, candles, bedtime stories and sharing memories.
So yesterday was World Mental Health Day. As you know mental fitness and emotional well-being is something that we place extremely highly within the Prep School. Ensuring that the children are mental fit and healthy is part of our duty of care and something we do on a daily basis in school. We actively encourage the children to talk to us about how they are feeling. For those who may find the act of talking difficult, we have worry monsters in each classroom for those children to write down their worry and have it discussed with their teacher and then these worries are gobbled up by the monster. We confront feelings and emotions head on and teach the children how to deal with a range of emotions throughout their time with us. However, our duty of care doesn’t stop with the children, it extends to each and every one of you in the Highclare Prep School family and beyond.
I am going to share with you again the extract I wrote in The Bulletin last year about World Mental Health Day. It is still as relevant now as it has ever been and it is so important that we are discussing mental health in school.
. . . For those of you that know me well, I find it really hard to talk about my feelings and emotions – Mr Bennett sometimes compares me to an ice queen! I am great talking to other people about their worries and concerns and I am always here to listen to anyone else’s problems or upsets but when it comes to my own feelings, I find it very hard to be able to say out loud how I am feeling on the inside. I know I cannot be the only one that feels like this, I’m sure some of you are relating to this right now. I feel emotions bubbling up inside me and that sometimes makes me react to certain situations in ways that I know that I can handle better. I wish I had had teachers when I was at school that understood and realised the importance of mental well-being and ones that helped me to process my feelings and emotions. I think this is one of the reasons why mental health is so important to me as an adult. I know that I have developed the resilience and ability to accept my emotions over the years and I feel lucky that I can, in the main, deal with these well. However, I am fully aware that there are so many people out there struggle with their own personal battles that are finding it very hard to muster the resilience that they need to help them regroup and refocus on the positive. Mental health needs talking about freely without the stigma that is sometimes attached to it and I am super proud of how we do this at Highclare. So everyone, remember – it really is ok not to be ok. It’s ok to talk about feelings and emotions and it is ok to have an off day or two. Life isn’t perfect, you don’t have to be perfect – in fact, life is more fun if we embrace the imperfections occasionally! Remember to talk and always be kind to others. Remember together things are easier.
Quote of the week: “The day you stop racing; is the day you win the race.” Bob Marley
Well-being tasks for this week: This month is Optimistic October and all of these tasks are based on positivity and hope – reaching for a goal and trying our best. These tasks are good for all ages.
Tuesday 11 October – Avoid blaming yourself or others – find a useful way forward
Wednesday 12 October – Find three positives in today
Thursday 13 October – Ask for help to overcome an obstacle you are facing
Friday 14 October – Do something constructive to overcome a difficult situation
Saturday 15 October – Thank yourself for achieving something that you may take for granted
Sunday 16 October – Put down your to do list and do something fun and uplifting instead
Monday 17 October– Take a small step towards a longer term goal
Jokes of the week:
What do you get when you drop a pumpkin?
Q: How do leaves travel from one town to town?
A: With autumn-mobiles.
Q: What’s the slowest way for an ant to get down from a tree?
A: Sit on a leaf and wait until autumn.
Q: What is it called when a tree doesn’t think it’s autumn?
Q: Why do birds fly south in the fall?
A: Because it’s too far to walk.
Q: What can a whole apple do that half an apple can’t do?
A: It can look round.
Q: What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple?
A: Finding half a worm.
Sleeps til Santa: 74 days to go. .
5 things that I am grateful for or looking forward to this week:
Can you try this simple exercise in gratitude and positivity?
- I am looking forward to seeing my dad this evening – he has been away for a few weeks.
- I am looking forward to trying a new soup recipe.
- I am looking forward to going on holiday over half term and being able to relax in the sun!
- I am grateful for the misty mornings that have slowly started to creep in!
- I am grateful for the wonderful team of people I work with daily.
Have a super week and an even better half term. Keep safe and relax. Take time for you and your own well-being – you are so important.
With lots of love,