St Peter's 13-18
Pupils and staff at St Peter’s School, York, have marked Mental Health Awareness Week with a range of events and activities for pupils of all ages from 2-18.
Pupils at St Peter’s learn about the importance of mental health and well-being in their PSHEE and ‘Lessons for Life’ classes, but Mental Health Awareness Week has offered an opportunity to engage with this important issue outside the classroom.
Children at St Peter’s 2-8 have taken part in daily yoga and mindfulness sessions focusing on how they can help themselves to stay mentally healthy. Each class has had a story of the day through which to explore a different aspect of mental health and wellbeing, such as recognising feelings and how to cope with them and to demonstrate that we all have mental health which can be impacted by the actions of others. In PE and Music children have discovered how exercise and music can help their wellbeing. In addition, PSHEE lessons have been based on learning about mental health and how the children can look after one another through acts of kindness.
Pupils at St Peter’s 8-13 have engaged with Mental Health Awareness Week in their form times and assemblies from 5 to 9 October. This will be followed by a week of activities from Monday 12 to Friday 17 October. They will learn meditation techniques, interpretive dance, Zentangle art, yoga, Tai Chi and mindfulness, and the pupils will be encouraged to talk and think about their bodies, surroundings, feelings, emotions, achievements and goals.
At St Peter’s 13-18, tutors have focused on a different theme each day from 5 October to 9 October, including Mindfulness Monday, ‘Talk About It’ Tuesday, Well-being Wednesday and Thankful Thursday. Pupils have engaged in informal discussions with their tutors and classmates, considering the importance of mindfulness, gratitude, exercise and relaxation. The week concluded with a virtual whole school assembly inspired by the theme of mental health, delivered by Head Master Mr Jeremy Walker on Friday.
Lucy Todd, Head of ‘Lessons for Life’ said “At a time when pupils are under more emotional pressure than ever, there is nothing more important we can do as educators than help to support and guide them with their mental health. Pupils have been learning about mental health and resilience for the last few weeks, and Mental Health Week has been a lovely way to bring all that learning together and ensure pupils feel supported by the school and each other.”
Jeremy Walker said: ““Developing positive mental health is central in our approach to education and has become increasingly important in recent months. Uncertainty about the present and future is an invisible engine of anxiety and I am grateful to all involved in such a great range of activities and initiatives.”
Pastoral care is central to life at St Peter’s School and the House System provides a valuable support network for all pupils from Reception to Sixth Form. The system ensures that each child feels valued and supported throughout their time at school.