Up and down the country, schools are finding ways to ensure a balance between academic work, the inescapable screen time that online lessons bring, physical exercise, and of course mental wellbeing.
With this in mind, our sports department has been championing Wellbeing Wednesdays, aimed at enhancing the mental wellbeing of our pupils, staff and parents through physical exercise. Challenges and activities are posted to year group Teams pages, with pupils sending in videos and photos of their efforts. Many are shared across our social media channels using the hashtag #WellbeingWednesday.
Following on from this, on the final Wednesday of this half term, we held a 'Wellness Wednesday', with pupils undertaking a range of tasks and pursuits to enhance their well-being and mental health, to take learning out of the ‘screen environment’, and provide a chance for reflection and a well-earned break from the reality of sitting at a computer screen for most of the day.
A Bingo card of activities was created that included such things as yoga, sketching, a photo scavenger hunt, writing a card or letter to a loved one, mindfulness colouring, in fact all manner of activities to encourage relaxation, fulfillment and happiness. Pupils were invited to record or photograph their accomplishments and share them with the school community.
Since the start of this third lockdown, along with King’s College, we have provided a full online programme of lessons that was initially devised last year in response to the first school closures in March. Part of this programme is taken up with the aforementioned sport and fitness activities and challenges, as well as the more creative areas of the curriculum: art, music, drama and DT all have their own Teams pages inspiring our pupils to be imaginative, inventive and resourceful.
Commenting, Deputy Head (pastoral), Steve Watson said: "“Looking after yourself has probably never been as pertinent as it is now and for our young people it is important that we point them in the right direction and guide them as to how to go about it. Wellness Wednesday is a small part of this. It has been wonderful to see pupils completing tasks ranging from yoga sessions, to making their own smoothie, to sketching British birds."
Our Year 8S class were unable to take part due to the timing of their upcoming scholarship assessments. Therefore, we will be planning future wellness activities for them in early March.
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