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Headteacher's Roundup 3 May 2019

I have spoken in the past about the importance of taking care of our children’s mental health.  We know that pressure and stress are unavoidable in a world that appears to be spinning ever faster, so it is crucial that we equip them with strategies that will help them to cope with this and build their resilience for the future.
At Chinthurst we pride ourselves on excellent pastoral care.  Our children feel happy, safe and secure and we have worked hard to create an environment in which they can take risks and challenge themselves, whilst positively impacting their self-esteem.  However, we do not want to become complacent and are always looking at ways we can develop strategies to ensure the children are able to deal with life’s inevitable curveballs. 
May is mental health awareness month www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week and so with this in mind, we have introduced a daily Mindful Minute into our busy routine.  Mindfulness focuses the mind on the present.  It encourages us to enjoy the moment, appreciate what we have and switch off from any worries or pressures.  Miss Waide introduced the concept in our whole school assembly on Monday and talked to the children about some of the mindful activities they will be doing daily.  These could include concentrating on breathing, stretching, watching a short video clip or colouring. 
There is so much research to show that Mindfulness helps with the following:

  • It develops the habit of focusing on the present moment and ignoring distractions.
  • It teaches children to stay calm in the face of life’s stressful times.
  • It creates good habits for the future. When faced with life’s challenges, children know they can find peace by taking a few moments to meditate.
  • It promotes happiness by lowering social anxiety and stress.
  • It promotes patience.
  • It can improve executive functions in children’s brains like cognitive control, working memory, cognitive flexibility and so enhance their progress.
  • It can improve attentiveness and impulse control.

Miss Waide is also running a weekly Mindfulness club after school on a Wednesday and there are still a few places left. A huge thank you to Miss Waide for leading this.
We hope that this initiative will not only give the children a minute of calm and peace every day but also an important skill that they can draw upon when needed going forward. 
 
The week of the 13th May is Mental Health awareness week and I would recommend to all the parents in the school to take the time to care for themselves. Did you know that the average adult will say "I'm fine" 14 times per week, yet only 19% actually mean it? Remember the aeroplane analogy of the gas mask - you all need to be strong to care for your little ones.

Best Wishes
Cathy Trundle